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August 2000, Week 1


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Daniel I Humphrey <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 7 Aug 2000 01:37:48 -0400
TEXT/PLAIN (52 lines)
Dear Leo (and everyone else):

 Surely many people on this list serve would agree with me
 that there is a *big* difference between the truly important
 theorization of technology provided by, say, Jean-Louis
 Baudry in his classic essay "Ideological Effects of the Basic
 Cinematic Apparatus" (or Walter Benjamin in "The Work of Art
 in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction") and the kind of
 rhetoric which so disinterests me...

 I'm thinking now about the typical laser disc fetishist,
 hanging out at the video store all day, working him or
 herself up into a frenzy because IT'S ALWAYS FAIR
 WEATHER--composed for 2.55:1--was letterboxed at 2.35:1.
 ("Okay, okay.  You're right.  I'll sign your petition.  Can
 we talk about something else now, please?")

 It seems that far too often discussions of this sort become
 ends in and of themselves rather than part of a lager
 discussion of what (I would say) is really exciting about the
 cinema.  People more interested in discussing the Technicolor
 reds in VERTIGO than in the topics that film raises about
 misogyny, voyeurism, and the cultural construction of
 femininity seem to me willfully (even distressingly) blind to
 what's crucial... crucial not just in film but in life.

 Finally, Leo, I admit I was a bit chagrined that you caught
 me in the mistake of referring to the non-existent Super
 VistaVision.  (I'm *sure* I meant to say Super Panavision).
 But I hope you'll share my feeling of embarrassment when you
 realize that you yourself have lead us astray in your
 posting.  You suggest that DEATH BY HANGING was directed by
 Yasujiro Ozu.  It was, in fact, a film made by Ozu's former
 apprentice, Nagisa Oshima.  I can't remember what process it
 was shot in, but I do recall it as one of the most moving
 films I've ever seen.


 Best to all!

        Daniel Isaac Humphrey
        Department of Art & Art History
        University of Rochester
        424 Morey Hall
        Rochester NY 14627-0456

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