The purpose of this website is to provide an understanding of film and an appreciation of film as an art
form. Film has been misunderstood by the general viewing audience (who view it as entertainment), by film
reviewers (who have the audacity to criticize artists and their art), and by film instructors (who have invented film “theories”
to define a medium which is as simple to understand as literature).
Film school is the greatest offender. Style is taught, instead of subtance,
as if there were film style. Listen to the director's audio commentary on video discs, and nothing is stated about the
style of a film.
To repeat: Students of film learn that style is more important than substance. But
when films are created, the filmmaker invariably has emphasized substance or content for the story to be coherent. And
coherency is related to theme which is the focus of the story.
This website respects and honors filmmakers (whether they direct or write for film) by recognizing
artists as the conscience of our culture.
information in this website should be valuable and useful to all, but sadly and realistically it isn’t.
Too many prefer to be entertained but not enlightened by film which can be an art form. Feeling is more
important tahn thinking. And this is why, in part, viewers avoid films with bleak endings.
website provides just enough information to understand film as art. An expanded form of the ideas expressed
in FilmMessages will appear in a text. The best text now available which shows the filmmaker-as-artist
is The Vision of James Cameron, a comprehensive study of a film genius; since Cameron has only made few films to date,
an essay on one of them does not appear in the Film Essay section. Also available are The Cinema
of Billy Wilder and Twilight Zone Stories, exercises in theme.