Re: Maya's Haiti footage

From: David Woods (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Feb 25 2010 - 10:49:28 PST

Rarely does FRAMEWORKS host perceptions which cut through all cant and
reveal the heart of the matter.
David's sensitive, profound and eloquent words rise above the clever
tautologies of the idealogues, hide-bound in masochistic academia. I
support the spirit and the letter of his parting shot, as it may lay open
the latent weakness in the FRAMEWORKS faux-community.
There are those who care to win small points and those, few, remaining, who,
caring for ants, care to have ant guard their futures, and ours. Their
pasts, dissolved with easy reticence, shelved for the archive's peace, hold
daring-do and my heart too.
Onward thus we tramp, entranced, entombed; and only Baker's count - the
dozing sinecures - and register what Deren may have meant, and why, and how,
and ... "How dare you call her Maya, anyway!" Such impudence!
There is a gap, yes "Mind the gap!", that separates the fawning academic
whore from what that rare spirit saw.


-----Original Message-----
From: Experimental Film Discussion List [mailto:email suppressed]
On Behalf Of David Baker
Sent: 25 February 2010 15:11
To: email suppressed
Subject: Re: Maya's Haiti footage (was: Frameworker in the news)

Chuck and Esteemed Colleagues,

Might I gently beseech you to desist using the words
"David" and "Baker" as rhetorical devices?
This rhythmic two word refrain has me feeling all but disembodied.
Understand I am but one person who has been profoundly
touched by a work of art, and a fragment at that. Nothing more.

Chuck, I regard your argument as specious and mean spirited in its tone.
I stand by my words, I cannot for an instant separate a people from
cultural legacy. I cannot see this as an either/or proposition.
We agree to disagree.

Where does the impetus, the imperative to preserve begin?
Discernment no doubt coupled with consensus, are at the heart of
Certainly passion derived from years of looking, reading, making,
looking and looking again,
must play a part. Do we cede such decisions to a powerful elite
or do we try to exert some influence in the decision making process?
How can consensus
be built if the art in question can't be seen?
(I fear ours is a community that sees with its ears.)
Still I persist perhaps naively with the premise that funding follows
discernment, passion, consensus not the other way around.

January 26th while sitting in the so called "Maya Deren Theater"
at Anthology Film Archives in NYC I saw a piece of something
that I believe needs to be
preserved in its entirety.
I know what I saw and I will do what I can sans coffee can.
I have corresponded with Dr. Moira Sullivan in Sweden.
She is the preeminent scholar of Deren's Haitian material.
Dr. Sullivan unequivocally agrees with my perception regarding
the significance of the unedited footage.

A quote from Deren's Author's Preface to "Divine Horsemen":
"At the time of my first trip to Haiti there was virtually no
precedent for the filming of
ceremonies; photographing them was altogether a delicate undertaking,
for many reasons.
When the time came, I broached the subject to a Voudoun priest whose
ceremonies I had
attended and who had come to know me well. I spoke to him of my
desire to capture the beauty
and the significance of the ceremonies, so that the rest of the world
might become aware.
He understood virtually nothing of cinema and I was uncertain of his
reaction, since his own
standing in the community could be jeopardized by such a permission.
Besides, in his culture,
the artist as a singular individual did not exist. Could he possibly
understand and sympathize
with my motivations? He hesitated but a moment. Then, offering his
hand as one would a
colleague or collaborator, he said: 'Each one serves in his own
fashion.' "

(One irony that parallels Chuck's coffee can suggestion:
Near the beginning of the documentary "In The Mirror Of Maya Deren" by
Martina Kudlacek
we see the containers some of Deren's unedited footage has been kept
in since her death in 1961...
Medaglia D'Oro coffee cans.)

a Haitian Proverb then in parting,

"Great Gods cannot ride little horses."


On Feb 25, 2010, at 7:43 AM, Chuck Kleinhans wrote:

> On Feb 24, 2010, at 6:22 PM, Fred Camper wrote:
>> Chuck,
>> I, like others, am not sure what you mean.
>> Do you mean that the "optics" of finding a small (especially
>> compared to the billions Haiti needs) amount of money to preserve
>> Deren's Haitian footage are troubling bad when people are dying
>> there?
> I don't know what you mean by "optics". If you mean the outlook,
> that's exactly what I mean. Bad timing.
> Chuck
> __________________________________________________________________
> 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>.