SCREEN-L Archives

July 1994


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
"Keith R. Crosley" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Jul 1994 17:02:34 MDT
text/plain (52 lines)
Guy Rosefelt asks:
>Another question would be: why can't we enjoy a film for it's own sake?
To which I ask:  What, exactly, is "enjoying a film for it's own sake"?
It seems to me that Kurt Gegenhuber has already suggested one possible
meaning of "enjoyment" as it relates to film.  Perhaps you disagree with
his analysis, but don't you see that saying, "I really enjoyed that film!"
only gets us so far?
Whether somebody enjoyed a film or not is *not very interesting* unless
such a statement is made in the context of a review that I might be
using to decide whether or not I would enjoy a certain film.  There's
nothing wrong with film reviews, but SCREEN-L isn't really "about"
reviews.  This is the "Film and TV Studies Discussion List".  One might
suppose that people who subscribe to this list are interested in HOW
and WHY films are enjoyed.  We can safely assume that they enjoy film
in general.
Different people have different ways of making meaning of films.  Some
of those people have more obvious "political" intentions than others.
All of them, however, are speaking from some sort of "subject position",
"ideological perspective", or "point of view".
A statement like "Why can't we enjoy a film for it's own sake?" often
seems to be trying to say, "Why can't 'you' shut up about your particular
viewpoint?" where the offending viewpoint is usually perceived to be
some sort of "identity politics".  Perhaps a better tactic would be to
start a new thread, giving your OWN interpretation of a certain film.
But don't be surprised when someone takes issue with your interpretation.
That's the "discussion" part.
Also, the discussion here tends to have an "academic" slant.  That is,
the discussions often highlight or foreground competing ideologies.
"Leftist" ideologies will often get "slammed" by voices from the right.
"Conservative" ideologies will often get "slammed" by voices from the
left.  Deal with it.  There is, however, no real room for a completely
reductionist and essentialist view that posits film as "entertainment
pure and simple".  Such a view implies that there is nothing to be said
about film, that film is simple, and that film is pure.  All of this
is demonstrably untrue.
It's perfectly acceptable to be neither bothered nor stimulated by a
certain film.  But in that case, there's nothing much to discuss, is there?
Keith R. Crosley        [log in to unmask]
Director, Technical Communication
Research Systems, Inc.
2995 Wilderness Place
Boulder, CO  80301