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Why the show is a work of art of the XXI century?
Material posted: Publication date: 10-08-2017
This summer, "Game of thrones" returns to the screens! Television series have become a ubiquitous phenomenon in contemporary society and are very popular among young generations. Specialist series Vincent Colonna believes that they should be seen as one of the main cultural and artistic forces of our time.

FigaroVox Series, apparently, were a work of art of the XXI century (in the same vein, the movie could be called the art of the twentieth century). What is this art? What's the secret to his success?

Vincent Colonna: In 1990-e years in the television space was a real aesthetic revolution: the screens out the TV series of high scenic and visual quality ("the Sopranos", "Oz", "Sex in the city", "twin Peaks", etc.). They no longer had anything to do with old family performances. Here you can talk about the new era series and large-scale change because all they could boast of special techniques and dedicated authors who sought to create history, not inferior to the beauty and depth of the best of the films. These works found their audience: subscribers to cable and thematic channels, generation of viewers who grew up with TV and computer, they know everything about traditional history, crave more complex and intense narrative.

The main feature of this new artistic form was to the story continued and the characters. All have reached a new level. It is worth noting that something similar happened with the movie: it appeared in 1895, however, high-quality movies become the norm only in the 1930-ies. Until good paintings were the exception, the vast majority of them were issued on the conveyor, only used for entertainment.

The series is based on the addictive. Whether they are an art form that perfectly suited to our capitalist consumer societies?

— Of course, the cyclical story, the story creates a loyal audience that is incomparable advantage for a vain pursuit of the benefit of the cameramen.

However, the cyclical the story was invented not by capitalism, but existed in the works of Homer and of the Greek and Roman poets. In addition, it is worth Recalling the "Thousand and one nights" in Asia and the Muslim world (in the nineteenth century in a Cairo cafe still told peretekanie from one to the other adventures of legendary heroes like Sinbad and Baybars), or songs of the troubadours. We are talking about a much more ancient anthropological realities than capitalism and civilization of entertainment. A huge advantage of the series of stories that focus on the return and the character development is the multiplication of relationships in the fictional world, the introduction of new relations between people and situations, strengthening the relationship of things. The film is frozen the story of the series. Proust is perfectly analyzed this point about Balzac and the Human Comedy. In order to clarify this, it took him a whole volume.

— What distinguishes modern TV shows ("Game of thrones", "house of cards" "breaking bad", "Dexter", etc.) from the TV series first wave ("Little house on the Prairie", "My wife spelled me", etc.)?

Among the modern series is necessary to distinguish between popular and more. Popular series, in fact, little different from those in the beginning, they are family, ends well and promote moral qualities. In General, these are TV shows broadcast by major channels like TF1, F2, F3 and M6. More TV shows usually come on small channels (Arte, Canal+...) and possess the characteristic features of art works, the beautiful paintings and the best films: semantic and syntactic richness, the abundance of components, metaphorical, illustrative, complex and extensive system of references. You know, all this may seem overly scientific, but art has a special semiotic principle of operation, which does not correspond to pure entertainment.

Artistic signs behave differently. They are richer and more complex, generate in us is more sensitive and intelligent response than just entertaining or informative signs. That is why the great author series inexhaustible as "don Quixote" of Cervantes, Cezanne or Gregorian chant. Pardon the indiscretion, but the audience should know this: we are witnessing the emergence of a new art form that happen not in every age. Your words about what TV show is "art of the XXI century", is not journalistic hyperbole. They should be taken literally. Biased immorality of the modern series are associated with this improvement artistic component. The more the series is increasing its aesthetic power, the more they depart from the moral and flirting with immorality: it is a phenomenon steadily since the mid-nineteenth century. Anyway, this point is not fundamental, since, as is easily seen, for many centuries the art was worn mostly moral in nature and focused on the good.

— In the second volume of the "Art series" you're talking about the passion of the audience to immoral stories and characters that take on not instructive role ("breaking bad", "house of cards," "Game of thrones"). With what is the attraction to evil?

— Of course, if you look at the current series, compared to television last the eye first catches the attraction to evil and demonic. The fact that we tend to focus on the fact that surprises, most interesting facts and the most odious actions. Whatever it was, produced on the audience the effect is more nuanced, and it is not the result of only one particular factor.

In fact, the series has long been moral because he stood on the side of society, not individual, norms rather than going against the flow of desire. Striking feature of the author's series that they stand on the side of the individual, not the group, as if offering people to pay more attention to themselves. To better understand what is happening, you need to understand (this is the idea of Bergson) that a society creates stories to let people live better, both individually and collectively. But what we have seen in the past several decades everywhere in the West? General and systematic withdrawal of the state! Institutions has become much more difficult to provide social mobility and equitable way to offer all citizens protection in the field of pensions, healthcare and even security. My theory is that with operating as a fables stories series teach new generations to do more themselves and rely less on the state for protection and prosperity.

— In the "Game of thrones" women plays a huge role. Moreover, it is possible to say that almost all the positive characters — the female and the male somehow diminished (a large number of eunuchs, cripples, midgets, quadriplegics, etc...). What do you think about this representation of male and female roles in this series?

— As I mentioned above, the invention involves a symbolic perception of social characteristics. In the West, the female gender has long been in the lowered position, but now finds the relationship of equality and complementarity of men. Serials speed up the process and put on display a strong-willed heroines, politicians, and sometimes incomparable warriors that brings a new wave in the types of female characters. In the "Game of thrones" there are two antagonistic images of Queens who go to his last battle, in some way, as Alienor of Aquitaine and Marie de Medici. Clash of the titans! This becomes a great advantage in the arts because, as noted by Georges Polti (Georges Polti), and before him Goethe, in narrative art had a big gap: female for the most part was either a faithful wife (Penelope), or mistress (Elena). Typology of female characters were much poorer than men's.

— Another feature of "Game of thrones" is that it is almost not described, no love story (not counting the couple of the Starks in the beginning). This, incidentally, applies to many other successful TV series (a couple in "house of cards" is tied to a conspiracy that paints a rather ugly picture of the marital Union). Love and passion has been a favorite theme of novels and movies, but are secondary in series?

— Remember the first sentence of "Anna Karenina" by Tolstoy: "All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way". Happy love may seem insipid, while the tragic is much easier to generate interest. "Game of thrones" is filled with tragic stories of love, starting with the incestuous ties of Queen Cersei and brother Jaime or love the dwarf Tyrion a prostitute Shae, which he killed with his father. It is also worth noting lovers daenerys Targaryen of Jaaha Mormont and Daario Naharis, a beautiful pair of Grey worm and Missenden, captain, "Flawless" and the maids of the Queen. In other words, in the "Game of thrones" is quite sentimental lines, but they all fade into the background of our attention because of the saturation of the events and characters. I can say the same about most of the series: no, even this fleeting presence of the love of their aggression and stiffness become unbearable. Even in the first season of "house of cards" a couple share a real love, and only then presidential position destroys feelings, fueling anger.

— "Game of thrones" is riddled with violence: rape, torture, battles, injuries... Why our liberal society, which has never been so peaceful in history, are so fascinated by murder and violence? This kind of catharsis?

Every genre carries with it some degree of violence, which fits its subject and audience. Fantasy epic contains a significant (and therefore military) component, implying a high degree of violence. This genre has a rather adolescent roots: it is about the age when people want to throw out the overflowing energy, to test your limits. Paying great attention to the question of political power, "Game of thrones" was able to invent a fantasy for adults, while retaining the original violence of the genre, to keep Teens. At the same time, if you look at TV shows like "the West wing" and "Black Baron", which devoted to politics in democratic regimes, it is possible to ascertain that physical violence in them is completely absent. Now thematic networks do not pay attention to the unwritten ban on the representation of torture and killing by major TV channels.

— Apparently, soap operas have become the refuge of fiction, which left literature: now it mostly deals with the description of reality. What, in your opinion, is it connected? The series replaced the novel?

— I think that a General love for the series — not just a fancy trend or way to make money. This is a symptom of a paradigm shift, updates intellectual framework in the West. This means the triumphant return to the culture of the narrative, which was disavowed avant-gardes since 1950-ies. Narrative blurs the line between high and low culture, as a number of TV series can be viewed on several levels. Take "Game of thrones": it can attract not only teenagers, but also a research worker who will not leave without attention the many references to medieval civilization. The series should be considered in the same vein as the strengthening of cognitive Sciences, which put the state of mind in the center for the Humanities, or the dominant position of digital order in our lives.

This "serialfile" indicates a new mental configuration, which is still difficult to describe as it is still in the process of formation. I am convinced that this configuration will give a second wind to the literature. The fact that the production terms TV such that the TV series will always be lacking in the novels to create stories. The writer has not available screenwriter freedom of thought and time. This explains why the majority of the most important serials are always novels: from "Dexter" to "house of cards". In addition, recall that the "Game of thrones" is not primarily a series, a cycle of fantasy novels. It is an adaptation of "a Song of ice and fire" produced by George Martin (George R. R. Martin) since 1996. Martin himself, in turn, has inspired "Cursed kings" by Maurice Druon (Maurice Druon) when writing your own novels. Surprisingly, a forgotten French writer was the source of inspiration for the American series, which is at the forefront of post-industrial modernity. Thus, literature has nothing to fear if she can be creative and not put everything on one form as it has long was in France.

Eugenie Bastia


Tags: art , culture

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