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February 1994

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Sender:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:
From:
Shari Rosenblum <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Sun, 6 Feb 1994 21:09:38 EST
In-Reply-To:
Message of Sun, 6 Feb 1994 21:04:19 -0600 from <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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On Sun, 6 Feb 1994 21:04:19 -0600 Mattie Alan Campbell said:
>How disheartening it is to know that you weren't horrified by the atrocities
>inflicted on the victims of the Holocaust in "Schindler's List" ....
>I think that an attitude like that is
>tragic when considering the content of the film.
>
because in message Sun, 6 Feb 1994 08:26:59 +0500,
>  Craig Shipman <[log in to unmask]>  wrote:
>
>> It was not horrifying to see people i do not know kill people i do not
>> know in a place that was foreign.
 
My opinion : in order to properly compare critiques, we should all begin by
comparing premises.  What was the film meant to do?  What do we think it
should have been meant to do? And, of course, what did it do?
 
It seems to me that if the point of the film was to horrify, it is to be
evaluated differently than if the point was to educate.  If it was to do
a little of both...In any case, we must also evaluate the audience it was aimed
at before we proceed.
 
As to Shipman's comment:
>> I was confused as to the transformation of Schindler from capitalist to
>> humanist.  Where was the transformation, how did the character change and
>> why?
 
I believe the essence is that no one knows why Schindler changed.  In real
life, motivations are not always in the script.  Here, I don't think
Schindler himself could have added it in.  That's the point.
 
In conclusion, Shipman stated:
>> I wanted the movie to be about someone!  It was
>> about something and, in my opinion, that is not storytelling.
>>
 
I think this is the key to artistic freedom.  Your scripts should be about what
you want them to be (and I look forward to seeing/hearing/reading them some-
day);  this was Spielberg's film -- so he got to choose the substance.
Don't you think it would be fairer to evaluate it on that basis?  Isn't that
what we should teach our students?  Isn't that how you'll want your work
measured?
           Shari L. Rosenblum
                             (slrbm@cunyvm)

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