Are all docs compelling? ( was: Re: For James harding....apology)

From: jennifer fieber (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jan 22 2006 - 13:09:29 PST

On 1/22/06 1:38 PM, "Mary Jordan" <email suppressed> wrote:

> I think the work of Jack Smith is so beautiful and original that there is NO
> mediocre work when it comes to him. I feel the same about some other
> filmmakers as well. Brakage, Jacobs, Snow etc.

Hmmm...interesting notion. That just because a documentary focuses on
someone or something that is inherently interesting, that as a by-product
any documentary is sure to be as compelling as the subject matter. (Or did I
misunderstand you?)

I'm not sure I agree.

I feel like a lot of documentaries that focus on artists fall into the
tricky world of Legacy Vampires. Where instead of making something new and
original of their own, they make a documentary about something very
interesting and hope to get some credit for originality by association.
This isn't always the case of course. Sometimes documentaries allow
revelatory access to someone's live or offer a cohesive summary of someone's
life work.

I have not seen your film, I am not accusing you of anything. But like a
lot of people on here, (including the "gatekeepers" at the Plaster
Foundation) I do care a lot about Smith's work and hope that it has been
done justice. Documentaries are a tricky business, that's all I'm trying to


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