PERFORMATIVE CINEMA MANIFESTO

PERFORMATIVE CINEMA MANIFESTO

– let’s move away from creating an illusion of truth and imitating reality (true or imaginary) in favour of the truth itself, let’s lead the viewer instead of deceiving them, let’s get rid of the habit of concocting reality and overusing film fiction,
– let’s replace actors with performers, that is people who can present something authentically in a way specific to themselves. At the same time, let’s remember that performers don’t have to be artists. Moreover, let’s understand that they can be actors who can use their technique as a tool for their self-expression,
– let’s turn operators, make-up artists, technicians, and other producers into participants who can (if they wish so) mark their presence and be visible in the film during their work,
– let’s make each camera shot have its own identity, namely so each of the operators is a performer and each objective camera can be recognized as set by one of them,
– let us see that a film’s camerawork for a film is an event that can be presented to the public as a performance, and potentially even as a SpaceTime Performance, allowing them to co-create the film,
– let’s use performatives, that is statements or expressions that establish a state of affairs by the very fact of saying them. Let’s start the interaction with the viewer by hiding and/or revealing things in the movie that the viewer/active recipient receives on a mental plane, e.g., in the form of a promise or puzzle to be solved after watching the movie or to be found in places from the movie, etc.,
– let’s make sure that low production costs won’t have to exclude authors from making films and eventually note that the vast majority of film productions are largely a waste of time, energy, nerves, money, and natural resources and that it’s possible to make cheaper and no fewer interesting films if one will stop trying to recreate and imitate reality and instead try to show it by composing a piece made of appropriately separated contexts of real situations,
– let’s understand that not only a documentary can be a record of a real situation, since it can also be achieved in a feature film,
– let’s replace scenes with situations and scenarios with situational plans in order to free those who perform their creative acts in them from the necessity of multiple rehearsals and reshoots, which will significantly facilitate work, reduce production costs, and allow creators to really work on the depth of their creative expression,
– let’s discount the fact that words make up only a small portion of communication and that there is also body language, perfonemes, specific behaviours, cultural codes, or the language of art. Let’s not create talking heads radio plays illustrated with group sex, but instead let’s show something valuable, e.g., human sensitivity, which is difficult to express with words, because a different type of expression is more appropriate. Let’s allow nonspeaking people to create films (it’s not just about using sign language in a film) and let’s show how great a potential lies in such a paradigm shift, how much it changes the human understanding of the world and what it does with human consciousness,
– let’s not treat experiments as formal measures but as a strategy to deepen important content,
– let’s respect the individual way of working on the film, let’s allow the creators experience a problem or state that is the essence of their participation, instead of requiring them to be psychologically available and have workshop skills, let them fully independently deal with the content of their work. Let’s create situational plans with high tolerance to random factors and other variables. Let’s allow creators to follow their creative path during production and their films to have an open character, which may be continued in the next one,
– let’s reduce the role of the director; instead of setting people up, let them create opportunities, context, and general situation, and ensure consistency in line with the vision and concept of a given film
– let’s abandon the hierarchical dictate and open ourselves to horizontal ideological accessibility that allows us to redefine this cinema, just as performance is still redefined. Let every person working on a movie be a creator, not a production worker. Finally, let’s note that anyone can set the direction of development of this type of cinema by saying what it is because it is nobody’s property (according to the idea of ​​STP or SpaceTime Performance), and let’s not be afraid to develop a feeling that filmmaking is a joint act of creation. And so, let everyone who creates such cinema have a possibility to shape its essence and deepen it. What is independent, such as, for example, performative cinema, will deal with false by itself (holy utopia),
– let’s add further points here, but let them first be verified in practice. Moreover, anyone can modify the previous points should their content become obsolete one day. It’s natural since performative cinema has exactly this feature that it performs, changes, and transforms with us, remaining essentially the same, namely just such an uninhibited creation like ourselves…
(Oscar Chmioła – “Performative Cinema Manifesto”, Sopot, 25.07.2020).
Translation Maciej Bryńczak.