Fred Davidson - RE: FrameWorks, Obama, Satantango, politics, etc.

From: ben d (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Sep 09 2008 - 20:42:27 PDT

Hello all,

I haven't been following this discussion email for email but took a break from writing tonight to check my list account was really pleased with how Freya summed things up and circled the discussion back to film and support of this list's core.

Many folks including me have made political posts here over the years, which I now try to refrain from. The discussions have been difficult but hopefully fruitful for the community.

We don't only have technical concerns (that should remain the key part of this list as filmmaking knowledge becomes an artist-medium), we also have theoretical and social issues at play. The above sentence applies to both the makers and the academics (it seems many makers I know are teaching in institutions)....

Are filmmakers who teach film academics or filmmakers?

Are curators, programmers and critics who spend their time watching and thinking about our work any less valid? Are those of us who do both "unpure"?

What about the staff at artist-run distributors and production centres, who often do everything in the questions above (maybe a Canadian/European thing)?

Just some thoughts.

In more direct things, I can understand discussions getting heated and arguments erupting but what I see from Fred Davidson in his post below is deeply problematic and abusive. I agree this list should be unmoderated and open, however some codes of conduct need to apply. I can't see this post meeting any standard of a fair code of conduct, especially based on Freya's even tempered and well thought out responses, even as I sometimes disagree I appreciate her comments.

I'd hate to see this valuable resource for film as film descend to what I see in Fred's email as hate and vitriol without any content. We all take a risk in revealing our contacts to each other every time we post and any mis-use of that by subscribers (to attack someone through personal emails) is a problem we need to deal with as a community that supports film and is resistant to oppression, in whatever sense it manifests or is defined.

Back to the grants to keep LIFT going and films getting made.

Hope all are well.


info about and donations to the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT):

Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 11:09:19 -0400
From: email suppressed
Subject: Re: FrameWorks, Obama, Satantango, politics, etc.
To: email suppressed

    I thought that maybe we had got rid of you Freya. No such luck huh? I thought that maybe you had found a way off the list. Santantango didn't do it for you? Nothing else did either? Huh? I think you're a guy you know. I think you are guy and that's why you won't tell me how old you are. I think that's why you won't tell me how old you are when I try to put the make on you. You are some kind of queer guy masquerading as a girl. Aren't you Freya? Instead of posting to this list why don't you get a job as a two faced dancer like Didik Nini Thowok aka Didik Hadi Prayitno and let out your creative juices that way?* Or if that don't work for you why don't you go defenestrate yourself? The composer Richard Maxfield did you know. Or maybe you don't know. He did it the heavy-handed way. He was a friend of La Monte Young. You've heard of La Monte Young, haven't you Freya? Is anybody here a friend of La Monte Young? How about you Ton'? Have you ever heard of La Monte Young Anthony?
*Barbarians, Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl, prod. Gene Schwartz, New York, SP-2033, 1966.

On Sep 9, 2008, at 10:36 AM, Freya wrote:Sorry I've not had a chance to write back before but I've been dealing with a situation where virtually every computer based piece of equipment in my house decided to malfunction simultaneously and in spectacular ways, including the failure of my network connection, a strange sort of field collapse that changed all the colours on my monitor to be almost the negative of normal and the failure of the video editing computer to boot properly amongst other stuff. This morning everything has decided to work again!??? Anyway I've not had time to post because of dealing with stuff.

I knew you all wanted to know that! ;)

Fred Camper! It is good to see you posting and participating here again, and I hope we will see more of it!

I'm sure it was you who has spoken of the signal to noise ratio here in the past. I felt it was a realy good analogy. In sound it's often found that you can't hear the background noise and hiss so easily when there is more actual music or content being transmitted over the system.

So to you, and anyone else here who feels slightly similar I would say "be the change you want to see!". It's up to YOU to talk and discuss intelligent things and to invite others to do the same. To start the dialogue you would like to see and engage in that conversation yourself instead of engaging in the nonsense and trivia that other people may be posting. As you yourself have implied, you have lots of knowledge on this subject and are well informed in the matters. So come here and share that knowledge instead of waiting for someone else to give you more. By sharing knowledge you create more well informed people who might then have a better ability to offer the kind of dialogue you desire.

Of course this isn't going to stop people who are plain intrinsically irritating from being intrinsically irritating, they are what they are and I guess learning to ignore those people or get used to their weirdness and foibles is part of the way things are in life.

In reply to your post Fred, here are some more things I thought might be worth thinking about in a similar vein.

I prefer to read decently written posts that are well
informed. Having
seen "Satantango" twice, complete, and on film, I
don't need to read a
post from someone who has seen an hour or so of it on
video. What's
great about FrameWorks is that so many people here have
knowledge of various aspects of experimental cinema. What

That may be true but have you stopped to think that maybe they need to read YOUR posting on what you think about Satantango? You have been lucky enough to see the film TWICE on a real film print. Thats actually a rare opportunity and you are in a privelaged position in that way. When someone posts saying that they have barely seen the film, it's actually kind of an invitation for those with greater knowledge to step in and to say why they love it, or why it's actually important. Or why they hate it and find it to be 7 hours of tedium or whatever. It's an invitation for a well informed view, whatever perspective they may have on it. All you have told us is you have seen it. I'm guessing you liked it as you watched it twice unless you like to torture yourself or were confused about it the first time but beyond that you have said little about it. In fact I've actually said more about the film than you have which is a very sorry state of affairs!

wrecks the
list is people posting opinions about topics they don't
know much about,

The sad truth is that experimental film is a topic about which there is limited knowledge in circulation, so there will be many people posting to some extent about topics they don't know much about. In fact surely that is an important role of the list here, to share knowledge? For myself I think it would be a far lesser list if it was entirely populated by people who knew everything about experimental film and slapped eaxh other on the back about how knowledgable they were and treated it as an exclusive private members club full of those in the know! Of course maybe it is a bit too much in the other direction right now, but I'm sorry to have to say that this is a symptom of the state of experimental film these days. Even those with a real and genuine intrest of the subject have limited knowledge.

The list essentially just reflects the state of things with experimental film.

If you aren't happy with that situation, it is up to you to try and change it, you have the knowledge to share with people and presumably there are others on this list who also have this knowledge as you speak of having had great discussions here nearly 10 years ago. If you start the kind of discussions you would like to see then I'm sure you will get more of these postings in return. There are definitely people still making postings closer to what you describe such as some of the threads on film restoration which are often filled with all kinds of historical, and technical facts and just plain intresting trivia.

plus personal trivia. If everyone remembered that a

To a certain extent I disagree strongly with you here. I actually like a little of the trivia of peoples lives or that people express things about themselves, as opposed to things being cold and dry, just as I lean more in the direction of what Stan Brakhage described as personal cinema as opposed to the concerns of materialist film etc. The incidental trivia that people drop by, make the people more real to me and I have a love of people and their different lives perspectives and foibles. I smile when I see the various characters on this list doing their certain things or expressing their perspectives that they are especially caught up in. I'm sure we are all aware of various characters on the list and are often "heres so and so again doing their thing". In fact I'm sure it's certain people on this list who especially annoy you and you could easily filter these people out of your inbox because it will often be the same people doing those things! ;)
You could create a folder called annoying, a bit like the spam folder that most people have in their mail, only for a slightly different purpose.

If it helps you to sympathise at all, I annoy myself to some extent too.
Not the trivia but the slightly strange compulsion to turn everything into some strange and occasionaly boring narrative. I think it might be something to do with growing up with creative writing as a form of expression and communication as a child, or maybe it's some kind of perspective on life as a series of stories. Sometimes I'm not aware that I'm doing it at all, other times I'm painfully aware and somewhat annoyed by it and asking myself "why am I doing this?". *shrug* Life is full of learning things about yourself and others.

There are also OTOH times when I'm okay with the fact I do that tho! :)

Looking forward to more well informed, knowledgeable and intelligent posts from you Fred.

Share the knowledge.



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>.