And we were angry and poor and happy, And proud of seeing our names in print.

So it’s a little late in coming, but I should probably explain why this blog is named The Eighth Art. The name comes from an essay written by Sergei Eisenstein in 1922 in which he argues that Cinema is a new art worthy of its own muse. In the essay, he draws up the image of a ‘Council of Muses’ with Charlie Chaplin, representing the new art of film, entering and sitting in one of the appointed seats.

For those not up on their early twentieth century Soviet film history, Eisenstein was the premier filmmaker in Russia, and is considered the father of film montage. He wrote two massively influential books on film theory, Film Form and The Film Sense. His most famous films are Potemkin and Ivan the Terrible I & II.

Eisenstein envisioned Chaplin sitting among the other muses and refusing to leave no matter what forces were used to try to kick him out. Film is a distinct art form in that it has, from the very beginning, had to fight for its place among the other arts. It has always had to prove itself. I like that. I like the idea that art has to fight to survive. This art form is not a pushover; it will fight for itself and for beauty.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve used the name The Eighth Art; it’s also the name under which I produce my own film projects. It reminds me that what I do and what I create has to be fought for.

So there you have it. Maybe it would be more suited for a blog dedicated strictly to film, but then it’s my site, so, at least for now, I’ll do what I want.


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