Re: Passage Through: A Ritual

From: Freya (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Sep 10 2006 - 01:57:19 PDT

--- Phil Rowe <email suppressed> wrote:

> Josh, there's no way to describe the bare components
> without making the film

This is one of the problems I have with my own work
that when I am made to describe it, it is always
really difficult to do so without destroying some
aspect of the film. That if you read the description
first then the experience of the film itself will be
lessened by it, or at the very least you will get the
wrong idea of what the film is like.

It's like describing music in words except kind of
worse because there is often something of an
expectation that you won't really be able to describe
music in words, yet people don't feel that way about
films. I guess this is because so many films out there
can be described in words, in fact they were often
created in words before they became a film, so the
process of describing them in words is just something
of a reversal of that process.

Stuff is always lost in the translation, and even
worse it can lead to misunderstandings or the
translation from image to words may end up making no
sense at all.

Of course the worst might be to actually manage to
convert the film into text form because then theres
not a lot of point in watching the film or at least
the film will have lost it's impact because you
already saw it in the text version.

Describing the bare components might even be a nicer
way of attempting to describe a film however. Like in
music, "there are some keyboards and they are soft
sounding and then some magical voices come over the
top and there is a slight clanging sound". It doesn't
tell you so much but it might allow you to imagine

I expect a lot of people might come to the screening
because of the description: "Stan Brakhage"!

Perhaps that is the best description. :)



> sound perverse or gimmicky. But let me join the
> chorus here: this is one of
> Brakhage's masterpieces, my absolute favorite of all
> his non-hand-painted
> films.
> Phil Rowe
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Experimental Film Discussion List
> [mailto:email suppressed]
> On Behalf Of J. Mabe
> Sent: Saturday, September 09, 2006 5:24 PM
> To: email suppressed
> Subject: Passage Through: A Ritual
> Hello list.
> I'm starting a monthly screening series in Columbia,
> SC - just a short self financed program of films
> (maybe with some supplements from the USC's library
> and from local makers). I'm keeping the screenings
> free and I'm jumping around from venue to venue -
> wherever will have me at the moment. Here's the
> thing
> - the first film I'm showing September 24 is
> Brakhage's "Passage Through: A Ritual." Now I had a
> couple of hours to blow this afternoon so I stopped
> by
> the university library and sat down with some old
> back
> issues of Film Culture. In some interview from
> around
> Mr. Brakhage's 60th birthday, he speaks about this
> film and says that when he was creating it he looked
> back through the footage he had shot and found about
> 50 feet of useable film (his estimation). The
> interviewer implied that a large part of the film
> was
> black leader. Now I've never seen this film, and I
> wanted to start my film series off with a
> challenging
> film - but no so challenging that it's 1.5 mins of
> images and 48.8 mins of black leader. So, was this
> just hyperbole from Mr. Brakhage and interviewer?
> Is
> this too esoteric a choice for the first film (I
> think
> I have enough time to change the selection with the
> FMC if so)? I fully expect to "fail" many many
> times
> with this series, but I don't want to alienate a big
> part of the audience right off the bat. Thoughts?
> Thanks!
> Josh Mabe
> Names I came up with for the series:
> Shadow Qualia (No - too pretentious)
> Robert Beck Memorial Cinema Memorial Cinema (No -
> kinda dumb, made me giggle tho)
> Regular Paycheck Cinema (No - too on the nose)
> Still thinking...
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