Cinema Progress (1935 - 1937)

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of the changing civilization. It is the right progressive attitude, the effective method of approach which is important; once established, it will be possible to use them as a guide in discussion of concrete pictures and their specific problems and to inculcate them in the mind of the youth. In order to be a work of art and cinematic technique, themes of pictures should be sufficiently broad and yet vital ; they should be expressed rather indirectly and implicitly. The preaching of propaganda of any dogmatic doctrine in pictures not only destroys their artistic qualities but is abhorred by the modern generation, just as the venerable educational system of "forbidding and ordering," or dry-bone rehashing of text-book. Therefore the basic requirement of the criterion of judgment of a picture should be a constructive emotional stimulation, i.e., the stimulation which aesthetically leads to some constructive or significant idea, which reveals a new aspect of life and contributes to the broader outlook and building of character. It should not be at war with socializing elements of modern education ; it should help the youth to tune in with real progress which demands from every member of our great nation a sense of responsibility, self-discipline and effort toward self-improvement and improvement of environment. Real progress invisibly grows and moves in the mind of mankind in spite of all cross currents, relapses and stagnant pools into which sometimes life is diverted ; it is directed to a closer unity and understanding of the people and peoples; to more widely spread participation of everyone in social, economic and cultural life of the nation. Along with radio and television, the cinema is the newest and most marvelous tool of mental communication humanity has acquired, and as such can bring about the sympathetic understanding and communion of the nation and nations. The ability of the cinema to record facts with utmost scientific precision and at the same time to transmit values, to focus them sharply and instill them with great emotional intensity; its power to unify and cohere the masses into one common vision makes this instrument of mental control and its mastery indispensable to modem cultural leaders. This mastery is necessary for vitalization of education as a classroom aid, and for the sake of influencing commercial motion pictures through the leadership of a motion-picture-conscious audience. The so-called "motion picture appreciation" movement will grow, and will become a socially constructive and practical movement, only: 1. If it is guided in its standards of appreciation by social idealism; 2. If it is experimental ; if educators teach the youth appreciation by doing. The effective use of the 16mm. camera and projector, the writing and shooting of small scenarios about school activities, about subjects of study, with topics from fiction and actuality, is not more difficult than driving an automobile or learning shorthand and typing. The enthusiasm of the young generation and their gratitude to the educators for giving them a new mental equipment which helps their adjustments to the new world they are going to live in and enlarges their technique and potential scope of social control, will be the reward for this work.