Re: David Tetzlaff's rant

From: Sam Wells (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Feb 07 2006 - 17:44:45 PST

> [Someone might object that film, too, has tactile qualities. Some
> films emphasize these to such an extent that video is clearly not an
> acceptable substitute for film, as in flicker films or films that take
> non-standard forms (I have in mind films like Line Describing a Cone
> by Anthony McCall, or Tony's roasted, fried, pickled, etc., films, or
> film installations by people like Sharits and Iimura). Most of the
> time, though, the object-qualities of film are mediated by projection,
> which I would say makes the absence of the film strip in video
> projection less of a problem. In other words, the tactile qualities of
> films that do not require a more direct engagement with the raw
> materials of the medium can be apprehended in good video copies.]

I was struck by the major difference in seeing Mothlight projected
recently; as good as it can look on the DVD (good monitor/screen, not
larger than what scaling up 640/720 X 480 MPEG can handle...) the way
those frames hit the screen discreetly, out of the shutter flicker
rhythmically can't be duplicated by a consumer video/digital format --
yet, anyway... just one example... out of many...

> That is, I'm not convinced that in all cases the differences between
> film and video are so pronounced that, in absence of a film print, a
> good transfer (authorized by the filmmaker or at least someone in the
> know) isn't an adequate substitute.

But a good transfer (and they are only starting to be good..) doesn't
guarantee anything. Even a $ 6,000 projector trying to make the image
on a 16' screen can trash it.

I think we can (I said can, I'm not ready to say will yet ) get to the
point where it would be very difficult to tell the difference, but more
of the legacy of video-as-television, NTSC, PAL, will have to be


For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.