Re: FRAMEWORKS Digest - 26 Mar 2009 - Special issue (#2009-238)

From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Mar 26 2009 - 22:39:27 PDT

> You don't think the film is made to shock people? I mean, even her
> instructions at the FMC require that music be played very loud

The recommended audio is top 40 radio. Mid-sixties rock and pop
played loud is more fun than disturbing.

> (although
> when I saw it the film was played silent and w/o gels)

I suspected as much.

> considering the account's of Rubin's
> personality and the fact that she was 19 when she made the film, I
> think
> it's safe to say part of the film's goal is shock value.

partaking in the intentional fallacy may be SOP for experimental film
enthusiasts, but films always speak for themselves outside of their
maker(s) intent. if the film truly aimed to shock, it would likely be
quite different than it is. the level of abstraction in the CUs of
Rubin's crotch mediates against shock, as does the rather comic full
body makeup worn by the participants -- not to mention the top hats.
I think seeing this w/o sound and in blank black and white, one might
focus on the explicitness in a way that might lead to some
discomfort, but as Adam notes, the instructions call for an expanded
cinema event. With loud rock and roll and a pre-psychedelic color
show of gels, the explicitness is more naturalized into a larger
invitation to party on.

FWIW, which is not much, I'd guess Rubin was quite willing to shock
any squares who might wander in out of curiosity, but that her
primary intended audience was the hipster scene around the orbits of
Mekas and Warhbol respectively, and for those folks I think it would
have seemed more celebratory than shocking.

Jsck Smith did not intend Flaming Creatures to be shocking. he just
wanted to celebrate glamor in his own way. but people were shocked,
and still are, especially by the faux rape scene accompanied by
crazed screaming. This mock violence is more upsetting than any of
the consensual coupling or cinematic beaver-shooting in Christmas on

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