The culture and contemporary films feed of each other. The question is which comes first? the proverbial chicken or the egg?

The limited number films that I have seen in the past year or so has led me to believe that filmmaking is moving out of the emotional level and into the intellectual level, or at least appearing to do so. And yet, if we watch a film, the end result of it is actually our realization of what the central character comes to realize; we learn intellectually. Despite the emotional rollercoasters which lead us to this realization, the film is actually an intellectual work.

Although films are structured so that the audience member will reach an intellectual realization, the way this is presented will naturally differ widely. In this manner it appears that the trend that has been developing for the past half decade or so is that of an intellectual presentation; films that engage the brain more and more. While the emotional rollercoaster is still an integrated element, this wave of intellectualism in films brings new outlets of material, since the viewer will not tend to be repulsed by seemingly non-emotional contexts. This trend opens up new ways for conclusions to be reached; for understandings to be understood.

This new trend brings with it a danger to the film industry, however. One of the major side-effects of an increase in intellect is an increase in pride. Material that was once charming, pleasant, and entertaining may now seem weak, stupid, and not worth watching. Films now must appeal to the mind as well as the heart, or else the audience member may condemn the film as sappy nonsense. Perhaps intellectualism is a double-edged sword?

As to which comes first, the question is still unanswered.