On a discussion board I frequent, the question was posed, “Is MTV chronicling the demise of our society or assisting it?” and I suggested the reply:
The original question suggests a larger question: does art immitate life or does life immitate art? I’m not calling MTV art (I never watch it but I am part of that generation), but being in film & video production myself, I have to believe in the latter. The filmmaker interprets life into his “art,” which is then reintegrated into his environment by those who view it. The filmmaker’s responsibility is awesome: the ability to shape the very foundations of his society. The filmmaker’s power is not as obvious as that of an E.R. doctor nor are the results as immediate. In fact the results may not even be too late.
So all of this is to say that I advocate responsible filmmaking. If it’s done well it will impart some positive value while concealing itself with entertainment (or at least not forward the debasement of our society). Perhaps as the pendulum swings back groups like Cinemanifest will pop up reborn.