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June 1996, Week 1


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Murray Pomerance <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 31 May 1996 11:43:10 -0400
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I have to admit I rather liked Meryem Ersoz's very thoughtful comment
about how it is helpful to students (and others) to be able to reject a
work of art, in the name of building a set of coherent values.  But the
incisiveness and gentleness of Meryem's writing, which did utterly sway
me, still don't bring me comfort when something I think is very special
is rejected.  So be it, Meryem--I must be some kind of deist in the end.
I just won't reject the matter-that-is-above-criticism, but I would like
to think (and I hope I'm not being hopelessly self-serving in this) that
I wouldn't be likely to find elevated to such a plateau material that is
debasing.  And then up pops the question of whether the material *exists*
on a plateau, or whether *I put it there* and blah blah blah.  We could
go on and on, and we will.  But look just very very very briefly at
something in BLOW-UP, for a tiny case in point:  at the end, after the
evening pot party and before the morning of the awakening of the
photographer in the same flat, there is a temporal transition
accomplished by Antonioni, where we are focussed on a white sculpture in
a reddish atrium (that leads to the "back room") and some people--I think
the girl with black hair and the long white dress among them--have moved
into the back room--and we hear the chattering voices, and the voices
slowly disappear, and after we have silence, the camera pans and it's
morning.  So time passes through sound alone.  And it's just simply one
of the most beautiful transitions I know.  I know, too, that Meryem would
agree.  And if some student says, "I didn't stay to watch that.  The film
was sexist bullshit," I just have to feel anguished and sad.
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