Re: Frampton, Brakhage, RE:VOIR

From: Mark Toscano (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Feb 15 2010 - 16:17:41 PST

Over the years, I've seen clusters of quite a few Frampton films here and there, but the recent Filmforum 5-screen series in L.A. was a real revelation for me, even though I already considered myself a Frampton fan.

Seeing early works like Information, Manual of Arms, States, and Process Red, mixed in with familiar masterworks like Critical Mass, Zorns Lemma, and so forth, further buttressed by say, odd, later works like Matrix (which is for me a fascinating failure) really gave me a more cohesive sense of Frampton's larger project for cinema than ever before.

Seeing Zorns Lemma, for instance, after having seen, in the weeks before, films like Carrots and Peas, Palindrome, and States, really enriched ZL even more for me, as well as giving those lesser-known one-offs a lot more context and curatorially-aided focus - they really opened up as individual works, as well as giving greater color and texture to Frampton's larger body of work. I'm more convinced than ever that, in a very tangible and concerted way, Frampton's entire body of work was/is itself a single cinematic project/endeavor/exploration, tirelessly toiled over, and loaded with all kinds of peaks, valleys, exhilaration, boredom, eccentricity, sobriety, obscurity, and clarity.

A three-disc set covering numerous works, if that's really what they're planning, should be fantastic. I would definitely vote for the inclusion of some perceived "minor" short works as a way of giving great texture to this peek into his oeuvre.

Mark T

--- On Mon, 2/15/10, David Tetzlaff <email suppressed> wrote:

> From: David Tetzlaff <email suppressed>
> Subject: [FRAMEWORKS] Frampton, Brakhage, RE:VOIR
> To: email suppressed
> Date: Monday, February 15, 2010, 11:53 AM
> I have seen Hapax all in one day
> (though not w/o a break). I don't know if 4-7 are ever
> screened w/o 1-3. Maybe I just didn't get it, but I found
> 4-7 pretty unengaging and at times excruciating.
> With 3 dics, I'm actually not really worried the stuff I
> really care about will be left out (Hapax 1-3, Zorns Lemma,
> Gloria). It's just that based on what little other HF if
> seen, I'm guessing I'd find more to appreciate in some of
> the stuff I'm not familiar with yet than the ones I have
> seen but couldn't connect to.
> My interpretation of Frampton may be different from the
> norm - I think Fred and I argued about it here once - but I
> think there's a richness in the major works that opens them
> to a lot of different readings, and I haven't seen that in
> the second half of Hapax.
> I wasn't complaining seriously, and I guess I'll withdraw
> my threat to off myself. I do however have several very cute
> puppies I will torture if Criterion changes their mind.
> Thanks Marilyn, for your explanation about Anticipation.
> None of us can fault anyone for showing consideration to
> Pip, who graciously provides this forum for us and works so
> hart to support the work we care about.
> The fact remains, though, that the RE:VOIR version of
> Anticipation is only available in PAL, only on VHS, and does
> not seem to be distributed in the US. All of these seriously
> limit the work's accessibility to the broad audience it
> deserves (spare me 'rent the print' posts, we're already
> comparing video sales to video sales.) If you're trying to
> explain Brakhage to anyone, as part of a class, or just
> informally, how do you NOT talk about the ideas from
> Metaphors and Vision, and then illustrate the move away from
> representation to hypnogogic vision in Anticipation? If you
> have what comes before (I really love Way to Shadow Garden
> from Treasures 4 as a precursor) and what comes after (DSM
> and on) but leave out the hole in the middle, it just seems
> to me like you cripple the attempt to get the big picture of
> Brakhage's aesthetic project. And since I think that big
> picture is really fascinating, I think that's a damn shame.
> So, Pip:
> If we've established that Criterion isn't going to step on
> your toes, would it kill you to issue Anticipation on DVD
> (it being much much easier to playback PAL dvds in the US
> than PAL VHS) and put it for sale on this side of the pond
> (with somebody other than Jon Gartenberg -- no offense to
> Jon but I'd like my own copy and I don't have a trust
> fund)?
> I'm sure that, as with RE:VOIR's Deren DVD, Pip would be
> his usual meticulous self in making sure the encoding and
> authoring minimized all those MPEG2 bugaboos (that I can't
> see anyway on well-authored titles like By Brakhage). Would
> this not do the world a service, and maybe even make some
> money for RE:VOIR?
> FRAMEWORKER's please chime in if you agree....
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.


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