Re: Experimental films showing at various Universities

From: Marilyn Brakhage (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Nov 26 2008 - 09:44:51 PST

In response to the Brakhage rentals from CU -- Stan always taught an
avant-garde class in addition to a classic "Film History" course each
year (which would include a lot of narrative films, obviously, but also
non-narrative short films that he would weave through the larger
discussion there as well). At his salon, which started out at home and
then moved to a campus location, he used prints from his own personal
collection. . . . So there was a lot of renting from Canyon by Stan,
as Dominic said, for his classes. The end of the salon would have had
no direct impact. However, you are also right that because CU has made
large purchases in recent years, they would likely be using their own
collection more and depending on rentals a little less.

I would not discourage universities from purchasing prints, however.
At CU, anyway, it was not the librarians who made the choices for
purchasing, but the film faculty. And a good collection of film prints
might encourage people to keep their film projection equipment
functioning, and can always be supplemented with rentals, especially of
newer or less
well-known works.

Marilyn Brakhage

On Wednesday, November 26, 2008, at 06:45 AM, Jason Halprin wrote:

> Hi Dominic,
> I do not dispute that the issue you bring up is quite valid, but it
> appears to me that some of the connections you make below between
> single faculty members, the value of experimental work in the eyes of
> a particular department, and the frequency with which they rent from
> Canyon may not be accurate.
> In the case of my alma mater, CU-Boulder, a quick check of their
> current faculty would reveal a list of experimental artists and
> classes featuring experimental production. Also, It should be noted
> that the two (critical analysis) courses I took from Stan Brakhage
> featured mainly narrative film, so perhaps it was the disappearance of
> his weekly salon that really accounts for some of the drop in rentals.
> I'm speculating about that last point, but it should also be brought
> up that CU, like a number of other institutions, has a sizeable
> archive, so perhaps a push was made for faculty to use resources that
> had already been purchased and housed on site before renting prints to
> show in class. If one of the current CU faculty on this list would
> like to correct me or add on to this, it would be appreciated.
> Another example I might bring up is the institution where I teach,
> Columbia College Chicago. The focus of our film program is not
> experimental, and it is safe to say that the 25 or so students (we
> have about 2000, yes 2000 film & video students) who sign up for the
> Optical Printing class each semester represent the bulk of our
> students who are making experimental 16mm work. We show films from
> Canyon in class almost every week (viewing "Alone, Life Wastes Andy
> Hardy" last night in class is the highlight of my week). The weekly
> rentals are supported by the course fees, and I'm fortunate to have
> stepped into a situation where a rental budget was already in place.
> Perhaps Columbia is an outlier in this discussion, but as the two
> people who teach Optical Printing are adjunct faculty, our
> "retirement" would leave no room to argue for an appropriate
> replacement (something you point out as a likely situation), though it
> is plausible that someone who could
> teach the Printing class would be hired. I think the more likely
> reason that you would see rentals decline (actually, cease), would be
> an elimination of the course entirely. That is something I would
> fight against, but as I'm not allowed to vote on the committee that
> would ultimately make the decision, rhetoric would be my only weapon.
> I'm on the side of keeping places like Canyon up and running, which is
> one of the reasons I site when justifying the costs of showing rented
> films in class. If the school were to have purchased two films per
> semester for the last ten years, we would have an adequate archive for
> our needs, but I'd rather not leave it up to our library to care for
> the films and to have the choice of entire catalogs of films to choose
> from.
> Urging people who teach to take an active interest in their
> replacement is a good start. I suggest that more arguments be
> articulated regarding the value of showing art, and specifically film,
> on its original medium. And, I'd like to hear other opinions about
> this issue...
> -Jason Halprin
> Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 13:31:24 -0800
> From: DOMINIC ANGERAME <email suppressed>
> Subject: Experimental films showing at various Universities
> --0-1974112130-1227648684=:31788
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
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> I originally address to Gene Youngblood, however thought I would put
> this o=
> ut there to the entire list.
> Dear Gene,
> I know that you have retired,=A0 however, I was curious if the
> person who replaced you had any experimental film inclinations. Canyon
> no longer receives any rental requests from the College of Santa Fe and
> it was, until your retirement, one of our biggest renters,=A0 The
> unfortunate situation appears that a lot of experiment film classes or
> programs are mostly one person driven. Once that person retires the
> replacement is no longer interested in experimental cinema. I first
> noticed this when Dick Myers retired from Kent State. He use to rent at
> least $1500 a year for film screenings. Canyon has not received one
> film rental request since he left. The same is true for Occidental
> College when Chick Strand left, all rentals stopped. Stan Brakhage use
> to rental at least $5000 worth of experimental films from Canyon a
> the requests from UCB have dwindled down considerably. This
> is the same for the San Francisco Art Institute, School of the Art of
> Chicago, University of Oklahoma and many more places too numerous to
> list here.
> What I might suggest to those on the list that are still teaching and
> plan to retire to try and have a say about the replacement and their
> interest in experimental cinema. It would certainly help the field stay
> alive. I realize that often times teachers have no say in who their
> replacement will be.=20
> Thanks
> Dominic Angerame
> Exec. Director, Canyon Cinema
> __________________________________________________________________
> 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>.