Re: cliches

From: Ken Bawcom (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jul 27 2008 - 18:11:41 PDT

Having screened films films for the Ann Arbor Film Festival for 19
years, I've seen loads of what I consider to be avant-garde film
cliches. I recall years when it seemed as if almost every entry had
either pigeons, water, or both... But, for most every cliche, I have
seen films using them that I love.

Besides those examples thus far listed, with which I agree, I would
add shooting in abandoned buildings and factories, watching the
time-lapse play of light and shadow in a room as the sun moves,
guardrail film, and backwards film. I've often thought it would be
interesting to make a film deliberately incorporating as many of these
cliches as possible. Given time, I could probably think of a dozen
more... um, curtains moving in the breeze, panning over rocks...

Oh, then there's the cliche of watching someone smoke, as if that is
supposed to be interesting. I can't recall a film making use of that
one that I liked...

Ken B.

Quoting Zev Robinson <email suppressed>:

     Re: cliches context is everything. Little, if anything, is a
cliche in and of itself, and it's not, IMO, that's its attached to a
meaning, but detached from any meaning, endlessly and mindless
repeated and copied as, it has been in a thousand previous films. A
tough cop and car chase isn't a cliche in the French Connection. Water
isn't a cliche in Tarkovsky. Time lapse rolling clouds isn't a cliche
in Van Sant's Gerry. They all have meaning, a reason for being.

Likewise, anything can become a cliche, including supposedly
experimental practices such as hand painting film, and other effects,
now made every so easy with digital programmes.

It's not what you do, it's how you do it.


    Zev Robinson[1][2]

Chris Kennedy wrote: Re: cliches Just saw some beautiful footage of
the sky being shot through the trees and really stunning time-lapse
night photography, both by a young student filmmaker. Cliché can be
trumped by context, and in this case, context was very rich.

On 7/24/08 9:38 PM, "Santiago Vernetti" <email suppressed> wrote:


On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 10:26 PM, Fred Camper <email suppressed>
  Santiago Vernetti wrote:

  but doesn't cliche suggest a moment so familiar and attached to
particular meaning that it reveals itself, its intentions, its

Yes, or partly yes.

When I taught filmmaking, I certainly encouraged students to avoid
clichés. I used to joke that I would like to ban films of other
students clowning around in the school building, as well as films of
yourself, your lover, and your parents. Those were big clichés decades
ago. Perhaps it's harder to make something of a cliché than to make
something of "newer" subject matter. Certainly you lose some viewers
just by having a clichéd subject.

Still, I just think that there are no rules about what makes good
art. A good artist makes her or his own rules.

Fred Camper

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

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

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


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