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
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.
website respects and honors filmmakers (whether they direct or write for film) by recognizing artists as the conscience of
The 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.
This 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.