The very definition of an artist — the way we perceive the artist to be. For filmmakers, it is a way of making something that we would never have even dreamed of making ourselves.
What is the way to create film like no other? The way that a filmmaker chooses to do it? This is where we get into our subject for today. This is where we talk about things like the use film might have on the world. And what is more: when film was making headlines with stories of drug cartels trafficking in drugs, drug lords running international organized crime rings, and drugs being used as currency to fund terrorist attacks? (We go on to talk about how the “war on drugs” has led the drug war to increasingly militarized police tactics)
We move from that subject to look at the way in which filmmaking was a part of the American narrative and how the public saw it. This is important to recognize: as a narrative, filmmaking was part of American society. A large swath of American culture lived and breathed it. Whether it was films like the “Penny Dreadfuls” films, “The Truman Show” movies, or the TV series “The Twilight Zone”.
What do these films have in common? Well, they were all about the way in which film creates new narratives based on stories that were told before. As filmmaker Jim Jarmusch famously puts it “It ain’t my place to explain film to anybody but myself”. Films, for the most part, do not exist within the borders of a narrative. They are narratives that are created.
For this reason, we begin today’s discussion, in part, by looking at the “trifecta of films about television”. In the 1970s and 1980s, people saw the explosion in the number of television stations and the television industry and they began to question the wisdom of television as an economic monopoly. These two movements were not mutually exclusive, and neither were directed at the same time.
This led to the emergence of cable television and the rise of a new kind of television culture. Cable television has been discussed previously on the blog and as a form of television. We will address this briefly in this section as the movement was already popularized and began to have profound affects in the 1990s.
What is cable? A lot can be said about cable television. What is really important isn’t what it is but what can be said about it. Cable television began in the late 1980s, well before the internet. That
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