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October 1996, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Eckart Voigts-Virchow <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 13:24:28 +0100
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Bickering over the value/rating of Dennis Potter's TV will lead nowhere but
to a hopelessly outdated auteur approach to his texts. Rosalind
Coward has argued that the BBC used to hide behind the towering
auteur Potter in order to make herself culturally respectable and to
get away with the usual drivel (my
paraphrase). TV is collaboration - and this is  a commonplace that is
once-more substantiated by *The Singing Detective* where a lot of
brilliant people turned the Potter script into an excellent series.
On the other hand, I can't resist:
I think even *Blackeyes* for all its flaws is important, because TV
is almost the only place where being self-indulgent has a certain
merit. Also, where else can you still shock anyone? In a novel, a
film, on the Internet? (Even if the shock aesthetics is on its way out even in
Potter should be credited for the mere fact that he was taking
risks. Like in Sam Beckett's FAIL FAIL AGAIN FAIL BETTER.
I'd much rather watch a great Potter failure than, say, *Christabel*.
If you consdier the 1972 *Follow the Yellow Brick Road* it is visually TV
stone age, its ideas are, well, locked in a Hoggart-Denys Thompson
critique of commercialism, and certainly not very original or
thought-through. Still, there is a RISK: a lot of verbal vomit poured over
the media, society, the world - and isn't that exactly what they need
Dr. Eckart Voigts-Virchow
Institut fuer Anglistik & Amerikanistik
Justus-Liebig-Universitaet Giessen
Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10B
Tel 06 41  - 702 - 55 55
Fax 06 41 - 702 - 38 11
Tel/Priv 0 64 03 - 6 83 82
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