Film as a Representational Art - Photography and Philosophy by Walden – Article Example

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The paper “ Film as a Representational Art - Photography and Philosophy by Walden“ is a  dramatic variant of an article on film studies. A philosopher author and writer, Roger Scruton, disputes the idea and the possibility of the film is an art. According to roger, film mimics and depends on the theatre. This is the only way in which film becomes an art.   Representational art is art that depicts something people recognise easily. An example of this form of art is Third Avenue etching created by Leon Dolce. The Third Avenue is similar to a New York street.

This indicates that the etching is a representation of the New York street. The thoughts and intentions of an artist form the representation in their art work. According to Rogers’ s idea, a viewer is interested in the aesthetic composition of a piece of work. The representation on the medium, for example, a painting or a sculpture, carries a message. The message is represented in the medium. Photographic argument The artist represents his message with a picture or painting. Film according to roger is a recorded dramatic action.

The understanding of Rogers’ s argument is better understood from the photographic aspect of his idea. Rogers continually continues to insist (since 1979) that photography is not an art. According to him a photograph is purely technical and no artistic. A camera captures moments and memorises them (WALDEN, S, 2010). The aspect of representational art is ruled out due to the fact that the photo is an exact duplicate of the moment. Rogers’ s opinion of representational art is the communication and expression of a thought regarding the subject. The failure of photographs to communicate thoughts leads to his conclusion that photographs are not art representations.

Rogers thoughts remain that the relationship between a photograph and the subject are casual not intentional. The existence in the subjects of photography is another weakness roger points out. The presence of a subject of photography, for example a rhino, is mandatory. However representational art requires not a live subject. The representation, in a painting for example, depicts the likeness of a subject. This is opposed to the exact recording of a subject’ s appearance in photography. His example is of the goddess Venus, due to her non existence her representation in a painting depicts only her likeness.

The option of painting her in other different forms also stands (THOMSON-JONES, K, 2008). Photography only depends on the accurate recording of a certain moment in life. This according to Scruton, photography limits the ability of an artist to express his opinion or thoughts regarding the world. Even the creations of scenarios by photographers fail to qualify as artistic representations. According to Scruton, the scenario is the representation. It stops being representation ones it is on camera.

Apparently the photograph is a pointer to the representation but not a representation for its own sake. A model made up as a mermaid is a representation. However ones the photographer takes a photograph the photograph fails to be a representation (THOMSON-JONES, K, 2008). Scruton refers to it as a photograph of a representation of a mermaid.


BENEDETTI, R. L. (2002). From concept to the screen: an overview of film and television production. Boston, Alyn, and Bacon.

GAUT, B. N. (2010). A philosophy of cinematic art. Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press.

HARBORD, J. (2002). Film cultures. London [u.a.], SAGE

WALDEN, S. (2010). Photography and philosophy: essays on the pencil of nature. Malden, MA [u.a.], Blackwell.

MURRAY, T. (2008). Digital baroque: new media art and cinematic folds. Minneapolis, Minn.

THOMSON-JONES, K. (2008). Aesthetics and film. London [u.a.], Continuum.

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