From: db (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Apr 16 2007 - 16:11:40 PDT
Thanks for asking the question JB.
Not meaning to start a flame war, but also unable to hold my tongue...
"secret knowledge" seems to be the only possible justification for a
wince at such a question. At least Frampton did answer the question,
choosing to share rather than conceal.
Sure, filmmakers and other artists might want to have their work
appreciated solely on how an audience viscerally reacts to viewing
it, but it should be only natural for peers or the next generation to
ask such questions in their quest for knowledge that will affect
their personal growth as an artist. Cinema, being a "technical" or
"machine" art, requires technical knowledge (which, apparently,
Frampton excelled at), so to eliminate that potential from any
discussion about an artist's work is ridiculous. Usually "secret
knowledge" is available only through guild membership, apprenticeship
or outright theft. Following that path of "initiation" is just
another form of oppression and authoritarianism in my opinion.
Besides, if one hopes to move filmmaking beyond the mere mechanical,
it makes sense to share our "art secrets."
As an aside, a film which deals wonderfully with these issues is
Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev. I'm thinking of two sections of the film
--where the painter's apprentice is asking to learn how the painter
mixes his paints, but the painter won't share that info
--the bell casting portion of the film
another film which deals with this quite wonderfully is near the end
of Al Razutis' Amerika, when you hear one side of a conversation
about this very matter; in this case the artist refuses to answer the
questions over the phone while on screen all the science of how the
technique was achieved is displayed; it is one of the most hilarious
things I've seen in avant garde cinema.
btw, even if I don't agree with the refusal to answer such questions,
I respect the decision of the artist if they choose to not go down
that path. I also find it frustrating when such questions dominate
On Apr 16, 2007, at 12:39 PM, J. Mabe wrote:
> But could someone tell me why those kind of questions
> elicit those kind of responses?
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