Re: why we shoot film (was: the word is out)

From: Zev Robinson (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2006 - 04:02:57 PST

very well stated, Pip.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Pip Chodorov" <email suppressed>
To: <email suppressed>
Sent: Sunday, March 05, 2006 11:25 AM
Subject: why we shoot film (was: the word is out)

> This debate seems to have become about artists vs nonartists, film vs
> nonfilm, and who is Joey Beercan with the 2.3 children, which is all
> starting to bore me. I feel so far from these issues. My relationship
> to film is incredibly personal, and it may be interesting to share,
> to foster more constructive debate.
> My very personal feeling about filmmaking, and I'm not sure how many
> on this list share it: the film medium inspires me, the textures,
> colors and punchiness of the image, the smell, feel and weight of the
> machines. I don't happen to take photographs, I don't happen to use
> video, and I don't "make things" with scissors, paper, pens, paint -
> I am not an artist in that sense. But I like working with 8 and 16
> and capturing light in that way, as I have done since I was 6 or 7,
> and I doubt I would continue on another medium. Nothing against the
> other media, and nothing against the Duchampian artists who create
> out of whatever they happen to find. I just have never felt inspired
> in that way, not driven as I am to shoot film. Just seeing the sun
> makes me want to shoot a roll of film. I don't think we choose these
> things. If film disappears I'll go back to playing the guitar. I
> don't think film will disappear in my lifetime, seeing the momentum
> of the artist-run film labs and smaller manufacturers of film stock
> in eastern Europe and the proliferation of projectors in the
> unlikeliest places.
> Now, I learned to project when I was even younger, maybe 4 or 5. And
> the films that have inspired me most, I have gotten into the habit of
> programming, distributing and even publishing on video. But when the
> image doesn't inspire me anymore, I am not interested in sharing it
> with others. This often happens to me when I see certain films I love
> transfered to DVD. I lose interest. Digital compression has removed a
> little too much of the textures, colors and punchiness for my taste.
> The intentions and excitement are lost. But the prints are still
> around and they are still easy enough to show and share and get
> people excited in them.
> This is all very personal and must have something to do with earliest
> childhood and not meant to refute anybody's argument, but sometimes I
> wonder where people are coming from when they get all worked up on
> this list because the avant-garde is about to die because Kodak is
> mismanaged - might as well complain about polar ice caps melting,
> it's not going to help much.
> Our love for film is not simply nostalgic. We live with film. I feel
> very close in sentiment to many of the established experimental
> filmmakers of the past who simply captured the world around them and
> translated it into light and color and movement, or who got excited
> by what film can do and played with that, and I don't think they
> worry much about all these issues such as Joey Beercan buying HD
> plasma screens to watch football games. Dorsky is sitting on a few
> hundred rolls of Kodachrome and will continue quietly making his
> films and processing them at Dwayne's. Jonas's Bolex is dusty and his
> Hi-8 is rusty so he's just got a PD-170 and learning Final Cut at the
> age of 83. It's up to each of us to do what feels right in the
> circumstances.
> So for me, the question is not whether film is a replaceable medium,
> but simply why and how it inspires. This list is of course an hommage
> to experimental film and everyone on this list has some kind of
> direct relationship to it or they would not be on this list.
> Filmmakers have always bickered; I am not encouraging us to stop
> bickering; this list is also an hommage to bickering filmmakers. But
> sometimes the debates seem to undermine the very reason we are all
> talking to each other. We love film. Don't we?
> -Pip Chodorov
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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