Re: David Tetzlaff's rant/steal this message

From: Christopher Pavsek (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Feb 07 2006 - 18:10:39 PST

I think Kevin Hamilton makes some interesting points, and I like his
questions: ""What is the viewer's intent?" might be
similar to asking "What is the viewing/screening attempting to

I guess another question one could ask, and I ask this out of curiosity
and with little partisanship in either direction, just what is "lost"
in viewing a copy, let's say in the best case scenario, a decent dvd,
instead of a 16mm print? I don't think this has necessarily been
specified. Is it something ineffable about 16mm? (Sometimes when I see
a 16mm print, all I can say is it's totally awful because it's been
through 1200 bad projectors and is missing bits and is scratched and
discolored and so on.) Does it have to do with frame rate? The
qualities inherent in film projection? The flicker? Or is it the
generalized viewing experience that goes along with actual film
projection? I'm truly curious what people think is lost.

I often feel there are far more determinants to the quality of a
viewing experience than the actual substrate being used for
projection/screening/display/transmission. For example: as great (and
it really is) as the programming is at our local cinematheque (Int.
House Philadelphia), and as good as the projection is now, the very
seats in the theater make a viewing of any film of real length
something of a torture. In such a case, I'll take a bad dub of
Watkins' film on the paris commune and my soft couch over a pair of
numb legs any day.

(And just to add to the discussion about finding funds to rent prints:
I teach at a pretty wealthy college and I have zero budget for
projection and rentals of film prints. Even if I did, I would not do
it because I can't rely on the projection and the quality of the
projectors. It's not a matter of greater effort, or thinking more
creatively. I have no time beyond what I already put into my work. I
would rather disseminate the work, show it in what format I can, and
hope for the best and perhaps raise the entire issue of whether or not
one can show works in the original format or should as a matter of
discussion and hence as a moment from which my students can learn.)

Apologies if any of this has been hashed over already--relatively new
to Frameworks).

Chris Pavsek
email suppressed

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