Re: experimental film and genre films

From: Ken Bawcom (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Apr 28 2006 - 16:46:28 PDT

Quoting Tony Conrad <email suppressed>:
> [A]dvertising has been there before us: the formal elements in
> advertising are dominant; thatís why the commercials are separate from
> the programs!

I'm afraid that hasn't been true for some time now. It's gone far
beyond product placement. What advertisers want is total integration of
their product into the program material, and they're getting it. We
have movies based on video games, and TV shows based on toys, making
them, in effect, one long program/commercial.

But, as to your contention that advertising/propaganda employs the
traditional techniques of experimental film in order to get around the
conscious mind, I couldn't agree more, having reached that same
conclusion years ago. As much as I hate commercials, if one turns off
the sound, it becomes clear that many are short experimental films.

There ARE experimental films that I feel depend almost entirely on the
intellectual process to understand or appreciate them. Often, I don't
care for them, and find them pretentious. Of course, some ARE clever,
amusing, and quite enjoyable. But, IMO, the best, most magical,
experimental films, DO bypass the conscious mind, and speak to us more
directly. It is because of this directness that I believe that the
intellectual process is not involved in the primary appreciation and
understanding of a film of this sort. The intellectual process comes
after the first viewing, when we try to understand how and why it
worked, or didn't. So, when watching an experimental film for the first
time, at least, one's thought processes should be concentrated on
perceiving the film, in all its detail nuance, and the allusions it
conjures up. The analysis comes later. That is quite different from how
I watch a conventional narrative!

"Those who would give up essential liberty
to purchase a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty, nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin 1775

"I know that the hypnotized never lie... Do ya?"
Pete Townshend 1971

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