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September 1992


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 16 Sep 1992 21:53:24 EDT
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At the risk of being Aesthetically Incorrect (a varient no doubt on politically
incorrect), I think some of the Ted Turner bashing here is a bit unfair.
TRUE, Turner is the man behind colorization and may justly be criticized.
My feeling about colorization is that it is an excellent technology
 inappropriately applied. Think what that technology could do towards restoring
color prints rather than overlaying color onto black and white prints. But,
I think TNT makes many authetic contributions to film culture. It has brought
back to television many prints which were previously available only in
archives. I have looked closely at early 30s films which I studied at archives
while doing my forthcoming book on early sound comedy and I have never found
any deletions from them when they are aired on TNT, unlike almost any other
station I can consider. He has even for a while had a late night program
called Film School which focused on films, such as BABYFACE or BLONDE VENUS
which were chosen, presumedly, because of their importance in current debates
within our discipline. There is someone or someones in Turner's operation who
respects film  and film scholarship, which is surprising given all the flack
he has received from us over colorization, which, knowing Turner, would probably
 have been much more short-lived if we hadn't tried to bully him into
 submission. So, given that history, I am not at all surprised to learn that his
operation is taking the lead on letterboxing.
--Henry Jenkins, MIT