Re: Brakhage, Paik, Whitney, Lye on YouTube

From: Mark Toscano (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jul 12 2006 - 20:53:12 PDT

Being a huge fan of the David Rimmer film 'Surfacing
on the Thames', I was very curious to check out the
downloadable video of it at, and found it to
be one of the poorest quality video "transfers" of a
film I've ever seen. I imagine the extreme crap
quality would be all the more amusing/disturbing to
someone who had read the accompanying effusive texts
describing how "beautiful" and "brilliant" the film

So whaddaya think? The huge disparity in quality that
one might hope for versus what one gets in this case
might be sufficient for some to encourage them to see
or organize a proper screening of the film somehow...?
 or maybe that's just totally naive? Because how many
people out there have the
money/facilities/knowledge/passion/etc. to figure out
how to rent and screen a 16mm print of this film?
Huge applause to all the folks who do, including the
curators out there. Most people simply want to be
able to get the movies from Netflix and watch 'em at
home with little or no inconvenience to their lives.
The "experimental film community" that truly cares
maybe DOES give a damn, and maybe DOESN'T necessarily
fall into this gross characterization, but also is and
always has been (and always will be?) a very small

If Michael Snow doesn't want Wavelength ever released
on any kind of video, then he won't. And people will
continue to see bootleg videos (you can rent one at
Cinefile in West L.A.), and continue to catch the
screenings when they happen, if they're interested.
People with only enough energy to see it on video may
not "get it", because the video sucks at expressing
the film's greatness, and the lazy majority will
likely chalk it up to the film being lame. But then
how much effort would someone like that really put
into organizing or going to a screening to see the
film properly anyway? Sorry, I'm just going over the
same old arguments maybe. Maybe it's always the same.

Mark T

P.S. I encourage everyone who has the time to download
this video of Surfacing on the Thames to see what I'm
talking about. It really is of amazingly unwatchable
quality, and I feel that absolutely NOTHING of the
film survives. Double points if you then organize a
screening somewhere which includes a 16mm presentation
of this film, which by the way really is "beautiful"
and "brilliant".

--- Michael Betancourt <email suppressed>

> (There are more than just these; doa search)
> What more is there to say?
> Anyone who doesn't think experimental film is going
> to be seen in the worst,
> lowest-quality conditions imaginable should take
> note. This makes an
> interesting afterword to the earlier threads...
> Michael Betancourt
> Des Moines, IA USA

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