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June 1995, Week 1


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 31 May 1995 13:19:46 -0600
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D.H. asks:
"I am alarmed by this willingness to marginalize film in art discourse and the
willingness to marginalize other visual arts in filmic discourse.  Does it
not signal both a critical and professional crisis? Does a lack of
interdiciplinarity -for lack of a better term-  lead to dubious scholarship
in each area and serve to keep film isolated in the sense that it is not
really considered a visual art?  Finally, doesn't film suffer from a brushing
aside of attention to the most complex issues of visual signification that
fuel critical activity in the visual arts?
In a limited sense I am playing devils advocate but I am also trying to
understand what I see as a regrettable disreguard for a body of contemporary
filmic work.
Does this have resonances for anyone here?"
One of the things I found most appealing about David Bordwell as a teacher and
as a writer has been his use of examples and anaologies from other visual arts,
especially painting, in talking about issues of representation and understanding
in film.  (See his discussion of space in NARRATIVE AND THE FICTION FILM, for
And his is just one possible approach.  Truisms like the observation that
paintings are static and films unfold in time are obvious enough, but like
any obvious question need to be discussed, debated, refined and reconsidered.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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