Re: Beach Boys vs. Beatles (and music and a-g film)

From: Fred Camper (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Mar 13 2006 - 17:35:54 PST

When I was teaching, a long time ago, I sometimes would show the whole
rental print of "Early Abstractions" with the sound, and then many
sections or the whole thing without the sound. I highly recommend seeing
it silent. This comparison is one of the best demonstrations I know of
Stan Brakhage's thesis that the rhythm of a sound track tends to
dominate the image. Seen silent these short films are full of multiple
rhythms. THe music greatly oversimplifies. Maybe Harry Smith, having
made them, was able to see the varied rhythms of his films on their now,
and the
music just functioned as an additional layer for him, but I don't think
that's what happens with most viewers.

I suppose you could argue that you have to exhibit "Early Abstractions"
with the sound track Smith put on it when you show it publicly, but
showing it with and without sound together seems kosher to me. Or
perhaps you could argue that since he did once show it silent, you could
do that too, if you advertised it as the "early silent version" or
something similar.

I agree that Anger's rock track for "Inauguration" is a disaster, and
that the earlier Janacek track was great.

Fred Camper

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