Saturday, January 07, 2006

Theology, Dogma and Lomography

In 1995 Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Kristian Levring, and Soren Kragh-Jacobsen established the Dogme 95 collective in Copenhagen with the avowed aim of rescuing film, nay ressurecting it from a death inadvertently brought about through the success of new wave cinema and the resultant corruption of that particular revolution. This ressurection would come about through the determined application of The Vow of Chastity, a set of 10 rules established to inject film with a heroic dosage of honesty.

The Idiots (1998) and Gummo (1997) are amongst my favourite examples of the genre, the latter being more informed by the guidelines of Dogme than ruled by them. In fact Gummo is an important case in point, as it is not strictly speaking a Dogme film. Or is it not?

Between 1992 and 1997 (dependent upon interpretation of the lore) a small group of Austrian students (or canny businessmen, dependent upon interpretation of the lore) established the
Lomographic Society International with the explicit (and possibly retrospective) aim of studying and documenting the world's surface (not literally the soil, though that also might be included) by taking millions of snapshots of it. The LSI established a set of 10 (golden!) rules of Lomography to help guide its ever growing army of followers on this grand mission.

Mireille Schoone and noitheboy are amongst my favourite exponents of 'Lomography' and the opening image here is one of my favourite personal examples though having been captured with something other than a LSI sanctioned camera it is not strictly a 'Lomograph'. Or is it not?

Between several thousand years ago and somewhat more recently a disparate lineage of philosophers, practicing philanthropists and outright crackpots have established, inadvertently or otherwise, a range of
theological schools that have vied for our attention and loyalty. Each of these schools brings with it a set of rules and in at least one major case a specific set of 10 rules (though apparently that started out at 20 and was reduced either for simplicity's sake or due to the outcome of a fit of pique, dependent upon interpretation of the lore).

Amongst my favourite exponents of such systems are just about anyone that uses whichever system's various 'rules' as a
general and adaptable guide to the best way to approach situations in life rather than acting slavishly upon the fossilised texts of philosophers (etc.) whom in the first instance might more likely have been aiming to establish a set of broad psychological toolsets for dealing with the rigours of life, some philosophical balls to kick about and bounce off walls, rather than an ossified set of strictures. I've never killed (a human) yet I'm not a Christian. Or am I not?

Posted by Picasa


Post a Comment

<< Home