Friday, January 02, 2009

Flick. Movie. Film. Cinema.

The two rhyming pejoratives in Chicks on Flicks, the Sony Pix review show title, took me back to the days when I could, and would, distinguish between movie, film and cinema. According to my then received ideas on the French theory, here is how it goes. The "filmic" facet of the art concerns its relationship with the world. The "cinematic" aspect deals with the aesthetics and the internal structure of a film. "Cinema" may turn out to be high art, for all you know. "Movie" delineates its role as an economic commodity or a marketable product. You watch a movie just like you eat pop corn and drink soda now sold in the multiplexes at as conscionably high prices as those of the movie tickets. If you dare me to spout some more of my borrowed wisdom, I would bore you with the definition of "auteur" again according to the French theory. The French word means "author". When it is applied to cinema, it means a film maker whose individual style and total control over all elements of production give a film his or her personal and unique stamp. Hitchcock was considered the quintessential auteur although he worked in the British and, later on, in the Hollywood Studio System. Ask Francois Truffaut, the originator of the auteur theory. John Ford and Howard Hawks too sailed in the same boat as the Master of Suspense. Woody Allen may also fit the bill. If you're still not bored to distraction, let me enlighten you on what a chick flick is. Simply put, it's a movie specifically designed to appeal to a primarily female audience, the exact opposite of a guy movie. Two recent chick flicks had either a made-in-India (Monsoon Wedding, 2001) or a British Indian Sikh expat (Bend It Like Beckham, 2002) bias. Was Chak De India a chick flick?