CINDERELLA OF SHORT FILMS IN BIG BROTHER’S BASEMENT OR SLIPPER PICKED UP ON FLY OF RUSHING TRAIN…

This article presents our DJ set, a variation on the theme of platitudes about cinematography in academic papers. Thank you for your attention!


Allegro: Cinema and Technology

As it is known, cinema was born because of the progress of science and technology, but at the same time, it is the result of the centuries-old development of art and human knowledge. And the history of cinematography covers an entire century.

It’s very difficult now to enter this field as a noteworthy author if you are unfamiliar with the history and theory of cinema. The thing is that you can always enter filmmaking, but you cannot exit it so easily… Therefore, knowledge will help you recognize where and in what niche of filmmaking you are and where these roads lead and to have a choice in the field of independent cinema.


Adagio: Cinema and Forms of Art

Cinema has repeatedly been compared to painting, which gained movement, to literature, which became visible, and to the theater transferred to film.

But cinema is more flexible now than it was in the 20th century. For instance, the film that won the Golden Bear in 2021, “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn” is good proof of this. There are invisible narrative piles in the winning movie that are hidden behind the spectrum of visual tools widely used in short films. It can be said that short films are the basement, the laboratory of the so-called “Major Cinema” or cinema for the big screen. In other words, short filmmaking is a cinderella who has lost her slipper on the red carpet. True, this slipper suits all those filmmakers who have successfully stuck their graceful foot in it and managed to jump on the train of the film industry. The train never stops. So once you’ve jumped on it, probably, you shouldn’t think about jumping back on…

short films theory

Image “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn”


Menuet: Flexibility of Shorts Form

Contrary to a writer, poet, or painter, a film director needs a whole set of different materials from technical equipment, a location for filming, a script, actors, crew, and, of course, many financial resources, and much more.

Now, everything has changed significantly with the development of information technology. Film production has become much cheaper and more accessible. Sometimes it is very difficult to distinguish between digital video art and film, as the genres and directions interpenetrate into each other. Short film is a field of experimentation and conventional form. Genre is slowly but surely receding into the past as a criterion for the composition of festival programs. Because of the boom in short film festivals, subject-specific film festivals are common. A common way of jumping off the above-mentioned train in slow motion is launching your film festival. There are horror, sci-fi film festivals, VR, video-art, thematic festivals, and so on.


Final: Cinema and Masses 

Although cinema can be considered a product of the synthesis of various arts, it was primarily a unique phenomenon of artistic culture, creating a new, unprecedented and inimitable, living, holistic and dense reality through the screen. Moreover, cinema has significantly influenced the development of other spheres – literature, fine arts, theater, etc. It having passed the stage of formation and firmly taken its niche in the current culture. Moreover, cinema has influenced significantly the development of other spheres – literature, fine arts, theater, having passed the stage of formation and firmly taken its niche in current culture.

The peculiarity of the cinema’s evolution is it follows the path of increasing virtualization, i.e. the accumulation of light, color, sound, and other effects. Put differently, cinema is in a way where the reality of thought is more perceptible than physical reality.

Сinematograph has absorbed the experience of previous art forms. Because of this, it takes advantage of the power of its images because they are self-moving. Cinematography empowers what was only a possibility. Image-movement causes a mind-blowing effect on the audience. In this regard, cinema practice and theory pioneers hoped that cinema would impulse the masses to think, which would lead to a transformation of social reality.

However, J. Deleuze is critical of this belief in the magical power of cinema as mass art. Firstly, no form of the arts can turn ordinary people into thinkers. And second, because among cinematic products there will inevitably be many low-quality, experimental, and commercially or propaganda-oriented films.

abour shortfilms

A sold-out crowd at the Clermont-Ferrand Festival


And cinema is often reduced to big-screen movies. We are talking about movies distributed in cinemas by distribution companies. Distribution companies buy screen time from cinemas. Cinemas become dependent on premieres and releases. Multiplexes have long been part of the distribution system. That’s how the avant-garde reaches the big screen only if the time is allowed. But this is uncommon and not in the spirit of business planning. Independent cinema, conceptual screenings and underground festivals are terra incognita for business. It’s safer to drink boiled water. Business is not about art. Accordingly, the mass viewer gets only what is acceptable to the business model. A certain drama may lie in the fact that the festival short films are hidden from the mass audience, except in countries like France, where the Clermont-Ferrand festival is attended by up to 170,000 people annually.

The situation can be compensated by VOD platforms, which are growing like mushrooms. We hope that among them there will be channels with high aesthetic demands and deep film studies. This could be an alternative to Vimeo’s Staff Pic. For example, a festival selection from Oberhausen.


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