Dear Leo (and everyone else):
Surely many people on this list serve would agree with me
that there is a *big* difference between the truly important
theorization of technology provided by, say, Jean-Louis
Baudry in his classic essay "Ideological Effects of the Basic
Cinematic Apparatus" (or Walter Benjamin in "The Work of Art
in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction") and the kind of
rhetoric which so disinterests me...
I'm thinking now about the typical laser disc fetishist,
hanging out at the video store all day, working him or
herself up into a frenzy because IT'S ALWAYS FAIR
WEATHER--composed for 2.55:1--was letterboxed at 2.35:1.
("Okay, okay. You're right. I'll sign your petition. Can
we talk about something else now, please?")
It seems that far too often discussions of this sort become
ends in and of themselves rather than part of a lager
discussion of what (I would say) is really exciting about the
cinema. People more interested in discussing the Technicolor
reds in VERTIGO than in the topics that film raises about
misogyny, voyeurism, and the cultural construction of
femininity seem to me willfully (even distressingly) blind to
what's crucial... crucial not just in film but in life.
Finally, Leo, I admit I was a bit chagrined that you caught
me in the mistake of referring to the non-existent Super
VistaVision. (I'm *sure* I meant to say Super Panavision).
But I hope you'll share my feeling of embarrassment when you
realize that you yourself have lead us astray in your
posting. You suggest that DEATH BY HANGING was directed by
Yasujiro Ozu. It was, in fact, a film made by Ozu's former
apprentice, Nagisa Oshima. I can't remember what process it
was shot in, but I do recall it as one of the most moving
films I've ever seen.
Best to all!
Daniel Isaac Humphrey
Department of Art & Art History
University of Rochester
424 Morey Hall
Rochester NY 14627-0456
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite