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July 2008, Week 2


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Peter Longworth <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 15 Jul 2008 08:23:47 +1000
text/plain (66 lines)
Hello Mike

This is an interesting issue you raise. The Australian Broadcasting 
Corporation (ABC) which is the equivalent of your BBC here does some 
atrocious things to programming. They showed the excellently produced 
'Bleak House' as 50 minute programming, when they were actually 
designed to run 30 minutes. I find the 30 minute presentation time 
favourable to the 50 minute running time - basically two episodes 
joined together.

Worst still is with the way the ABC presents their documentaries. Ten 
or so years ago they showed documentaries on the architect Franck 
Llyod Wright, my parents had seen the original documentary while 
holidaying in America in the mid 1990s and were appalled to notice 
the ABC were showing the documentary minus 60 minutes of its running time.
Other documentaries on famous film composer Bernard Herrmann and 
Bette Davis "The Stardust" documentaries were savagely cut. I have 
the Bette Davis documentary on a DVD boxset and notice how severely 
the cutting of this documentary was.

The television stations (PBS & BBC) should be forced to show the full 
documentary - cut documentaries don't work because:

1) They're inferior
2) It's pretty obvious they've been cut to fit programming schedules
3) It's not how the original director made his work.
4) If a cinema cut a movie to fit running times they'd be in breach 
of copyright
5) Television stations need to show the full product

My advice is to write to the major newspaper in your city, write to 
the television station etc. Sadly, I'm sorry to say the ABC is very 
biased in how they handle complaints. They're happy to air their 
left-wing propaganda on media shows like Media Watch, but when the 
heat is on them they're selectively ignore airing reports criticising 
the running of their TV shows. They also seem reluctant to run 
corrections for mistakes they've made on their shows, Media Watch especially


At 11:24 PM 14/07/2008, you wrote:
>a question about PBS "masterpiece" presentations of BBC material 
>[with the usual apologies for duplication]
>i chanced last night to watch the PBS "masterpiece mystery" 
>presentation of an episode from the BBC's "foyle's war" series, and 
>there were some aspects of the narrative structure of the program 
>that seemed to me very peculiar . . . . it's possible that the beeb 
>[with whose programs i'm largely unfamiliar] uses a different model 
>of narrative organization than i'm used to -- but i suppose it's 
>also possible that PBS re-edited the program [for audience and/or 
>time considerations] and that some of the things i noticed were 
>distortions of the original . . .
>so . . . does anyone know whether PBS mucks around with beeb 
>originals before presenting them, or whether they are presented in 
>substantially original form?
>thanks for any clues

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