The usefulness of theoretical books on cinema has been called into question (especially today, because the times are not right). Godard likes to recall that, when the future directors of the new wave were writing, they were not writing about cinema, they were not making a theory out of it, it was already their way of making films. However, this remark does not show a great understanding of what is called theory. For theory too is something which is made, no less than its object. For many people, philosophy is something which is not ‘made’, but is pre-existent, ready-made in a prefabricated sky. However, philosophical theory is itself a practice, just as much as its object. It is no more abstract than its object. It is a practice of concepts, and it must be judged in the light of the other practices with which it interferes. A theory of cinema is not ‘about’ cinema, but about the concepts that cinema gives rise to and which are themselves related to other concepts in general having no privilege over others, any more than one object has over others. It is at the level of the interference of many practices that things happen, beings, images, concepts, all the kinds of events. The theory of cinema does not bear on the cinema, but on the concepts of the cinema, which are no less practical, effective or existent than cinema itself.
Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2
Questions of who has the authority to create a film are often ignored in the sake of art. In turn ignores the validity and truth to films when taken away from groups involved in the subject. Examples like the often glorified spiritual quests of white westerners to nonwestern countries like India or the fetishization of crime and poverty by privileged groups are ignored for the sake of art and cinema.
Hence this can mean questioning the western &/or white gaze placed on films and moreover, questioning authority of who is allowed to film or not and/or if there should be a restriction. Is it capable for someone of a privileged group (white, westerner, male, cis, straight, etc) to have certain validity to their films in how they are able to studiously show the experiences of marginalized group(s)? Thus this can also be questioning authority of who is allowed to film or not and/or if there should be a restriction. Unlike previous themes this theme encompasses both analyses and critiques.
Starting this month Film Antidote will be doing submissions in rotation every two months. The theme for June will be authenticity and authority at Film Antidote, a site devoted to critiques and analyses of nonwestern cinema and western cinema with people of color.
Submission guidelines can be found here. Submissions are due by June 1st at 6PM CST to email@example.com. Email us if you have questions and/or if you want to bounce ideas off us, you’re more than welcome to do so.