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Gene Youngblood, Expanded Cinema

Pg. 72

The artist's intuitive sense of proportion corresponds to the phenomenon of absolute pitch in musicians and answers a fundamental need in comprehending what we apprehend. In the final analysis our aptitudes and our psychological balance are a result of our relation to images. The image precedes the idea in the development of consciousness: an infant doesn't think "green" when it looks at a blade of grass. It follows that the more "beautiful" the image the more beautiful our consciousness. 

The design of commercial entertainment is neither a science nor an art; it answers only to the common taste, the accepted vision, for fear of disturbing the viewer's reaction to the formula. The viewer's taste is conditioned by a profit-motivated architecture, which has forgotten that a house is a machine to live in, a service environment. He leaves the theatre after three hours of redundancy and returns home to a symbol, not a natural environment in which beauty and functionality are one. Little wonder that praise is heaped on films whose imagery is on the level of calendar art. Global man stands on the moon casually regarding the entire spaceship earth in a glance, yet humanity still is impressed that a rich Hollywood studio can lug its Panavision cameras over the Alps and come back with pretty pictures. "Surpassing visual majesty!" gasp the critics over A Man and a Woman or Dr. Zhivago. But with today's technology and unlimited wealth who couldn't compile a picturesque movie? In fact it's a disgrace when a film is not of surpassing visual majesty because there's a lot of that in our world. The new cinema, however, takes us to another world entirely. John Cage: "Where beauty ends is where the artist begins."

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