Art Racism

Ok - so, I wrote this long ass category bullshit on Art Racism and how various artistic perspectives judge each other. I did it because I tended to be sort of - racist against some of my fellow Artists/Filmmakers. And I believed that there seemed to be this sort of judgment on who we are - and who is an Artist and who isn't.

So, I decided to write up a sort of category thing to sort of - define it for myself. Take it or leave it - whatever you want. This is for the filmmaking community only – but maybe it could be applied to others.

Enjoy or don’t.


You are a true Artist. You believe in Art for Art's Sake. Fuck audience. Fuck them. Fuck critics. Fuck success. You may die poor, you may die unsuccessful but dammit - you're happy (or not) being you. And that amazing work of art that well, nobody gets - is OK sitting on your shelf to one day be seen by a friend or two over a glass of red wine while you complain about the horrific state of the Art Community.

However -

You, I must warn, tend to be the most Artistically Racist of them all. You are the ones that make others (the Entertainer and Craftsman) feel like their work is less important, when it is important for you to understand that without them, the world would be the miserable place you make it out to be. Sometimes.

But - you know (and some are better than others at expressing it) that you are fucking in love with the "stupid and worthless" films. Some of you might even go so far as to make arguments that these films are even more experimental than your own. If you've ever made a serious argument that "Bring It On" is really an experimental film about Feminism in America - you're an artist.


Jean-Luc Goddard, Andy Warhol, Su Friedrich, Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren


Dog Star Man (Stan Brakhage), Sink or Swim (Su Friedrich), Removed (Naomi Uman)


The Artient (Artistic Entertainer) is one who, although makes films for himself - is also worried about what others are thinking and so creates spectacle in his films that may or may not have anything really to do with the "truth of cinema" but more geared towards the enjoyment and movement of the audience.

You have to make films about yourself - but tend to find yourself hiding the reality behind some symbolic metaphor about Elephants or Robots or Wild Floods through the streets of New York City. You get depressed easily when you find that others aren't responding to your work because, frankly - it's a direct reflection of you.

The movie you show to others is really you showing your naked body and their reaction to that become a direct reflection of their attitude of you. If they like the movie, they like you. If they don't really like the movie - well - they don't really like you.

Although, it's very painful to watch someone dismiss your work - you find yourself remaking the same personal stuff again and again, because only an honest work will really mean anything in the end. You feel that if someone likes something that you didn't make from the heart - it doesn't count.

You too are a victim of being racist. You tend to be a know-it-all. You tend to think less of those around you - especially the pure Entertainers. The ones who are getting all that credit for making a good movie, when you think - "it's so 'dishonest'" In fact, it's jealousy that makes you feel that way and frankly you should get over it.

Art is art and everyone makes it. From your grandmother to your worst enemy and the true issue is the difference in Art and that there really is no way to judge it nor should we. We should embrace our individualism as Artistic Beings and move on. Love being you and love those who are as who they are.


P.T. Anderson, Wes Anderson, Sophia Coppola, Jonathan Glazer, Francois Truffaut, Tim Burton


The 400 Blows (Truffaut), Annie Hall (Allen), Birth (Glazer), Royal Tenenbaums (Anderson), Edward Scissorhands (Burton)


You have the potential to experience the greatest success. As an Entertainer, you are most connected with your audience and understand what their needs and desires are. When you approach a film, you approach it the way you would want to see a movie made. If you were in the theater watching a movie - what would you want to see?

As an Entertainer, you sometimes get the brunt of criticism from the Artists and Artients for your - as they accuse - "dishonest" filmmaking. They are jealous of your ability to Entertain and move people through your spectacle moviemaking.

Sometimes, they may accuse your movie of being "less artistic" which frankly is bullshit and you should call them on it. As an Entertainer, you also watch Artists and Artients receive more awards and critical success, while you receive more success in the box office and at the end of the day, what really matters to you is your audience. Why make people sit through a two hour bore fest, when you can give them something they will enjoy, laugh at, cry at, be shocked at and talk about the next day. The Entertainer's films can sometimes bring on the most ever lasting movies of all time - Star Wars anyone?

The Entertainer may however get a bit snobbish when it comes to what they consider the lesser of the Filmmaking Art Types - the Definers. Where the Entertainer finds the Artist to be "too elite" to be any important, they also find the Definers to be "too un-original" to be of any importance too. But one must remember that without the Definers - no one would know what the hell anything means. The Definers are the definition makers of the filmmaking language. Without them, film would have died off into the night - much to the appeasement of the Artist.


Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Billy Wilder, Francis Ford Coppola, Walt Disney


Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Ark (Spielberg), Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Lucas), Independence Day (Emmerich), The Apartment (Wilder), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney)


The Definers are those who take the works of others and bring it to the masses. Sometimes considered the lowest of the Artistic Community, especially by Artists and Craftsman, Definers are the most important and integral Filmmaking Type.

Definers create the filmmaker's language. Through their repetition of the Artists, Artients, Craftsman and Entertainer's work and styles, they begin to define the discourse by which mass audiences can relate to cinema.

Most groups in the Artistic community will instantly dismiss the Definers as filler as "the other Filmmakers who have nothing else to say but what others have said and done already." But - what these others fail to realize is the Definer's ability to see through the whole of crap that the Artists and Craftsman put out. Within any given Artist's or Craftsman’s body of work - a Definer must sit through mounds and mounds of boring, worthless attempts to find the one nugget of what they sometimes define as "Genius."

They are also one of the most gracious of filmmakers. They are the first supporters of Artists, Craftsman and Entertainers. Sometimes, they are financially responsible for an Artist or Craftsman’s ability to make their - sure to “fail” projects. (See the relationship between Arrested Development and Ron Howard).

However, there are times when their “defining” and choices of things to exploit become too – cliché and in turn make out to become rather terrible. When a definer fails – it’s a rather miserable experience to sit through. But – when they succeed, they seem to make some pretty fantastic work (do not say this in front of Artists).

There is usually room for only one Definer in an Artist or Craftsman’s list of filmmakers they enjoy – which they use as a little “balance.” Definers aren’t – and don’t presume to be “artsy” – they make films they enjoy and that others will as well. Definers make tons of money at the box office.


Ron Howard, Ridley Scott, Brian De Palma, Gore Verbinski, Clint Eastwood, Roland Emmerich


Alien (Scott), Scarface (Palma), Unforgiven (Eastwood), Independence Day (Emmerich)


The Craftsmen are filmmakers who use the history of the Artistic Medium to their advantage. Craftsmen are the rebels. References to old films and techniques are prevalent in the Craftsman's work. You may find yourself as a Craftsman thinking of new ideas - how to freshen up one of your favorite films: or more specifically, a certain idea or style used in your favorite films. You also find yourself juxtaposing two separate ideas to make new ones, ones that other filmmakers may in turn use themselves. Your goal is to surprise the audience with a new vision.

You are using the medium of cinema to your advantage - stretching the medium to see and experience new ideas. Unlike the Artist however your work is meant to be seen by many and experienced in the masses. This is a very difficult path to take and should be noted as one of the most noble. You don't have the "it’s my life story" to support you, nor does your films necessarily instantly find itself "entertaining" instead you stick somewhere in the middle.

Sometimes, however, your ideas don't seem to work and people will fault you for being too weird - or too "out there." You may be accused for pushing your own agendas: artistically, politically, personally, though the subject matters and structures can vary dramatically. Heavy-Handed is a phrase you hear very often.

Sometimes, a Craftsman's best work can be considered too "artsy."


Spike Jonze, Martin Scorsese, Gus Van Sant, Oliver Stone, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, David Fincher, Mike Nichols


Raging Bull (Scorsese), JFK (Stone), Being John Malkovich (Jonze), Last Days (Sant), Psycho (Hitchcock), 2001: Space Oddyssey (Kubrick), The Graduate (Nichols)