Re: the word is out: experimental film is available for use on dvd by educators

From: Steven Budden (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Mar 02 2006 - 07:11:42 PST

Yes let's stay away from the film vs. video debate. (Also, there are more
advocates of digital mediums on this list than you might think).
From the article...
"When your audience has been weaned on Terminator and Lord of the Rings
epics, it's not easy sparking interest in the abstract tone poem H2O, made by
Ralph Steiner in 1929, or the surrealist hallucination Le Retour la raison,
shot by Man Ray in 1923, or the colorful Spook Sport, animated by Mary Ellen
Bute, Norman McLaren, and Ted Nemeth in 1940. It's that much harder if the film
snaps in two, slips off the projector's sprockets, or registers on the screen
as a barely legible blur."
Woe is H2O, having to compete with Lord of the Rings? Isn't this sort of
naively simplistic? Yes, H2O it is more subtle and requires more mental and
visual effort, but because it is art rather than entertainment. Not because it's
black and white or washed out or scratched. And then there's the projector to
contend with!
"I think most of the people on this list who
use video copies of films do so with good intentions and in a
thoughtful manner: educating their viewers about differences between
film and video, using video copies as educational supplements,
explaining the issues that attend their decision to show video vs.
film, etc. I'm not confident that this can be said of everyone else,
though. Jonathan Walley"
I've always thought that this would be one of the keys for the survival of
celluloid film, but I don't think it happens enough. How do you educate
viewers about the differences between film and video? Do you say... "Please keep in
mind, this DVD is a digital approximation of a work of art on film? Film
is..." Anyway, I regularly see DVD's projected and rarely if ever hear the
projector spouting definitions or clarifications on the film medium. In fact, the
words 'experimental film' and 'filmmaker' seem more ubiquitous than ever as
film and filmmaking on celluloid is getting more and more rare. With this
confusing nomenclature, could film 'die' without the mainstream even noticing?
Mitsu, your email is pure film versus video. Who's comparing HD to 8mm?
(That's not unlike comparing H2O to Lord of the Rings).


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