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August 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Charley Murphy <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 30 Aug 1994 00:17:07 EDT
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Let me elaborate a bit on my theory that NBK's [oliver stone's --natural born
killers] style has MTV as one of its origins.
MTV [generic term for actual MTV plus the world of music videos] seems to be
the inheritor of the LOOK of the "experimental filmmakers" -- a group in the
40's [?], 50's and 60's which existed in a noncommercially viable underground
of personal filmmaking. This group which includes Stan Brakhage, Kenneth
Anger, Harry Smith, and Maya Deren attacked "narrative film" as if it were an
enemy, the establishment way of seeing. When I say the LOOK there is perhaps
a judgement of appropriation here, where the artists techniques [experiments
in editing, variable film stocks, painting on film, strange animation, etc.]
are now part of our vocabulary where the artists borrowed from are mostly
forgotten. The typical music video has been borrowing these 'experiments'
and, of course, building on them, cannibalizing each other, etc. for some
time now. The "goal" is different -- "Know my band; buy my music".
I feel that Stone is one of the first [at least of this generation] who is
re-appropriating [?] i.e. returning these techniques to art. I think the
general movie-going public will be richer for it as I feel these techniques
are better analogies to the way the mind actually works than most films which
remain "filmed plays" [albeit with great effects]. However, it is a sort of
line in the sand. If one has never watched MTV, music videos or experimental
films [though its hard to believe that advertising which is now FULL of these
techniques hasn't had at least as much impact] one might think that this is a
foreign language being force fed by boomer-psychedelia-nostalgia.