Artists should always place their agenda in their art, whether it’s a film, TV show, song or painting.
If that agenda involves restroom politics or the religious view of abortion mills then please put it in your work. I want to know what I’m consuming. That’s is one of the functions of art … to consume it.
Sunday’s Super Bowl performance by Lady Gaga offered the best example I’ve ever seen of an artist respectfully infusing their agenda into their art.
Gaga started out by letting us know she respects the land that has given her this great opportunity. A tremendous amount of work goes into putting a show like that on. She used it to serve her cause and her country.
You’ll find her agenda in her songs: LGBTQ rights, marriage equality, women rights, “abortion” and open boarders.
She danced, sang and even pulled out a prop, a woman from the crowd who appeared to represent an immigrant. Gaga let us know that she disagrees with the majority of the country she blessed at the start.
I’m okay with that.
However, when an agenda is placed in art, it’s the artist’s responsibility to have an informed opinion on the subject. Otherwise the art becomes merely propaganda.
When truth in one’s art is removed, it no longer becomes art but wishful thinking in colors or song. Artists who step out of their craft and become mouth pieces for their cause hurt both that cause and the art in general.
The public no longer listens to red carpet musings. They will entertain thoughts, though, that are entertaining and honest.
At one time, Bruce Springsteen included a clear agenda in his art. And I loved it. Even when I disagreed with his views, I was open to hearing it in an honest and entertaining way.
Springsteen has changed since his master work album “Nebraska.” He has become wealthy beyond anything ever imagined in Ashbury Park. Now, encapsulated in a groupthink bubble, he’s removed from the people that made him. His shows have become a rallying cry for his agenda. That’s not entertaining.
The rocker declared he’s “embarrassed” by his own country following Donald Trump’s election during a concert appearance.
You need look no further than Bob Dylan if you want see someone do art and agenda right. If you want a punk agenda, listen to “Bodies” by the Sex Pistols. If you want to hear punk agenda today, look to any interview with Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong.
Another important piece when placing an agenda in your art is the ability to be self reflective. It makes your art more interesting, entertaining and honest.
“Saturday Night Live” gets mentioned in the media every week. And that’s what the show’s creators want. They hope you’ll be outraged at their art. The problem is, “SNL” is no longer an art form. It’s singular in focus and lacks self reflection.
And that’s okay with me. I don’t watch it and it doesn’t deserves the attention it gets outside of those who wish to consume that agenda. I stand behind “SNL” doing and saying what they want.
The point of an actor at work is to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. But, when an actor’s agenda fogs his or her world view they begin to live “life” under those fictional circumstances. As a result, the truth in their work gets lost.
Case in point: a slew of anti-war films were made during the Bush era. All of them lost money.
FAST FACT: Director Brian DePalma’s 2007 film “Redacted” earned $65,388.
As Hollywood continues to kick their crib because it’s been so long since they didn’t get something they wanted, they’ll spare no expense at filming their tantrum in a costly, cathartic vision. At this moment scripts are being written and films are being developed to show you how wrong you are, and how foolish you are for not being as rich, famous and informed as those who make your art.
I’m okay with that. I want to know their agenda so I don’t end up consuming their art.
Joseph Granda is a Colo.-based filmmaker currently working on the faith-based drama “The Wilderness Pilot.”