From: Brittany Gravely (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Mar 03 2006 - 06:44:36 PST
the unsettling aspects of the digital revolution are its consumer-
oriented, wasteful production of media and technology that dies after
say, a year or two, and by that time, you need an upgrade anyway.
people can still use film projectors that were built half-a-century
ago & feasibly even watch films from that time too. despite
sometimes unfortunate & relatively minor "upgrades," it somehow
manages to look great after all of these years. it's definitely
easier to learn and "keep up" with the evolution of film technology
than digital. unlike film and even analog video, digital machines
are difficult to manipulate or alter, and when there are problems
with your machine, it is more troublesome to fix on your own or fix
it at all.
the digital answer to aging & fading is continually buying and
throwing away, so we everything is always new & never dies.
technological "progress" continues to ignore things like
environmental destruction and human alienation. we can' t just
disregard life in an effort to see avant garde films more
conveniently. anyway, we are currently so overloaded with so many
types of synthetic visual & aural options that they more & more only
serve to distract us from our deteriorating world.
film at least stands as some kind of opposition to the controlled
computerization of the digital and is now that unruly, old-fashioned
medium that requires a lot of time, different people, and various
processes just to get a projected picture. it is not instantly
gratifying. you can manipulate it from start to finish & repairing a
broken print just requires glue or tape. it's harder to buy, harder
to throw away, and generally requires getting a bunch of people
together to help you watch it.
if there were to be a motion picture medium evolving out of film, i
would vote for something that is not only interesting to experience,
but actually better for us.
On Mar 2, 2006, at 8:33 PM, jarrod whaley. wrote:
> quote: "I agree. And I think the situation is even more grave than
> this. Many are willing to sacrifice their CD quality sound for the
> convenience of MP3s! That is a shift in quality less subtle and yet
> a leap that the general populace seems to make rather easily."
> The difference in quality between a CD and an MP3 is completely
> unnoticeable to the vast majority of the population. And even if
> the difference is noticed, the "noticer" probably couldn't care
> less about the difference anyway (especially if, as is the
> situation with experimental film, the digital reproduction is the
> only reproduction that's even anywhere close to marginally available).
> What's more important? The work, or the technical side of how it's
> presented? I realize many FW'ers might consider the two to be
> inseparable, but John Q. Public DOESN'T CARE about the differences
> between MP3 and CD audio, or HD and film. The majority of viewers
> want to see the WORK. The technical stuff is for A/V geeks. Yes,
> film is superior. But video makes work ACCESSIBLE to a large
> audience. Video is not evil. If you want to watch film prints, more
> power to you. But if everyone else is perfectly content watching a
> DVD, then let them do so and quit whining.
> Brakhage's films look better on film, no one is arguing that. But
> no amount of hand-wringing is going to change the fact that only a
> very few of us care about the difference. What's more, once a work
> is "out there" in the world, and out of a filmmaker's hands,
> there's nothing stopping anyone from doing whatever they want with
> it. Of course a film artist prefers that viewers watch projections
> of film prints. Wise artists realize that audiences for such
> projections are harder to come by than audiences for video are.
> Artists have every right to disallow video transfers of their work,
> of course. But in the process, they show themselves to be more
> interested in technical craft than in artistry.
> I'm so tired of this issue and the way it seems to be the perennial
> topic of debate on this list. Video is here to stay. It's not going
> away. Get over it.
> Let's talk about something more interesting, for a change.
> Experimental film seemingly becomes more and more culturally
> irrelevant with each passing day. In light of the extent to which
> the members of this list are out of touch with the basic reality
> that video is a cultural force to be reckoned with (and one that is
> not all bad, besides), it's not hard to understand the
> aforementioned growing irrelevance. If video is beginning to
> replace film, we motion picture artists have to find a way to use
> the new medium and its inherent properties to aesthetic advantage,
> or we're nothing more than a pack of self-righteous, reductive
> -->jarrod whaley.
> filmmaker. videographer.
> web designer. educator.
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.