Film As Art: Moments In Time

Article written for The Parallax, a film journal based in Vancouver, BC.


Has film ever made you feel suspended in time? Felt a moment that seemed to transcend how time is normally experienced?

It seems that one’s state of mind and the nature and amount of one’s cognitive thinking is reflected in how time is perceived and experienced by the mind. There are moments in time where one transcends the limitations of fixed human consciousness; during these moments, time slips out of one’s conscious awareness, and boundless eternity is fleetingly perceived and experienced by the mind. These moments of eternity in time are difficult to recognize since they involve the momentary dissolution of the ego. Only through immediate reflection and pure intuition can one recognize such moments of occurrence. These moments, namely “moments of aesthetic experience” are produced through the active conscious perception of any thing with perceptible formal properties – any thing of consciousness – however, not everything of consciousness has the same capacity to do this. Art is a term utilized to describe those things which have great capacity for producing aesthetic experience; the greater the capacity, the greater the art.

Art can be anything with perceptible formal properties. Of necessity, it must be of consciousness; therefore, art must of necessity be subjected to the mind of a perceiver. It is this subjectivity that makes art not only extraordinarily phenomenal, but definitively indeterminable. Because of this, opinions about art vary, and no two minds interpret artworks in quite the same way. In spite of this, I believe the experience of art is paradoxically unifying. While discussing art, contention of opinions arises; however, expressing the feelings art elicits, specifically that of aesthetic experience, is humanizing and bonding This is because no matter how one attempts to define, interpret, or articulate their experience of art, all those experienced understand intuitively how the other may have felt. Although some may be more experienced and better equipped, we all share an unspoken understanding and appreciation of art; we are each connected by the human ability to perceive art, and, thereby, transcend the limits of fixed consciousness, experience higher states of awareness, and, through pure, undistracted consciousness, summon a moment of eternity in time – a revelatory moment of contemplation.

So… has film ever made you feel suspended in time?


About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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