Art is not a frivolous job.


My housemate-at-the-time sighed and said she wished she also had a frivolous job like filmmaking.

I understood what she meant: She was a nurse, doing a physical job with high stakes for long hours, and ~*~ art ~*~ must sound delightfully, well, frivolous, from that perspective.

But it made me reflect on the value of art, and especially film. Personally, I don’t think I could live (happily) without it.

There’s the practical use: Maybe a trial lawyer really needs to escape into a supernatural Netflix show to forget court for a few hours. Maybe a resilient story of hope is just what someone needs to get them off the sofa when they’re in a black hole.

But it’s more than that.

Film is commentary on life. It shapes our expectations about the world, it gives us roadmaps through difficult terrain. In a fellow filmmaker’s Twitter bio, I read “We live a million times through each other” and my heart exploded.

Especially as a writer, you get to live dozens of lives without sacrificing your own, you become hundreds of people. I can imagine to be almost anyone. Understanding how a person works makes it a lot easier to love and forgive.

And you can’t tell me there isn’t value in that.

2 thoughts on “Art is not a frivolous job.

  1. Agreed.

    The best response I read, when someone complains that art is a waste of time, say “so stop consuming content”

    If you don’t think we shouldn’t make films, how bout you stop watching things on YouTube or Netflix?

    See its importance now?

    1. Exactly! I don’t entirely see why this discussion needs to be had, anyway: Of course in a time of crisis you prefer a doctor over a director, but I can guarantee that people will sit around the campfire exchanging stories even then.

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