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

From: db (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Mar 04 2006 - 20:24:48 PST

On Mar 3, 2006, at 8:06 AM, Zev Robinson wrote:

> digital technology is here, it's still very new and is changing
> many aspects of our lives, some for the worse, some for the bad.

Was the above a Freudian slip or a typo? If the former, it bodes ill
for our species (and for the planet as long as humans are on it) if
our only choice is to settle for worse or bad.

> but it's only a tool, and it's what you do with it that matters.

It is only a tool, and what you do with it does matter, but that is
not the entire story, as Philip and Brittany so beautifully
expressed. Of course, I am typing this on my sixth computer in 10
years. :-P

> Brittany (excerpt)
> 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.

> Philip (excerpt)
> I was talking a bit ago to a one time friend of mine (who was
> clever in this respect) and he said that before so many video
> editing tools and etc, many film makers had to compose scenes and
> edit and do this and that all in their head, meaning they had to
> use more of their imagination and memory ...

This last statement reminds me of the beauty I found in "Roslyn
Romance" and "Valentin de la Sierras" by Bruce Baillie. In the case
of "RR" Baillie had me project originals (!!!) and in the case of
"VdlS" he produced a film that is 10 minutes long from 5 rolls of
Kodachrome. Both were heady revelations when people were telling me
that 4:1 shooting ratios were unrealistic and that every filmmaker
should budget for 10:1 or more. Those camera rolls of Roslyn Romance
were breathtakingly complete. Little gems of... simplicity?
innocence? history? humanity?

On the topic of shooting ratios, this is one of the worst sides of
video (and big budget film) production in my opinion, at least in
relation to clear and well conceived "artistic" vision. I would often
hear early adopters of video praise the fact that they didn't need to
make up their mind while they were shooting video because they no
longer needed to worry about huge material costs of film or film roll
length limitations anymore. So, instead, they ended up with lots of
random, indecisive composition.

No opinion on good or bad from me about that methodology, but I
personally like to be clear on what I want to TRY to accomplish
before I pick up a camera. Which reminds me of Godard's segment of
Wender's "Chambre 666."

In finding the duration of "Valentin" I came across this wonderful
little blurb on imdb:

"Plot Outline: Skin, eyes, knees, horses, hair, sun, earth. Old song
of Mexican hero, Valentin, sung by blind Jose Santollo Nadiso en
Santa Cruz de la Soledad."

Now that's alchemical cinema.


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