From: Mitsu Hadeishi (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Jun 29 2006 - 14:31:56 PDT
On Thursday 29 June 2006 16:53, Anna Biller wrote:
> People may use the paintbrush tool in Photoshop, and "paint" by
> clicking a mouse, but that doesn't mean that when we use the word paint
> we should expand the meaning to include pixels as well as something in
> a tube. We don't call printer ink paint either, we call it printer ink.
> So why would you want to call video film? It's not film, any more than
> a potato is a cabbage.
This is a good point, but it's somewhat irrelevant to my point. People don't
call photographs or inkjet prints "paintings" because they feel subjectively
different enough from paintings that societal usage has kept them in separate
categories. The word "film", however, has already taken on a more generic
meaning, so that people simply don't use the word in the pedantic way many
people on this list are trying to insist it be used.
> We use language to say what we mean. So if we mean video, we should say
> video. It's not a moral issue, it's one of clarity. You would not call
> a film projected on video a video. You would call it a film projected
> on video. And Miranda July made an HD movie. Transferring it to film
> does make it film, but it's not a film of people and things, it's a
> film of a video of people and things.
It doesn't matter what you're declaring the word to mean --- it's simply
already the case that the word "film" isn't being used in the way you're
saying it should be used. Since the meaning of a word depends on the way it
is actually used, that means the meaning of the word "film" has shifted to
mean something more context-dependent and less dependent upon the specific
medium. Sure, you can call Miranda's movie a "movie" but you can also call
it a "film" even when it is projected digitally. That's the way the word is
being used. Just as nobody in their right minds would tell people they can't
call Lucas's later movies "films" when they're projected digitally.
Words change their meaning all the time. A "kleenex" means any paper
tissue. "Biscuit" used to mean "twice baked". "Marshmallow" refers to the
original way marshmallows were made, out of marshmallow plants, but they're
now made using gelatin. Etc., etc.
> On Jun 29, 2006, at 1:06 PM, Mitsu Hadeishi wrote:
> > Obviously there are people who are wedded to film as a medium, and no
> > amount
> > of discussion will change that. However, the world moves on. The
> > fact is,
> > the word "film" is used all the time to refer to HD productions; my
> > friend
> > Miranda July for example released her film to theaters, but in some
> > venues it
> > was projected digitally (including at IFC and at Sundance), and just
> > because
> > in those cases it was produced and projected digitally, it would have
> > sounded
> > ridiculous to call it a "video".
> > Human beings decide what words mean through usage, and the general
> > public and
> > common sense usage seem to agree that the word "film" can be used for
> > all-digital productions that are projected digitally as long as it is
> > reasonably high resolution and decent contrast, etc. It's just the
> > way the
> > word is already being used, whether we like it or not.
> > I don't think there's going to be much confusion --- context will
> > generally
> > make it clear whether you're using the word "film" to mean
> > specifically the
> > celluloid medium, or whether you're using it more generically. The
> > fact is,
> > after most production goes digital people will still be calling it
> > "the film
> > industry" and the things that are being produced "films". That's the
> > way
> > language works, the original inspiration for the word can become
> > obsolete but
> > the word lives on in a new context.
> > And I think there's nothing whatever wrong with that.
> > Mitsu
> > On Thursday 29 June 2006 15:31, john porter wrote:
> >> --- Michael Betancourt <email suppressed>
> >> wrote:
> >>> Perhaps it's philistine to ask, but what difference
> >>> does it
> >>> make--film/video, digital/analog--if the work isn't
> >>> any good?
> >> Nobody said the work we're discussing is or isn't any
> >> "good".
> >>> I'd rather hear what makes something good than what
> >>> makes the difference
> >>> between film and not-film. (But maybe that's just
> >>> me?)
> >> Not me. Agreeing on what makes something "good" is a
> >> lost cause. Agreeing on dictionary definitions of
> >> tangible objects like film and video is a more
> >> realistic goal. And it would serve ANY of our
> >> discussions to know what we mean by the word "film",
> >> and what word we use to refer exclusively to that
> >> medium which is always viewed by passing light through
> >> a strip of clear acetate.
> >> John Porter, Toronto, Canada
> >> http://www.super8porter.ca/
> >> email suppressed
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> > __________________________________________________________________
> > For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> Anna Biller Productions
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> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.