Re: [Frameworks] this guy's youtube channel/ a different attitude towards time and attentiveness

From: Jonathan Walley <>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2011 13:20:33 -0400

Not specifically about experimental film - though some do get
mentioned - David Bordwell's recent blog post on "dull" films is worth

I especially like, "Simply shrugging off a film by saying, 'Itís
boring!' is about as uninformative a response as saying, 'Itís
interesting!' And one should always be suspicious of somebody, in the
name of debunkery, telling us that we shouldnít bother to know

But also, "Not all slow, minimalist movies are good."

The question of what holds spectatorial attention (and what doesn't,
and why) comes into play, as well. I don't think we can ascribe the
dwindling attention we might see in our students (or fellow film-
goers) simply to the new technology of distraction. I imagine that
viewers experiencing avant-garde and art films for the first time have
always been prone to distraction, because they tend to be bored,
confused, angry, etc. The new gadgets - the cell phones and droids -
just give them something else to look at, but before those there was
always chatter, daydreaming, and sleeping.


On Jul 17, 2011, at 11:08 AM, Matt Helme wrote:

> Maybe the films are just dull?
> Matt
> --- On Sun, 7/17/11, gregg biermann <> wrote:
> From: gregg biermann <>
> Subject: Re: [Frameworks] this guy's youtube channel/ a different
> attitude towards time and attentiveness
> To: "Experimental Film Discussion List" <
> >
> Date: Sunday, July 17, 2011, 10:54 AM
> I was not suggesting that films should be viewed in the way the kids
> today seem to prefer (with split attention). I have noticed college
> students in cinema studies classes seem have much more difficulty
> than I
> do sitting silently in the dark and watching a film from beginning to
> end. I attribute this to the effect of contemporary technology on the
> mind. How many of you have noticed that during a film projection, in
> the darkness, there are smaller competing rectangles of light floating
> in front of various audience members?
> On 7/16/2011 3:02 PM, Fred Camper wrote:
> > Quoting gregg biermann<>:
> >
> >> Fred,
> >> I agree. If you think about the metaphor of Windows itself -- the
> >> implication is that your attention is, practically by default,
> split
> >> between multiple processes and events happening simultaneously on
> >> screen....
> > And recent studies have shown that when people "multi-task," they
> > don't do the separate tasks very well.
> >
> > I don't want to preclude the idea that divided and interrupted
> > attention might be interesting, and might lead to interesting art.
> My
> > point is that it makes the older type of attention, the type
> required
> > for say Bach's "The Art of the Fugue" or a great older poem or
> novel,
> > of "The Art of Vision," less likely. Viewing art alone and in
> silence,
> > and also with the inner solitude of a mind aware of the finest
> details
> > of the experience and their multiple shades and suggestions and
> > implications, that's something really important to me. And I think
> > it's the best way to view the films of Markopoulos, Brakhage, Breer,
> > Frampton, Gehr, and so many others...
> >
> > Fred Camper
> > Chicago
> >
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> >
> >
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Jonathan Walley
Assistant Professor of Cinema
Denison University

FrameWorks mailing list
Received on Sun Jul 17 2011 - 10:20:57 CDT