Re: [Frameworks] Drama films and the Avant-Garde

From: mat fleming (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Jan 28 2011 - 19:04:10 PST

Sam, you described what i called false realism much better than i did - "the
illusion inherent in dominant cinema"

John Ford and Douglas Sirk engage wholeheartedly in that illusion and are
also great film makers.

I didn't mean to suggest that in opposition is such a thing as "real"
realism just that avant garde film tends to try and attack the absurd
tendencies of the above by disrupting the dull predictable orthodoxy of it
all and the production values that go hand in hand. An economical shortcut
is to do away with all traces of story and get into the material qualities
but then you do get the problem you summarized so well:

Hi Mom, I've broken the illusion of reality inherent in dominant
> cinema, now what do I do ?

I'd say Bela Tarr, Bunuel, Straub/Huillet answer this by also engaging with
ideas that keep humans at the centre.

Eisenstein is a diifficult case because he was so pioneering - so you could
forgive him for 'only' breaking the dominant style.

I'm not familiar with the work of the Costa or Beavers.

Some popular features are fun because some directors try to be radical
(meaning out-there not activist sadly) for a teen market. They don't usually
play with the form but spacial incoherence and doing away with lots of
traditional filmic baggage can be kind of experimental can't it?

Some experimental film makers, especially later ones for whom the battle has
been won already (or lost depending on your point of view) don't need ask
themselves the question because they're not relating their work to dominant
cinema at all because we have our own little scene - they are just having
fun making beautiful abstract stuff. But the question in this thread asks
about arguable crossovers like the ones that have been suggested.


 I can't believe mainstream movies still get away with some of the lazy crap
they do

On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 9:40 PM, Sam Wells <email suppressed> wrote:

> > And I find interesting what Mat says about the Bourne Ultimatum. I
> haven't
> > seen it, but very often in extremely commercial Hollywood productions I
> see
> > this pattern of loosing sense of logic and storytelling.
> i.e.spatially (in a deep sense of the word) incoherent.
> I DON'T think the (so-called circa 2011) Avant-garde would want to
> identify so strongly with incoherence for its' seeming own but I could
> be wrong.
> For that matter, someone tell me the difference between false realism
> - and what, true realism ;-) ?
> Which is John Ford ? Douglas Sirk ? Bunuel ? Pedro Costa ? Bela Tarr ?
> Robert Beavers ?
> Straub/Huillet ? or... Uh, Eisenstein ? ;-)
> Hi Mom, I've broken the illusion of reality inherent in dominant
> cinema, now what do I do ?
> -Sam
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