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June 1995, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mike Frank <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 9 Jun 1995 13:35:16 -0400
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (30 lines)
a messy question but here's one simple device for clearing up at least some
of the mess:  movies have suffered from the fact that they represent both
through a set of conventional symbols (we are happy to accept that Clark
gable is Rhett Butler and that a studio set is Tara) and through the fact
that REAL persons and events in the world have been memorialized physically
on the film.  Novels do only the former; the only real event memorialized in
the amuscript of a novel is the author's act of writing, and that in itself
is of little interest.   Animation has for years shared this quality with
novels: that its images do not represnt any pre-filmic reality except for the
one imagined by the animators.  If movies become "fictional" in this sense,
th only thing that will change is the elimination of what has heretofore
been a happenstantial--if interesting-- aspect of filmmaking.  Only to the
extent that a film is of DOCUMENTARY interest will the revolution you imagine
make much of a difference.  And if you're worried about the role of actors in
the new regime, remember Hitchcock's famous claim that in the hands of a good
director "actors are cattle."
If you find this answer of any interest you might consider forwarding it to
the rest of the list.  My own e-mail skills are so limited that having
written this much I do not know how to do anything except send it on to you
Mike Frank
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