From: email suppressed
Date: Sat Oct 16 2010 - 11:57:47 PDT
I realise I'm quite lucky with my institution. One London college,
Chelsea School of Art, invited me to a "film master class", but
neither had, nor could (or would) arrange a 16mm projector! I also
don't disagree with much of what you say, especially about new
courses. Another example is of a course here that moved to a brand new
building where there was no longer a room available for Steenbecks to
be accommodated, so they eventually gave up on 16mm. Sad.
On 16 Oct 2010, at 13:40, David Tetzlaff wrote:
> Hi Nicky:
> Both you and Jeanne add evidence to support my central argument.
> Thanks for contributing your experiences to the discussion.
>> I hire from LUX every year a handful of films that absolutely must
>> be seen on film, or are otherwise unavailable in decent copies;
>> Wavelength... Mothlight...
> Not that this is a significant point, but when i've shown Mothlight an
> Garden of Earthly delights from video, the students couldn't have been
> more transfixed. (I did get my school to buy a good 3-chip DLP cinema
> projector, and of course the video transfers of those films are quite
> good.) I'm sure they're even more vivid in film, but the wow factor of
> those particular pieces, on video in decent projection on a big screen
> = instant interest in Brakhage.
>> This way around thirty students every year get to see some essential
>> work, and understand, through direct comparison, that DVDs are not
>> the films they are copies of. The LUX get some rental income (the
>> films are not cheap to hire) and some filmmakers get some royalties.
>> I agree, as below, that use of DVDs does not deprive filmmakers of
>> potential royalties, because my department could not afford to hire
>> all the films I'd like to show, so if I didn't show DVDs the
>> students wouldn't see anything other than the few films I hire, at
>> least not in my seminar.
> My point is that while you, Jeanne and I may have the background to
> make this kind of compromise work, most film studies faculty do not.
>> Professors are the Institution, in part. I, for one, write courses
>> which I teach, and for which, therefore, I decide the content.
> You have a nice gig.*
>> How could it be otherwise...
> You should get out more.
>> unless you're teaching in a department where you've been hired on
>> the basis of having certain expertise, but to which the
>> "Institution" is hostile?
> Which describes every teaching post I held in a 20 year career
> spanning 6 colleges.
> * To be fair, I admit my remarks about the relative powerlessness of
> faculty were hyperbolic and intented for rhetorical effect rather than
> objective accuracy. It is more common in the US for new faculty to be
> handed a list of the courses they must teach. However, the catalog
> descriptions of those courses are generally vague enough that the the
> teacher has significant ability to reshape them within the general
> rubric. And at most schools, once faculty have established themselves,
> they can get course descriptions changed, or totally new courses
> approved, though it may take awhile. In my last position, I was given
> only the most vague prescription, and I had virtually complete freedom
> to design the curriculum to my my own liking. This is not unheard of,
> but its fairly rare, and it's the reason I jumped at the job, as I
> might never have gotten such an opportunity again. Even within this,
> though, certain institutional expectations remain, especially in terms
> of what constitutes legitimate faculty activity, where your time and
> energy should be focused, how budgets are to be handled and used...
> I hold to my claim, more modestly stated: For average film professors
> -- who are hired as generalists rather than specialist in the avant
> garde, and do not have an extensive background in production or
> exhibition -- the difficulties involved in screening film prints are
> high enough that expenditure of the resources necessary in that
> pursuit could get you in trouble with the higher-ups that have control
> over their fate at that institution.
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