Re: perfect films

From: Steve Polta (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jul 29 2008 - 11:15:24 PDT

One things that I would add to this qualification is that, besides being a found film/video object presented in unaltered form (as found), to me, a "perfect film," as defined (more or less) by Jacobs, is that it (the film) is selected/found by the artist and presented somehow as his or her own work--not in a deceptive way but, with the act of selection and presentation being the artistic gesture, but with a commentary made, perhaps not primarily, on the artists' own work (and yes, this favors artists with established bodies of work). I.e. Jacobs' PERFECT FILM, *seems* like a Jacobs film; WORKS AND DAYS elaborates Frampton's work (the film is actually "signed" by him I believe. Liotta's MOST BEAUTIFUL SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS series too. I would not consider, for example, any of the "Found Film Festival" Wendy's burger flipping type stuff to be "perfect films," strictly speaking. Taking this definition, to state counter to Andrew lampert, the list of "perfect
 films" (strictly speaking) becomes very short, although the use of large parts of unaltered material in works is not.

Worth mentioning in the discussion is the alleged mis-delivery of the Jesus-on-a-donkey film incorporated into SCORPIO RISING.

Steve Polta

--- On Tue, 7/29/08, Scott Stark <email suppressed> wrote:

> From: Scott Stark <email suppressed>
> Subject: Re: perfect films
> To: email suppressed
> Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 8:39 AM
> At 07:51 PM 07/28/2008 -0400, Tom B Whiteside wrote:
> >This has been a good thread. My vote for the most
> perfect perfect film
> >goes to the eponymous, "Perfect Film" by Ken
> Jacobs. It is truly amazing -
> >not only for the story of its existence (cool enough),
> but what it is on
> >screen. Unsettling, profound, real.
> One thing that's particularly fascinating about that
> film is that, as I
> understand it, it was a reel of outtakes, spliced together
> by some editor
> as a convenience without any particular structure in mind.
> So what we're
> seeing becomes an inadvertent record of what was not shown,
> which in many
> ways reveals more than the public version probably did. I
> think that's part
> of the irony of Ken's title.
> I remember Jeanne Liotta showing a Hollis Frampton
> ready-made in San
> Francisco a few years ago, with a man and woman tending to
> a small produce
> garden. It was beautiful, simple, and has stuck in my mind
> since then.
> Don't recall the title though.
> Some long-time frameworkers may remember a discussion I
> started back in the
> mid-90s (yes, frameworks is going on 13 years old!) about a
> group of
> amateur films by a guy named Fred McLeod who made a
> charming little 16mm
> opus about his golf swing. The Orgone Cinema folks were
> showing it as an
> art film. There was an interesting discussion about
> artistic intentionality
> and transplanting things from their original context. The
> discussion's no
> longer in the archive but digest versions of all archives
> are available on
> request from the site (
> Scott
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
> <email suppressed>.


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