less Perfect Films

From: Tom B Whiteside (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jul 29 2008 - 06:54:14 PDT

I think that Bill Wees makes a perfectly valid and important point -
incorporating found footage into a film, or manipulating found footage by
looping or changing soundtracks etc, does not qualify as a Perfect Film.
("Perfect Image Track, with added sound"??) There are many films that are
close to Perfect, and there may be Perfect Film segments inside other
films, and there is nothing wrong with all of that. But there is a clear
definition of Perfect Films - shown as found, no changes - and everything
else is less than Perfect. Someone suggested "Rose Hobart," which is a
wonderful film but it is far from Perfect.

It's just a game that we have concocted (Ken Jacobs started it) but
there's no point in changing the rules.

Yesterday I wrote about FLAG, and today I thought of another one in my
studio - haven't watched it in many years. A 50' roll of regular 8
purchased at a thrift shop maybe 30 years ago, the first 2/3 of the reel
is a house on fire (I think it was a scheduled practice exercise, the fire
department is there and everything seems to be under control, but the
house is obviously going to burn to the ground.) The last part of the reel
(in camera edit) is a male gymnast working out on the rings, he's pretty
good. In a rather clumsy nod to Frampton, it is, of course, called
"Otherwise Unexplained Gymnast." I believe that only one other person I
ever showed it to fully got the joke, which is obvious at the very first

        - Whiteside

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