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June 1998, Week 3


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Scott Hutchins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 17 Jun 1998 12:18:21 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (69 lines)
I could have written much more articulately than that, but I figured, why
bother, so I just went for the laugh.  I was also exaggerating.  I think
what needs to be said about the topic has already been spoken on this
list, so it seemed there was little need to say more.  I have said many
positive things about the list as well.  The majority of the films shown
on the program last night really were *good* films, despite the strong and
disturbing biases Gloria Monti presented.  The AFI obviously does know
about film, but they seem to be more concerned with moneymaking than such
an organization is created for.  Wonder why _Fargo_ was so far down on the
list and _Brazil_ and _The Night of the Hunter_ didn't make it.  It's
obvious these pictures are too odd and quirky to be considered among the
"best."  It also does not surprise me that _The Silence of the Lambs_ was
the only horror film on the list (though I must say I prefered Mann's
original, _Manhunter_, but those films are so different they ought to be
screened back to back like I did, viewing them for the first time last
year (unfortunately, it was mere months before _Silence_ came out
letterboxed).  Of course, the good ones are either foreign or independent
anyway.  I've never really embraced horror as a genre (I generally
watch such films based on the filmmaker) but, SF has an even lesser
regard.  The only SF films on the list were good films, but not good SF
films.  _E.T. the Extraterrestrial_ and _Star Wars_ are mopre
SF-influenced fairytales than genuine SF like _Brazil_, etc.  Now I'm just
running on tangents when I need to be home writing my sociology paper, so
I quit.
On Wed, 17 Jun 1998, mpomeran wrote:
> Scott Hutchins says that his undergraduate status is a licence to say
> about a film, "It sucks" or "It's crap."  Now, I haven't been an
> undergraduate for awhile, but I think I have the same licence.  Yet I
> don't use it.  Why not?  Because, "It sucks" doesn't inform, it vents,
> and I don't tend to vent about film, regarding it as something more
> important than a stimulus for personal expulsion.  What really bothers me
> about Scott's note is that, since he says the American Film Institute
> doesn't ***know*** diddly about film, he may well think "It sucks" is a
> form of knowledge, not a form of venting.  And more:  the sense I have
> that he would only complain about the AFI because in fact he, too,
> regards film rather more highly than his note suggests.  He is, I
> suspect, disappointed in the AFI, not just deprecating, and that
> disappointment comes from a hope that a body like the AFI would be more
> admirable for him.
> This is not to express my position on the AFI.  It's merely to say openly
> that undergraduates like Scott Hutchins, who are writing honestly and
> openly on this list, may well be our best hope for an articulate future
> of critical and appreciative comment about film.  I don't want to lose
> his voice, but I'm agonized that he doesn't want to speak/write to me.
> I mean by that, of course, that by saying, "It sucks" and proclaiming his
> right to do so, he doesn't compel my reading eyes at all.
> In friendship,
> Murray Pomerance
> Toronto
> ----
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama.
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