Re: Ann Arbor Film Festival 2006

From: Freya (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Apr 07 2006 - 02:36:07 PDT

> Freya,
> lobby. That hasn't happened yet. But, we do have a
> mailing list, so
> maybe we can do a mailing, asking for volunteer
> screeners. But,
> screening requires such a long time commitment, that
> even those
> qualified and willing to screen, find it difficult
> to commit. Three or
> four times a week, for three or four months is more
> than most people
> can fit into their lives.

but maybe if they were people well qualified for the
job then you could ask them to make less of a
commitment and spread the work around more people? Of
course I don't know how well that would work, the more
people involved perhaps the more things will seek out
the lowest common denominator instead of what people
are really excited by. Groups of people have a life
all of their own too which can be bad sometimes.
> We definitely do have a community interested in
> exp film here, but I
> would say that roughly half of our audience, in this
> university
> community, are students, many who don't really know
> much about exp
> film. They mainly expect to be entertained.

That's a good opportunity to introduce people to
experimental film then! And if the students go away
"back home" or wherever then maybe they will take
their experiences with them too. :)

> It is no secret that experimental film isn't as
> popular as high
> production value, Hollywood style narrative. If it

Yes I noticed that too! ;)

> panels, such as the
> one Bryan was on. I believe the AAFF has incipient
> plans to do
> something with local HS kids, and we have done such

What are HS kids? Are they children who are poorly?

> open to
> appreciating exp film, by showing something more
> mainstream, but still
> non-standard. From an artistic standpoint, I am
> definitely not entirely
> in agreement with what we showed. From an economic
> standpoint, I don't
> have the data to know if the strategy was effective.

I've not really heard of these works, which from the
point of view of them being more mainstream might not
be a good thing. Don't forget that exp films are not
neccesarily less popular because they are different,
but perhaps more because they don't have a huge hype
and marketing machine behined them. There often seems
to be an assuimption that exp film is just unwatchable
or something, or maybe that the audience are too
stupid to be able to understand it. I don't think
there is as much truth in this as people might imagine
but maybe I am just feeling good about these things
because of the success of the evolution festival so

Last night I sat in a screening of Rose Lowders films
with some students which was certainly more difficult
than the previous nights work with all it's beautiful
lights and smoke and dancing patterns but despite this
I got the impression we all really liked her work. In
fact the boy I was sitting with was asking me all
kinds of questions about how it was done!

People are able to enjoy strange and even unsettling
and different work, they just aren't told they have to
go and see it.

> To those who say
> that art should be above such economic
> considerations, I say that the
> AAFF has to continue to exist in the real world, and
> pay the bills. The
> aim, to bring in more people to see REAL exp films,
> is certainly a good
> one. Hopefully, we will find more appropriate, and
> effective, ways of
> doing that in the future.

Sadly economics rules all, especialy these days.
"Nothing of any value was ever made for the want of
money" the saying goes. Perhpas "Colours" by Ken
Nordine is an exception, maybe Len Lye too, but I'm
not entirely sure that even these works were made
purely for economic considerations. I guess you have
to strike a balance but be very aware of what you are

I think it is possible to get large audiences for
experimental work, but it's probably easier to put on
a much hyped mainstream film to get the audiences in.

"At some point, we all have to decide between what is
good, and what is easy" <VBG>



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