As discussed in the FLM110 Topic 9, Art Cinema: Art Cinema or Art-house cinema has, “no absolute definition”. To my understanding the genre known as Art-house Cinema is usually made of films that do not follow the conventional tools of a large budget “Hollywood production.” Alternatively, “Wonderful Cinema” (a website known for reviews and definitions of film terminology) defining Art-house cinema to be:
“a film genre which encompasses films where the content and style – often artistic or experimental – adhere with as little compromise as possible to the filmmakers’ personal artistic vision.”
Unfortunately, with no clear definition it is hard to define. If we follow this definition presented to us by Wonderful Cinema, a lot more films would be considered part of the art house genre. In fact, all films that show a large amount of authorship towards the director could be considered an art or art-house film. By this definition, modern example of an art cinema film would be the 2009, “Sherlock Holmes” and its sequel released in 2011, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” Both these films were directed by the English film director Guy Ritchie.
Ritchie is known for his work, directing other films such as: Snatch (2000), RocknRolla (2008), The man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) and the new live action Aladdin movie (release in 2019). Though all these films are all very different, they all come with a certain style and feel to them. This same feeling and authorship can also be found in both the Sherlock Holmes films, due to the fact that Ritchie has left his mark on them.
But is Sherlock Holmes really a part of the art cinema genre?
Ritchie has certainly left his mark of authorship on it but does it break usual conventions?The answer is yes. Several times in the film, they chose unconventional methods to show insight into the minds and workings of certain characters.
An example of this is, during the fight scenes (a link below), shown in the Sherlock Holmes franchise we see the slowing of time as we take a look into Sherlock’s mind. The narration of Sherlock’s conscious determines the outcome of the fight and how his opponent will react. We then return to the actual fight, outside of Sherlock’s head. From this point we see the same events take place at an accelerated pace without the narration.
This in itself is an unconventional tool used to show the analysis of Sherlock’s mind. This is one of the greatest moments in the film, for they take an unconventional chance and it paid off. Throughout the film there are several other moments that use unconventional tools and traits to show the innermost working of Sherlock’s mind.
Despite the fact that Sherlock breaks some conventional rules, overall I would not consider the Sherlock Holmes movies to be a part of the art and art-house genre of films. While it does go against some rules and conventions, it follows more than it breaks, giving us a clear narrative and an easy to follow story line in a very “Hollywood” type style.
Cinema, W. (2018, August). Art House – Definition. Retrieved from Wonderful Cinema: https://wonderfulcinema.com/art-house-definition/
Ritchie, G. (Director). (2009). Sherlock Holmes [Motion Picture]. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGCMfprPJoA
Studies, S. F. (2018, August). SAEFilmStudies/flm110-topic-9. Retrieved from Medium: https://medium.com/@SAEFilmStudies/flm110-topic-9-77ce95e1a03b
Wbroz. (2018, August). Sherlock Holmes Fight Scene. Retrieved from You tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGCMfprPJoA