Here I bring the week of pieces on the morals of film to an end with a few thoughts for debate.
What are the issues surrounding a film which pretends to be fiction and isn't or pretends to be real and is fictional or fake. Think of the ambiguous natures of Abbas Kiarostami's Shirin, of Catfish or Exit through the Gift Shop. Do we need to know whether a work of art is 'real' or 'unreal'? Is it our right? Are we being betrayed?
Do we need to be more aware of how documentary film-making skews reality in conscious and unconscious ways?
Special Editions, 3D, Directors Cuts....
The rapid advancement of technology has facilitated the creation of many variations of the same work. Does greed play a part? Is our sense that only watching all the versions would represent a proper knowledge of the work being exploited?
To what extent do we own or have a stake in films that we have seen? Think of E.T. and of Star Wars.
Back from the Dead
What are the moral implications of revivifying the image of dead actors and actresses?
What should be censored? Should we allow the worst things imaginable be screened, as long as what is filmed remains fictional/simulated? When, if ever, can the unchecked exercise of freedom be damaging?
Are the lines blurred, in a world of easier and easier access to media, between right and wrong? Do rights holders exert too much control?
Inspiration vs Theft
Where does homage become plagiarism?
Moral Messages for Children
Are films in general perpetuating the tyranny of groups and cliques? How are friendships, parental relationships, love stories and sexual relationships presented, coded and resolved? Are they imprinting the right things in children's minds? Are children's films coarser than they were? Do we need to be more careful in children's films where the audience may be more impressionable and the conscious filtering of fictional from real less sophisticated?
How do we navigate the need of art to reflect the real and explore the unreal, to remember the world as we forget it? Should artists be encouraged to offer enlightenment?
Most importantly, how much of an impact do films really make on us? How much (if we take modern film as one entity) of us as we are is on the screen? How much of us as we will be?
I may pick up on a couple of these questions in the future.