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November 1994


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Claudio Fernandes <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 1 Nov 1994 03:40:15 -0500
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>>Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't there plenty of "message" movies
>>that came out before 1963???
>>While they were aimed mainly towards a broad
>>audience and did emphasize "story", their messages still came through
>>quite dramatically and were definitely intrinsic to the film's appeal.
This was an answer that kind of synthesizes moral and visual arguments
against James Tichenor's MEME of Oiver Stone's aesthetic stupidity. What do
people have against stories? Different stories are told in many different
ways, the same stories are built differently, and different stories are
repeated over and over again in a pretended "new" way. Every movie carry a
story of some sort. Every movie is made out of a representation of reality
filtered by production and post-production work. The final result of this
work depends upon the relationship between the power of creation, from the
part of some of the artists involved in the project, and the power of
finance. The final result of this dynamic is a product that is aimed toward
markets. The financial success of the product that has entertainment as the
main engine to affect and communicate an audience depends sometimes on strict
marketing and cartel-like domination by the distributors, that are also main
producers of FILMS/MOVIES (I like FILM better, is more universal
languagewise.) Other times, without much of the "propaganda massiva", the
sole magic of CINEMA - the bold essence of the medium as material fact and
intelectual concept - breaks through to success for its special style on
enunciating values and ideas through a story, any story (documentaries
CINEMA is art and business tied together in an industrial mode of production,
but it is also magic. What does that mean? That the production and
distribution process to making films obbeys the same bare logic as the making
of a car, a nail, or a computer. Although, being part of the
creative-artistic realm, CINEMA is a product that enchants. I mean, its
technique is based on creating illusions that seduces our heart and mind. As
art It doesn't matter when a film was made as much as the technological
aspect. There's nothing much else one need to do to make a film technically
and aesthetically brilliant that wasn't already sedimented by the "film
pioneers" - those weren't all necessarilly Americans, in fact the Russians,
Germans, and Surrealists were light-years ahead of the theatre slaved
American cinema of the first decades.
Quentin Tarantino is successful in "Pulp Fiction" for many already posted
moral issues, but he's is also essentially successful for the way he handled
the cinematographic language to pass visions and build illusions. He
definetely has many inffluences throughout CINEMA history. Somebody asked for
a tip on something Novelle Vague in Pulp Fiction: the death of Vincent
(Travolta) is unthinkable before Goddard's "A Bout de Souffle". I don't even
care if Tarantino saw or not Goddard's film (which I tend to beleive he did),
but the decisions made by the Swiss-French replicated throughout many other
films and later TV programs. If you, that decided to abolish the knowledge of
film history as an important quality of a film Director, instead of seeing
Goddard's film watched many non-melodramatic sudden death of a protagonist on
TV, probably wouldn't come up with the brilliant idea of the non-linear
narrative to bring the extremely likable Vincent back to the screen. You
probably wouldn't understand either why we are introduced to Butch in a long
static sequence. For a long time we hear Marcellus watching Butch hearing
Marcellus. Would that ever be attempted in the "MTV/quick cuts" age if the
Director didn't know about Kuleshov's experience? Again, I don't care if he
saw it or not, though I'm sure he at least knows about it.
I disagree with the film/movie formula as much as I do with the
story/non-story bullony. Every film has one or many stories ("while Bunuel
made many films using many dreams," Goddard said he "could make a whole film
centered on one dream"). Furthermore every film has its subliminal
communicative component. I think that lies there the enduring value of a
film. As we know  the establishment sucks the avant gard juices to produce
tasty and tasteless films  latter. Of course, taste we don't argue about
- Claudio Fernandes - [log in to unmask]
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"So many films, so little time."             I don't consume "Stargate".