From: Myron Ort (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 13:43:57 PDT
Thanks for the suggestion on keeping track of these threads. I didn't
really need to change the heading, just a bad habit. I could add my
little one liners to the post rather than the subject line.
Composition, lighting, editing, etc. .....so many dimensions to film,
granted one chooses from a myriad of possibilities to best express
the content at hand, or non- content for that matter....
I was viewing the history of art as an ongoing history of accumulated
insights, revelations, developments, discoveries, concepts, and
tools, (not unlike say science or math even) all of which can be
drawn on today, for whatever use. And one can continue to innovate
I agree with what you are saying.
The way I took Stan's statement when I first read his "Metaphors.."
was to see a whole world of possibilities yet to be explored in
cinema, and since he mentioned "perspective", I immediately saw that
I could gain a whole universe of possibilities from what I already
understood about painting and apply it to film, but then I was
excited about "experimental" filmmaking and how the thread that
painters making films in the 20s had barely scratched the surface so
my Master's thesis at the time had to do with enumerating all the
possible dimensions involved in all film making approaches, seeing
that in each dimension there was a polar range (from "illustrative"
to "positional" ((which I defined in the paper)), and just taking the
extremes of this polarity, calculated at least 500+ distinct
filmmaking modes, showed how various filmmakers fit into this matrix
(everything from Welles to Breer etc.) and then suggested that many
modes hadn't even been attempted yet....I was young and crazy,
granted, but the whole notion made me overwhelmingly excited about
new possibilities for film. Silly as this all sounds to me now, I
did try to explain it to Kubelka when I visited him in Austria early
70s, and he seemed to like the way I was thinking......
On Oct 21, 2009, at 11:45 AM, Flick Harrison wrote:
> Hey Myron,
> I'm digging your replies... but if you want to stick with the
> discussion, it'd be great if you left the subject line as-is
> instead of swapping it. That way, on the archives, or in the
> mailbox, people can see the discussion threaded (i.e. all the posts
> in the order they came) and thus follow the conversation.
> If you're doing this deliberately for some reason, i.e. to start a
> whole new thread, then I don't mean to cramp your style, but some
> people just don't follow discussions that way and so have no idea
> the way the subject affects later readers.
> Some people who like to speak through subject lines use the form I
> used in this email.
> Now, re: filmmakers being uninformed / uninspired by painting
> Without disagreeing too strongly, I think filmmaking comes from far
> too many historical directions for us to place too much emphasis on
> one, i.e. painting. For instance, documentary photography through
> to documentary film through to newsreel to news video to home video
> to documentary aesthetic within dramatic films. This composition
> in time and space, frame following the central action, privileging
> the idea (i.e. framing for informational purposes, creating
> workmanlike relationships between objects and people) the
> aesthetics of which are unimportant or irrelevant to the creator.
> One can read the aesthetics anyway, especially where they reinforce
> or undermine the ideological pretensions of the narrative
> (bourgeois camera angles etc), but that's not necessarily anything
> more than nitpicking.
> Painterly considerations occasionally informed documentary
> cinematography and vice-versa (Mark Lewis comes to mind as a
> recent, blatant example), but short story, poetry, literature, pop
> fiction, theatre, dramatic film, etc all dip in and out of the
> aesthetic well from which film draws, not to mention music, public
> relations, print advertising etc.
> Think of Michael Moore as a filmmaker for instance, and I think
> "renaissance perspective" is the furthest thing from my mind when
> closely analyzing his work, and he's probably least inspired /
> informed by painting. He uses the camera much more like a reporter
> would use a tape-recorder. Clear and in focus, lit to see the eyes
> of the subject, shots cut down to the narrative b-line. Yes, your
> point about a human-centred universe is probably something Moore
> absorbs from the depths of time and distant origins like Massaccio.
> But, I'm not sure how seeding the renaissance counts as overturning
> it, except that it can't be overturned until it exists. But I
> think the camera would have encountered those same realistic
> lighting situations, the "in-the-round" settings, etc, whether the
> art world was ready for it or not. In fact, the camera obscura
> could possibly have had more influence on perspective than the
> other way around. And so a genius like M could have imagined
> something that later came into technical reality with the lens, but
> the lens would have brought it anyway.
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> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.