The Social Value of Filmed Arts Lives

  • A. Mary Murphy


MODEL LIVES: THE SOCIAL VALUE OF FILMED ARTS LIVES Film has developed thus far as a medium either for entertainment or education, but seldom for both at once. The problem has been, not that educational entertainment is oxymoronic, but rather the limited vision of filmmakers. Biographical film has the generic potential to be a meeting place for the documentary demands of scholarship and the escapist or cathartic demands of audienceship. There is no reason that factual accuracy and historicity should be dull and dry as dirt; the difference is made in the telling - the Canterbury pilgrims understood that. Their Tales were to be judged on the narrative balance of solace and sentence, their ability simultaneously to delight and instruct. Lewis Lockwood makes two observations on this point, in his discussion of the film Immortal Beloved. He says that a "deep disdain, ill-concealed scorn, for mass audiences, is one...