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August 2012, Week 5

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Subject:
From:
Norman Holland <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 30 Aug 2012 08:53:54 -0400
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Donald,

You must favor the second explanation, then, since you see the intra-group
differences as larger than the inter-group differences.

Thanks for your comment, Norm Holland

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM, Larsson, Donald F
<[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> I don't really understand the question you pose or your respondents'
> replies.  As provisional as any categorization of the earlier directors may
> be  (see David Bordwell's description of the "art cinema as a mode of
> production" in "Narration in the Fiction Film"), the second group seems
> less coherent in historical terms.  I don't know much of Ruiz's work,
> except that he was amazingly prolific and diverse in style in his short
> lifetime and is best known for his filmed-for-tv costume epic "The
> Mysteries of Lisbon."  Tarkovsky made only a handful of films in his short
> life and has been dead for almost 26 years.  Tarr's films differ in style,
> and he has claimed influence by Fassbinder, who himself is stylistically
> difficult to pigeon-hole.  And Lynch is, well, Lynch.
>
> As far as "high status" goes, certainly Tarr and Tarkovsky do not fit the
> first response group's explanation as appealing (!) to "people who want
> immediate sensation and emotion."  Take the "e" (electronic/digital media,
> I assume) out of that group's characterization of critics and audiences
> conditioned by "a computerized, media-ized, and e-musicked world," and it
> seems to me that their reply is far better suited in various ways to the
> earlier group of directors (especially the Antonioni of "Blow-Up" and
> "Zabriskie Point" and early Godard).  (And, of course, many critics had and
> still have trouble watching or analyzing those directors' films.)
>
> If  Tarr, Tarkovsky and Lynch at least have anything in common, it may be
> that their aims are more metaphysical than existential and psychological or
> overtly political.  But even then the distinctions aren't hard and fast.
> (Are they ever?)  Antonioni's avowed aim to was to probe the mysteries of
> the surface of the world, after all.
>
> Don Larsson
>
> ___________________________________________________
> "I don't deduce.  I observe."
> --Roger O Thornhill
>
> Donald F. Larsson, Professor
> English Department, Minnesota State University, Mankato
> Email: [log in to unmask]
> ________________________________________
> From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List [[log in to unmask]] on
> behalf of Norman Holland [[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 9:31 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [SCREEN-L] Query / Answers
>
> A few days ago, I sent around a query (see below).  Why the high status
> accorded films by Ruiz, Tarr, Tarkovsky, and Lynch compared to 50s and 60s
> auteurs like Bergman, Fellini, or Antonioni?  And is there a way to set
> one's mind to enjoy them?  If you're curious, I got basically two lines of
> response.
>
> One group said that this change in taste reflected a computerized,
> media-ized, and e-musicked world in which people want immediate sensation
> and emotion and don't care any more about traditional ideas of motivation,
> character, plot, or timing.
>
> A much smaller, but to me more subtle group, said that this was a
> difference of degree, not kind.  To quote one of my respondents, "Is Lynch
> any more alienating than Godard though?  . . . .  Are the longeurs in BÚla
> Tarr so much different from those in Antonioni?"  I think this is an
> intriguing point of view.
>
> I still, however, have great difficulty in either enjoying these films or
> analyzing them.  Let's see how it all plays out, whether their current high
> reputation will continue and what critics write about them in the future.
>
>                       --With warm regards,
>
>                                           Norm
> normholland(at)gmail.com
>
>
> A query.  As I review non-Hollywood films for our local Film Club, I am
> > struck by the admiration and awards accorded filmmakers in the style of
> > Raoul Ruiz, Bela Tarr, Andrei Tarkovsky, or David Lynch.  They seem to me
> > to be occupying the place in the pantheon that Bergman, Fellini, or
> > Antonioni occupied in the '60s.  Yet they also seem to me to have almost
> > totally abandoned conventional ideas of story, character, and motivation
> > while providing extraordinary effects in individual shots and scenes.
> > Bergman famously said of Tarkovsky, that he had developed "a new
> language,
> > true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as
> a
> > dream."
> >
> > Do you have any explanation for this change in taste?  And how does one
> > set one's mind to enjoy this kind of film?
> >
>
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