gelado #133

This confusion between simple description and moral accounting, between making art and finding ultimate truth with a camera, a microphone and an editing machine, is an old story in filmmaking and criticism, but it continues to be told, again and again. At this point, I have to wonder why. The appeal of systematic rather than case-by-case exploration is obviously great, as great as the lure of enlightenment in the realm of art and outside of organised religion. However, I find it troubling to read rejections of religious and political dogma from critics who simultaneously espouse aesthetic dogma. I have a feeling that serious film criticism is afraid to hoist up the anchor of moral essentialism for fear of drifting off into the shallow waters of connoisseurship. I suppose that moral essentialism offers a guarantee of seriousness.

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