Re: Frameworks Decade and Beyond

From: James Kreul (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jan 23 2007 - 19:12:54 PST

Hello Everyone,

First, thanks to everyone who has responded on and off list. It's good to
know that I'm not the only one sharing these concerns and hopes for the
future of the list.

I hope to follow up directly with individuals who wrote me off list (not all
of them masculine academic types, I'm glad to report). But for now a few

Philip wrote:

> don't know if this will help at all here,
> but james, do you think you could be _very_
> explicit and specific about which threads
> and which comments,

Based upon off and on-list responses and my previous experience, I don't
think this would be a good idea. Responses so far seem to indicate that it
isn't necessary. Experience shows that it will simply lead to a new flame
war along the lines of "how dare you say that about my posts."

Philip continued:

> people not taking the time to fight or
> even express and be vocal about the ways
> they've felt that seems to be the end of
> things ... sleeking away in sadness and
> silence ... things ending not w/ a bang,
> but w/ a whimper, so to speak ...

I guess my point is that Frameworks has long been in a whimper stage with or
without me, but don't worry, I'll still chime in when I get a chance to and
when I think it might be valuable to the list. But the threads I've
attempted to start (the Jonas Mekas website comes to mind) have been dead
ends, and I haven't really had anything useful to contribute to most of the
current threads. I've started a few responses only to stop and think "Is
this useful for 500 people to read"? And then I delete it.

I also used to think that it is rude not to reply to someone who addresses
you directly on the list. But I've gotten over that. If you don't agree
with someone, sometimes it is better to let the thread die (and let the
person's words speak for themselves, and let others judge their merits) than
to respond. Silence is not always sleeking away...sometimes it is the best
strategy. Some people insist on having the last word...we should
collectively decide to let them have it for the sake of the health of the
list. Some people are clearly trying to provoke other people, and some
people are falling for it.

Adam and Owen wrote about the video issue on the list. A running joke on
the list used to be how long it would be between new film vs. video threads.
But I'd much rather read another new thread on that topic, especially from
more recent members, than having long-time members direct Frameworks to
their junk folders (I'm assuming Sam is only half-joking about that). It
has been quite a while since anyone has explicitly objected to productive
video threads, and if there were an overt ban on topics I certainly would
not start there.

Let me use that as a segue into a topic that I tried to bring up before.
Jonas Mekas is now about a month into his 365 film project on his website.
I really love the spirit of this project. I've downloaded most of the days
but have only watched a few of them so far. A lot of it is profoundly
uninteresting, and I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
I'd much rather watch all of Walden straight through than watch some of
these 5 minute videos. I don't think it is a film vs. video issue in terms
of image quality or technical concerns, it just has to do with the fact that
sometimes it's a bit too easy to let the video camera roll. Of course, a
formal analysis of the 365 film project would in many ways miss the point,
but that doesn't make it any easier to watch. I find the project far more
fascinating than the films themselves.

William Greaves's Symbiopsychotaxiplasm films just came out on a Criterion
DVD (a friend of mine served as producer for the DVD release). I saw both
films projected at a film festival, and I thought that Take One was far more
interesting than Take 2 1/2 (although even 2 1/2 had some great moments in
the last half). I had a similar problem with Take 2 1/2 that I have with
the 365 project: Shooting it on video simply erased some of the tension that
was there with Take One. Again, that has little to do with the aesthetic
differences between the film image and the video image. It's just that if
Steve Buschemi can hang around and shoot some footage too, then the tension
between the crew and the director is simply no longer there.

It could be that I'm completely wrong about both of these projects. I don't
know...Is this the kind of thing people might want to talk about? If so,
let's drown out the dreck with some new topics or responses to these topics.

Thanks again to all the kind words on and off-list

James Kreul
University of North Carolina Wilmington
email suppressed

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