The Ideal Film

Thanks to my boss, who sent me Pius XII's exhortation to the film industry, written in 1955, on the ideal film. Quite a few things of interest, not least being the extent to which His Holiness relies on insights from psychology. I was under the impression the Church was wholly suspicious of psychology until quite recently. Part I is a discussion of the power of the cinema as such, as one of the dramatic arts. He even suggests cinema may be superior to the stage:
A growing mastery of invention and of the setting of the subject has made ever more alive and enthralling the entertainment which avails itself, moreover, of the traditional power of dramatic art of all times and in all civilizations, nay, with a notable advantage over the latter, by the greater freedom of movement, the spaciousness of the scene, and by the other effects special to the Cinema.
I have to give that more thought; I think acting for the stage is more serious and more enriching and enlightening for the actor than acting for film, simply because film-making is disjointed. Multiple takes, scenes out of order, that kind of thing. So it would be interesting if a lower artistry created a higher art.

Anyway, the Pope then talks about film's power to ennoble or degrade naturally attracting the interest of authorities --who have a just interest in promoting the noble and censoring or at least censuring the ignoble. He makes this observation though about the limits of external vigilance:
It would certainly be desirable if good men could agree on banning corrupt movies wherever they are shown, and to combat them with the legal and moral weapons at their disposal; yet such action is not by itself enough.
Private initiative and zeal can wane, and do in fact wane rather quickly, as experience shows. But not so the hostile and aggressive propaganda, which frequently draws rich profits from films, and which often finds a ready ally in the inner man, i.e., his blind instincts and allurements, or his brutal and base urges.
So he appeals to filmmakers themselves to put their art at the service of man properly understood:
The temptation of the easy path is great, all the more so as the film - the poet would call it "galley-slave" - can easily fill halls and coffers, evoke frenzied applause, and assemble in the columns of some newspapers reviews which are too subservient and favourable. But all this has nothing in common with the accomplishment of an ideal duty. It is, in reality, decadence and degradation; above all, it is the refusal to rise to worthy ideals.
That's all I'll cite, but his reflections on Art, its power, and the responsibility of the artist to speak the truth (without dumb moralizing) are well worth R-ing TWT.