Re: "How to" buy/rent films on 16mm

From: Tom B Whiteside (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Sep 14 2006 - 16:18:19 PDT

Look, I'd like to have original Modiglianis in my living room. I really
would. They are wonderful. But right now I don't have the extra 25 million
dollars it takes to make that happen. Fortunately, I do have access to
books in libraries, and some of them have photographs of Modiglianis. It's
not the same thing, of course, but it's better than nothing. And every
once in a while I travel to cities where there are museums, and I pay my
$20 and go in and see the Modiglianis. They are the real things, and I
will travel hundreds of miles to see them. No, it's not terribly
convenient. But it is worth it.

One can rent 16mm prints and project them properly and it is EXACTLY THE
SAME as having the original Modigliani in front of you. This is viewing
the art work in precisely the manner in which it should be viewed. And
yes, you do have to pay a rental fee for this - someone went to the
trouble and expense to make a film, then paid to have a print made, then
deposited it with a distributor who will send it to you if you pay the
rental fee. Some of that money goes to pay the rent that the distributor
has to pay, some of that money goes back to the artist.... what is so
difficult to understand about this system?

On the other hand, if you can't do that, you can buy the By Brakhage DVD
(or whatever - there is tons of material to watch on DVD and VHS now) and
see hours and hours of experimental film. You get to keep this forever -
you can watch The Wonder Ring twice a day every day, or more if you are
crazy. This is somewhat like looking at photographs of paintings in a book
- it's not the real thing, but it's better than nothing. In many cases
it's quite good. For someone like me, whose formative years were
pre-videotape, it is simply AMAZING the amount of material available
today. And so inexpensive!!!

Or you've got things like UBU web, or whatever it is, which I looked at
briefly and it's just ridiculous. Yes it's free, and there's a lot of
stuff there. But it's like listening to Mahler symphonies over walkie
talkies - you get only the silliest hint of what it's supposed to be. It
IS absurd - perhaps Jarry would have approved.

So there is range of possibilities. Some are fairly costly, but hopefully
you will get your money's worth. Some are cheap, and they look it.

I get the feeling that many people complaining here about lack of access
to materials haven't quite thought this through.

        - Whiteside North Carolina, USA

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