Thirty years ago I dreamed of becoming a (motion picture) filmaker. I was later to discover that something about the whole thing made me sick in my gut. It wasn't until years later I realized that, for me, motion picture had been filled with a kind of fraudulence. Not only the caste system of the entertainment business and all the associated nonsense, but the idea if filming actors portraying those whom they were really not. Documentary (and cinema verite) was ok, but even that seemed to lack any real power.
I read "Theory of Film," then. The author had subtitled his book, "The Redemption of Physical Reality." He talked about the strength of the camera (he meant cine, but comments were applicable to still generally, and especially ULF, I think).
Krackaur said he thought dramatic film was merely a recording of persons pretending to be other persons. This, he said, was not pure cinema. A kind of misuse or (my word) a prostitution of the camera. (I cannot help but think of the photo-pictorialist movement which Alfred Stieglitz had so wanted to break away from.
Krackaur said that the camera had early on seemed to instinctively wind up in the " street." That was where the life and energy. True, he was talking from the perspective of motion. Moving people, animals, wagons.
But he referred to the camera's ability to redeem what the eye and brain had seemed to miss. He called it (German translated to English) "plastic beauty." And he spoke about redeeming this reality. That's where I believe that I and others fit in.
I find that the beauty of the sheer physical material I am surrounded by is absolutely pregnant with amazing and wonderful possibilities. If it were not for the camera, we would be "stuck" with eye and brain only. I need, of course, to remember the painters, too. Didn't Stieglitz feature photographs and paintings in gallery exhibitions?
Man, when I find the scene I want to photograph my pulse quickens. Then I hope I can translate to shades of gray in two-dimentional space some of what was happening for me at the time my eye and brain experienced it. As others have said, if someone can make what is private public, then perhaps "art" has been created.
Always fun to try to talk intelligently about something that the human intellect is not capable wrapping itself around.