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July 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
james s keyrissg <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 21 Jul 1994 22:29:39 -0600
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (57 lines)
On Thu, 21 Jul 1994 [log in to unmask] wrote:
> Unfortunately, I wasn't as excited about this film as the pro-mo's and
> reviews made me think I'd be.  I think I was bothered by the film wanting
> to have it two ways: 1) no "real" representation of Gould but for his
> recordings--no photographs, films, drawings of the real guy--so no
> real VISUAL representation; 2) a very verisimilar choice to have only
> one performer portray the man for the whole film (but for the childhood
> scenes, of course).  I wanted a variety of men playing the guy, alongside
> some "real" footage, and any other kinds of representation the filmmakers
> could get their hands and cameras on.  If the idea is to show many different
> people's impressions of the man, then wouldn't they all, in some way,
> "see" a different man?
(portion deleted)
> As for other "experimental" documentaries, how about the Noam Chompsky film?
> Bye,
> [log in to unmask]
I haven't seen "32 Short..." yet bringing up "Manufacturing Consent" gets
to a nagging point concerning documentary/film.  The makers of "MC"
decided to make Chomsky more relevant to more people by committing the
same sort of simplifications and tricks that are central to Chomsky's model
of "manufactured consent".   Despite this, I found the "MC" watching
experience great, if for no other reason than I was able to sit in a
large room watching a film about a person I greatly admire with others
who felt the same way.  At the same time, I wondered if simply having
Chomsky talk in front of a camera for three hours would have been a more
"effective" form.
At the same time I am reminded of the PBS/BBC series "Connections"
narrated by James Burke (I think I'm thinking of this from watching Burke
as a BBC reporter on the Apollo 13 doc. that was on PBS last night).  As
a kid watching this series, with its flash segments, witty scripting and
breakneck pace, I was able to better "connect" with what was a fairly
complicated view on technology/change.  Having Burke just talk to the
camera would have left me changing channels until Monty Python came on.
To complete the circle, I personally would rather have a screening of
Gould's CBC concerts, without interruption.  But would that be a
documentary/film?  Is the purpose here to broaden knowledge of a
phenomenon or not?  Is the purpose to synthesize through the filmmaker's
eyes the phenomenon in order to educate/enlighten?  I think, despite its
flaws, that "Manufacturing Consent" should be shown on all three
networks on a continuous loop from now until the November elections.
Maybe the end DOES justify the means...I think I'll shut up now and just
go see the damn Glenn Gould movie.
Scott Key               XXXXX   "Jane, stop this crazy thing!"- G. Jetson
[log in to unmask]      OOOOO   "Better get a new hat!" --Bullwinkle