What is the difference between cinema and television? A world-class actor interferes.
As creative forces in the world, we need to figure out how best to get our voices and stories to the audience. That said, when you sit down to write or choose something to direct or act, you need to figure out the medium you are following. The question inevitably comes to television or film. So what’s the difference between them?
Recently, Indiewire asked this question to actor Willem Dafoe, and here is his answer.
“The definition between these two gets a little blurry, but the one thing that stays pretty consistent is narrative based things – where they are based on writers and characters – for television. While I think cinema can handle these things very well, it can go beyond that too. It can bend time and deal with image, sound, color and all those poetic qualities that are harder to define. I think that’s the difference between cinema and television. It has nothing to do with how it’s turned. It’s the attitude. I’ve done very little television, but they are run by show runners and change directors. I remain very much a person who loves to surrender to a director, to fulfill their commandment, or to live what they need me to do. For me this is freedom, for me service, for me enjoyment. ”
I think this is a beautiful and really complicated look at what makes television and cinema different. Cinema is about a communal experience that can also take risks or defy form. When I think of television, I still think of weekly storylines that play out. Sure, there are exceptions like The young Pope or the last season of Twin peaks, but if you look at the gist of each, they are episodic. Cinema is an attitude of putting it all out at once and giving the full chunk of your artistic integrity.
When I think of cinema, I think of Daughter of dust or Tree of Life. They are bold and beautiful storytelling showcases that bend the idea of what we think a movie can be.
What do you think of this quote?
Sound off in the comments.