Re: Cropping Art -- where is the outrage?

From: James Kreul (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Sep 22 2006 - 13:57:51 PDT

> However, I am more annoyed the practice of not noting on-screen or in
> voiceover that the footage is in fact a work by the artist (or in some cases
> another artist like Jonas Mekas or Marie Mencken) until the final credits,
> if at all. In these cases, viewers don't even know they are seeing a clip
> from an artist's work instead of say, a home movie from the period, or 16mm
> news footage. All these different sources tend to be equalized by the
> documentary editing process, and I find this to be more insulting and
> misleading than the cropping itself. They should be given equal weight to
> any other artwork shown in a documentary that is ostensibly about art -- if
> paintings and sculptures are noted as such, so should an artist's films.
> Ed H.

I think Scorsese's Dylan documentary did a good job identifying sources like
Mekas (but my memory may be fuzzy), but you're right that this is a big
problem with the Burns doc.

There's a sequence which cross cuts between footage of Warhol preparing a
Susan Sontag (I believe) Screen Test with footage from a Screen Test (or
possibly two distinct Tests, I'm not sure). That cutting transforms the
sequence into a kind of continuity sequence, as if all the sources were of
one piece. I recall wanting to know the source for the non-Screen Test
material...and as I recall the credits were in the annoying split screen
format so it didn't even occur to me to wade through them and try to figure
it out at the end.

Okay, okay, maybe I can't save my outrage for next week. But I'm trying.

James Kreul
University of North Carolina Wilmington
email suppressed

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