Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Neix l'Acadèmia del Cinema Català

An article in Avui has announced the creation of the Catalan Film Academy.  Joel Joan i Juvé is its new president.  Its purpose in as stated in Avui is to give awards, organize Catalan film production, and promote the the investigation of a film language cinema, and organize debates and seminars.  Recently, we discussed the vital need for a low Catalan culture in a meeting of the Catalan group.  Will this new academy promote films on the level of Guillermo del Toro, Quentin Terentino, Georg Lucas, or Steven Spielberg.  Or will the catalans have to look elsewhere for entertainment?  On the otherhand, maybe it is no longer possible to do Catalan film just for the sake of entertainment.  But what happens when a culture only has art?


toddkmack said...

I think you've asked a pretty important question - something I've been thinking about over the last few days. Can 'culture' be enforced from the top up? Or is there something much more organic in the way that cultures gain footing? My guess is that it's a mixture of both, but for some reason (most people point to the hegemony of Spanish in the peninsula) these 'culturas periféricas' seem to be struggling to find that balance.

WV said...

Culture in the sense of bildung implies already an edification, which by definition, can only be from the ground up. If you build a house by starting with the second floor, without any foundation, you're bound to not have a stable place of shelter for very long.

The larger question is whether the aesthetic and philosophical ideals of current "high-brow" producers of cinema can be reconciled within a popular medium without a betrayal for the sake of appealing to a larger audience. I suppose the larger issue is whether or not certain films aimed at a broader audience (see; Beverly Hills Chihuahua) can even be considered foundational when its subject matter and thematic overtones do nothing to advance the culture of the society from which it was created.

The other issue I'm thinking about is the multiple meanings of culture we discussed in Vincent's class. Culture as a bildung is prima facie non-organic. Institutions like the Acadèmia del Cinema Català have to think about the kind of cultural paradigm they want to follow and then encourage ways not only to sustain norms and constructions that already exist but to encourage Catalan society to self-reproduce and evolve through the auto-representation embodied within aesthetic artifacts.