What is the purpose of art? Lev Atamanov

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1/27/20192 min read

In an interview on Russian television, Hayao Miazaki said that the Soviet cartoon "The Snow Queen" (Lev Atamanov, 1957) turned his idea of animation upside down and became a guide for all his subsequent work. In the Snow Queen, you can see many characters intersecting with Miazaki's cartoon characters. I found an interview now with Lev Atamanov himself and I want to quote his words about the purpose of Art (translated from Russian):

Lev Atamanov
Lev Atamanov

Lev Atamanov: The purpose of art in general and animation in particular is, in my opinion, the following: to help you navigate life. Help to understand the sea of feelings, passions, characters, actions, events... Help to distinguish truth from lies and half-truth from half-lie... To help a sincere and kind person fight evil or at least resist the worst thing on earth: meanness, opportunism, indifference, cynicism. To help everyone and everyone become kinder and nobler.

You have probably noticed: to help is the most important verb in the conversation about the purpose of the Artist. Art is Ariadne's tangle that guides a person in life.

What a great happiness to live. To see forests and mountains, the sea and the sun, and under the influence of its rays, an almost instantaneous change in the light and color of everything visible. From the window of the train, look at the passing endless fields, feel their breath.

What happiness - lying on the ground and raising his head, to see the sky. To watch how the clouds swirl, forming first one form, then another, and not being affirmed in any one. And then roll over, roll on the ground and bury your nose in the grass and see how suddenly a blade of grass trembled a little, because a certain creature the size of a speck of dust is crawling along it. And this creature, having sensed your presence with some kind of radar unknown to us, freezes in fright. Then, firmly convinced that nothing threatens him, he continues his way, turning over the legs that are not visible to the naked eye.

Astronauts describe the spectacle of our blue planet floating in outer space as the greatest happiness. But even greater happiness is to see people, to understand their thoughts and to catch their feelings.

Good and evil, love and hate, fun and despondency, sympathy and indifference. There are many such concepts, and even more of their smallest nuances. They clash and fight in people. They fight in one person.

Creating the image of a person is the main task of literature and all kinds of art. If the image, the carrier of the idea, is convincing, the idea itself is brought to the viewer, the thought and direction of the work become convincing.

Source: article.