AFECT

Philosophy

'Do the people want commerce, or do they want art?' Michael Powell
 
He concluded that they want art. The question is as burning an issue 
today as it was then.
 
Though cinema is now past its centenary what is produced remains in too few hands and is largely made up of banal, ephemeral and gratuitously exploitative material that leaves little or no nurturing behind it, even where it is not actively degrading. There are (often well-known) exceptions where genuinely individual films have been made despite hostile systems, but given the volume of material produced these are too few and far between. There may also be very many individual films of value that do not get a viewing.
 
Much of what passes as normal and unalterable is wrong, and can be altered.
squandering of resources on large or blockbuster, and other vacuous productions 
exploitation of large sections of the public into thinking pseudo-material is genuine and conditioning the mass-mind to think this is all there is, otherwise known as 'dumbing-down' 
pornography' of violence perpetuated by low grade minds, degrading  the viewing public 
predominance of television over film and the deleterious effects of much television material 
industry failure to think more comprehensively than only of their own fragmented concerns 
ignorance of government, knowing nothing about film, nor how to meaningfully intervene 
absence of teaching discriminating viewing and limited teaching of practical film-making 
mindless presupposition that only feature films, rather than short films, are of interest 
systematic exclusion of truly independent film-making by the corporate moron mentality
Concerning the last item in particular there is active dismissal of truly individual and subjective films, as described below, and a presumption that this approach would harm the “commercial” performance of film. This is in fact not less than destructive and lying hostility to what is authentic on the part of envious and manipulative operators who wish to make sure the viewing public is kept in a state of conditioned and lucrative ignorance, for “commercial” reasons.
 
It does not have to be like this: I discovered, from teaching film in rudimentary adult education conditions, that one answer at least lies in the subjectivity of each individual; this led me eventually to found AFECT. Much habitual, unthinking response seems still to exist that subjective equals bad and objective good. The truth is that both these aspects are mutually essential, neither being able realise its true nature without the other, despite any bias towards one or the other. Can a different climate of thinking be created or not? The answer lies in the spirit informing film: what are we seeking? - empty “entertainment”, distraction, escapism or sensation seeking, or to enter a realm made possible by film alone, separate from all other means of expression?
 
In the world of cinema, though the scale of activity has increased, the numbers of those making individual films is still minuscule, despite the fruitfulness of such endeavour where it succeeds. My goal in founding AFECT was to enable such authentic individual film-making to thrive, and now through the twenty-first century.Much can be done if the will is there - AFECT can contribute to this.