There was a time, not all that long ago, when films, or “movies”, were not taken too seriously, certainly not as an art form. Perhaps cinema, as a viable art form, can thank television for coming along and taking the place at the bottom of the cultural arts heap. (However, artistically, TV is coming into its own, perhaps because such new video mediums as YouTube can now take TV’s old position.)
There was definitely a time when the only thing a college or university might have to do with a film was the showing of some foreign, classic or avant-garde film as a student cultural event. Most certainly, there were no courses about film. When those did start, they mostly concerned film history. Only slowly and at certain institution’s was film taught as a viable career choice and a topic worthy of in depth study.
One of the things that changed how film was viewed, at least in certain circles, was the pioneering work of the writers of the French periodical Cahiers du Cinema and those of the British periodical Sight and Sound. Added to these important voices were some excellent US writers such as James Agee, Andrew Sarris, and Pauline Kael.
All of those who contributed helped to waken people to the idea that when a film was past its box office “sell-by” date, it didn’t at all have to be just an “old movie”. (However, the fact that the US was undergoing a profound wave of interest in recent past decades, the “Nostalgia Boom”, didn’t hurt, since many older films were rediscovered and championed during that time.)
In the odd way the pendulum has of swinging wildly from one extreme to another, where many films had been overlooked and superficially judged, now many of the same films were subjected to virtual → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema