I have recently started on a library copy of the later director Andrei Tarkovsky’s Sculpting In Time, and while I have only gotten half way through it, it has provided me with passages on cinema which I will take to heart, going as far as using it during an argument between two other people on a forum. The following quote is one of many intelligent ones, originally from Chapter IV, but it is pertinent for me when it comes to what cinema’s purpose is. Even if a film is merely designed for the lowest common denominator, I feel this belief of Tarkovsky’s still applies and is why we as film viewers hold certain films highly or other negatively:-
‘Search as a process (and there is no other way of looking at it) has the same bearing on the complete work as wandering through the forest with a basket in search of mushrooms has to a basket of mushrooms when you have found them. Only the later – the fill basket – is a work of art: the contents are real and unconditional, whereas wandering through the forest remains the personal affair of someone who enjoys walking and fresh air.’
(Sculpting In Time, Pg. 98, The Bodley Head Ltd,1986)
This message, while obvious, will do some good for me as a thinker, especially when it comes to why certain ‘experimental’ films are far more successful for me than others, an area of discussion this quote comes from in the book. I can now use this an elaborate metaphor to help me consider the merits of a work.