Clifton Powell's blog

March 18, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized —— powellclifton @ 4:11 pm

Third cinema is a Latin American film movement that started in the 1960s-70s which depreciates neocolonialism, the capitalist system, and the Hollywood model of cinema as just entertainment to make money. Third cinema is totally against the Hollywood model because the main focus in Hollywood is making money opposed to taking different risks within the various genres and the ways films are put together. Third Cinema refers to popular memory and it’s connected to world folklore and its purpose is to pass memories down from generation to generation.
Third Cinema filmmakers are always struggling to stop Hollywood from taking over their local film industries. Despite ethnic and political diversity, Third Cinema films from different regions and have many common characteristics identifying them as part of a international movement unlike in Hollywood. Third cinema is a revolutionary form of cinema and it’s described as guerilla warfare and it’s a underground form of cinema. The most important thing for third cinema filmmakers is to have their own identity and to be who they are. On the contrary, in Hollywood cinema there’s limitations for directors while making a film opposed to Third Cinema because their main focus is making a box office hit that increases revenue. In my opinion, Hollywood cinema sugar coats their films. However, in Third Cinema you receive the real underground lifestyle that’s not usually depicted in any films that are box office hits.

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9 Responses to “THIRD CINEMA!!!”

  1.   Lauren Schwartz Says:

    Hey. I agree that the Third Cinema is opposite to the Hollywood style films. Third Cinema is more about the message and technique then it is about making money (Hollywood). But I cant help but think, what about films that are Third Cinema, yet also due well in the box office and makes tons of money. I dont know any off the top of my head but there are definitely films that are Third Cinema and Hollywood style, in the sense that they make a lot of money.
    And you say Hollywood sugar coats their films. And while I agree in may respects, there are films that are Hollywood made but are the real deal.
    What would you say for a movie like ‘Slumdog Millionare’?

  2.   Amy Herzog Says:

    Interesting question, Lauren. I’d say that if a film does well at the box-office and makes a ton of money, it definitely is NOT Third Cinema, at least as defined by Solanas and Getino. For them, Third Cinema films were to be shown in the context of community activism, with the explicit goal of raising consciousness and motivating people to become involved in direct political action.

    So there’s a distinction between films made in “developing” countries and Third Cinema. Slumdog Millionaire is a complex example– it was directed by a British filmmaker, and funded by international studios and investors, and was geared toward an international market (not an Indian market). There’s also a well-established Indian cinema market, one that is in fact bigger than that of the US. Finally, the message of the film has to do with making lots of money on a game show– not exactly the Marxist ideals of the early Third Cinema works!

    I think Clifton hit on a key word here: Underground. The original Third Cinema movement took place entirely outside the established industry. But Lauren is right to point out that the climate has shifted significantly since the 1970s. Can a film like “Slumdog” still convey an important message regarding issues of social justice and poverty? Is it ultimately more effective because it is seen by more audiences? Or is it such a watered down version, made for Western audiences, that it doesn’t have any real political impact?

  3.   Lauren Schwartz Says:

    It is interesting that if the film does well at the box office, then according to Solanas and Getino it is not a Third Cinema film. I think that is unfair to the filmmakers because they can work so hard on making the film they want, conveying a message and as much of a Third Cinema film as possible. But if the audience likes it and it becomes popular, it is not considered a third Cinema. But this seems very out of the hands of the filmmakers.

  4.   Michael Fried Says:

    I think a film like “Slumdog” does raise consciousness regarding issues of social justice and poverty. Even if it is not an entirely accurate portrayal of India, it causes people to think about India and possibly become more interested in Indian Cinema. If “Slumdog” is filled with misconceptions about India, then it increases awareness of those misconceptions, and then people who know the real India may be more motivated to teach people about India. So yes, I do think it’s more effective because of the large audience, and I do think it has a real political impact.

  5.   dcooper101 Says:

    i hear all of your points, but i don’t think anyone wants to face the fact that to make a film, it costs a lot of money. making film art is not like painting a picture, it costs a ton of money, and someone has to be willing to give that money. i find it very interesting that i read so many articles where people bitch about how art and commerce fight with each other. if there is not one, then there is not the other. they have to deal with each other no matter what. so just deal with it.

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