Third Cinema and Politicized Art Summary Post

Hi all!

I have finished writing my paper and have turned it in! Overall, I am happy with how the project turned out. I settled on the title “Lessons From Third Cinema,” as the common thread between the various moving parts of the project, I realized, was discerning what lessons could be taken from the ideological claims and methodological recommendations of the Third Cinema project, ranging from my inquiry into aesthetics regarding politicized art to very practical considerations about the effects of creating art via collaboration as opposed to on an individual basis. I was happy to explore all of the aspects of Third Cinema that initially intrigued me when I read about them in class.

In the end, I concluded that the aspects of Third Cinema that have the strongest application to subsequent art movements are the more concrete aspects, such as taking advantage of technological advancement as an artist, democratizing distribution channels, and creating work collaboratively. The more ideological aspects, such as ensuring art is creating “outside or against the system” is more variably applied, and subsequent thinkers, even those heavily inspired by Third Cinema, have budged on the necessity of fulfilling the requirement in the exact same way Solanas and Getino initially envisioned.

The aesthetics discussion that dominated my first post interacts with the first section of my paper, which investigates the Third Cinema manifesto’s implicit claim that all art is political. The second section of my paper focused on the necessity of producing art “outside or against the system” in contexts in which the goal of the art was to develop a nation’s “own aesthetics,” typically in a post-colonial or post-neocolonial setting, and the third focused on the same “system requirement” in contexts separate from this. In both cases, my statements above about the waning necessity of fulfilling this system requirement or the fulfillment of it in alternate ways, depending on if the focus is on the Hollywood studio system or the neocolonial capitalist system writ large respectively, apply. These sections correspond to the research I did specifically about Third Cinema and its legacy as well as some of the broader art case studies and Doris Sommer’s analysis. Finally, I focused in the fourth section on the methodological aspects also discussed in the above paragraph and concluded that these have ongoing effects. This is where the research on case studies of artworks, especially those produced in the years following Third Cinema and the 60’s, was especially relevant as well, as I searched for Third Cinema’s recommendations within them.

If I were to do the project over again, however, I probably would have tried to focus in on one aspect. The essay ended up being more widely focused than I think was necessary, and it would have been nice to do a deeper dive on one thing. Further, the overall researching and writing process would perhaps have been less grueling if I had a clearer direction at the beginning. Each step took significantly longer than I would have liked because I felt I needed to continuously reevaluate at each step.

Regardless, I hope that my work is informative and provides some insight into how political art movements function and what elements of them result in success.