Impressionism Is Dead! Long Live The Impressionism!

Our readers love art. Love creativity. Love filmmaking and videography. We all do!

But… looking for new inspiring ideas, shoots, images and styles is not always easy. This rubric was created to help in that search. In this section, we will bring to life old and forgotten trends in art which could be used as fresh air in your future projects. 


Image: a still from Coeur Fidèle/The Faithful Heart (Jean Epstein, 1923): The first merry-go-round scene | Cinema History. Remixed

Modern creators are quite often imprisoned between the desire to deliver their own ideas, while catering to their viewers’ preferences. Today’s viewer is not only a person with whom the author shares a vision of modern society’s problems but a customer. Someone who pays money for art and who will create funds for future projects. Therefore, many filmmakers ought to follow the audience’s tastes. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but often it means there is _no_ uncertainty or ambiguity in films, and _no_ mysterious or complicated philosophy beneath the surface. Apart from the rare art-house movie, we mostly see a tremendous amount of simplicity in narrative and ordinary movies.

However, despite this trend, many creators are still in search for a deeper meaning, complex shooting styles, and pictures which play a role by itself.
Well, to be inspired by that we would recommend going back in time and reminding ourselves of the complex beauty of the most simplistic art trend that ever existed: Impressionism.

Once upon a time… well, to be honest, it happened in the 1860s; French painters Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley came to the conclusion that painting so-called ‘important’ personas, or well-known mythological or historical events, is something that doesn’t make any sense. Instead, they believed that painting the contemporary life of ordinary people is the way of art. This ideology developed what we know as Impressionism. With its unique vibe of colors and imagery, Impressionism embraced the idea that the picture plays the most significant role just by itself, without even a context.

Impressionism in cinema began in the early 20th century, remaining at first a French trend as well. Impressionism ruined familiar ways of seeing things and created a new way for viewers’ perception. Strange effects, alternative camera views, and unique editing techniques. All those changes were intended to emphasise the psychological depth of the characters without letting them speak directly. Just by showing all complexity of the inner world using only video and picture. Films became regarded as a piece of art that can deliver emotions and thoughts without pronouncing them out loud, but rather through camerawork and the picture on the screen. Quite complex, very beautiful, extremely powerful kind of movies.

Of course, here we talk about Jean Epstein, Jean Renoir, Dimitri Kirsanoff and movies from the 1920-1940s. We definitely would recommend any of those works… Unfortunately, the internet is not as mighty in its efforts to help you with that. However, even if reaching films from those times is quite complicated, we have a great replacement!

The most iconic artwork (in our humble opinion) which reminds us of Impressionism in the 21st century is Goodbye to Language (2014) by Jean-Luc Godard.

Despite this work having a lot of references to literature, a strong narrative and a plot, it seems to be mostly focused on the feelings that are delivered to viewers via the video. It’s a visual parade of philosophical, political, and emotional messages describing a few possible languages of the filmmaking process. Every moment seems to be significant yet accidental at the same time. That work leaves us with the widest range of opportunities for interpretation, where we may feel and experience art through sound and pictures, which needs to develop its own language to even think about explaining it logically.

Very beautiful. Very impressive.
Will it impress our readers? Will you like it? No one knows.
Yet what we do know is that coming back to impressionism from the beginnings of the 20th century or in today’s current world is a great way to feel inspired.

So be inspired.
Choose colors you like. Take shots you believe in. The way you feel.
May the Force be with you!