The immediately noted by the communists in Russia

The discussion about film as an art
form did not start from the beginning of the time when this medium appeared.
During the first two decades film was not considered as an art form. Rather it
was an entertainment or attraction which was separated to the different genres.

What shows us a basic difference
between film and the other art forms such as: architecture, painting, music and
poetry or literature as stated by the later theories. Is when film became available
to people it was considered a social phenomenal. Traditional art forms were products
for and consumed by elite, high class and the bourgeoisie until the beginning
of the 20th century. “Mechanical reproduction of art changes the
reaction of the masses toward art”1,
– stated Walter Benjamin in 1935.
He well-defined an essence of photography and film in his article The Work
of Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction and described film as a
photographic media. Social meaning of film was immediately noted by the communists
in Russia who constructed a new country during 1920th. Lenin announced that
film was the most important of all the arts for them2.
Some of the soviet film makers and theorists as Eisenstein, Vertov, Bachtin
described montage, shooting, editing, work with diegetic materials,
constructing frame, etc. which cause to the formalist school in the film
theory. In particular, you can find it in the work Film as Art by Rudolf
Arnheim. In the first decade of the last century some film theories were
written, which were close from the modernism. Such kinds of works are Riccioto
Canudo’s The Birth of Six Arts in 1911 and The Art of Moving Picture in
1915 by American Vachel Lindsay. Canudo called cinema “plastic art in motion”3
and discussed the gripping of this new art form the three-dimensional
(architecture, sculpture and painting) art forms and the temporal (poetry,
music and dance) arts.

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1 Benjamin,
Walter, “The Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1935), in:
Continental Aesthetics. Romanticism to Postmodernism, An anthology, Blackwell
Publishing, Oxford, U.K., 2001, p. 173.

2 Stam,
Robert, Film Theory, An Introduction., Oxford: Blackwell Publication, 2000, p.
32.

3 Stam,
Robert, Film Theory, An Introduction., Oxford: Blackwell Publication, 2000, p.
28.