Re: labels

From: Anna Biller (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Jun 29 2006 - 15:00:53 PDT

Whether it's pedantic or not depends on the context. In mainstream
media, for a mindless public, perhaps it doesn't matter too much. But
in a more specialized context it can make a great deal of difference.
And it's unfair to insist that the people who care about they forms
they are working in (and whose work often engages directly with the
form) should not care about the differences, and should not engage in
those differences through language and discussion. You can call a video
a film if you want to, but I will call it a video. And it's not absurd
to call a video projection of a movie shot on video and transferred to
film and back to video a video. Period. I wouldn't get mad if someone
called it a film, and I wouldn't argue or correct them. But I don't
think someone can reasonably tell me I'm insane if I call it a video
transferred to film or an HD movie. (Which it is).

On Jun 29, 2006, at 2:31 PM, Mitsu Hadeishi wrote:

> 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.
> Mitsu
>> 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
>>>> email suppressed
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>>>> __________________________________________________________________
>>>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
>>> __________________________________________________________________
>>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
>> Anna Biller Productions
>> 2216 Nella Vista Ave.
>> Los Angeles, CA 90027
>> Office and Fax: (323) 953-0507
>> __________________________________________________________________
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
Anna Biller Productions
2216 Nella Vista Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Office and Fax: (323) 953-0507

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