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December 1994, Week 2


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 13 Dec 1994 17:07:04 CST
text/plain (30 lines)
Author:  Tony Williams <[log in to unmask]>
Date:    12/13/94 12:35 PM
[Editor's note:  This message was submitted to SCREEN-L by the "Author" noted
above, and not by Jeremy Butler ([log in to unmask]).]
From: Tony Williams
 This is a good posting, Don. Many of Eisenstein's goals for a film production
course have never been properly realized, certainly not in VGIK.
  Unlike the utilitarian nature of most film production courses, Eisenstein
stressed the value of art and culture as indispensable guides towards any
creative film production. Uusually, a vast gap exists between production and
studies/ theory, the latter usually tolerated in programs as a means of getting
the appropriate accreditation or keeping M.F.A. programs in existence. While
most film production students attempt to combine mentally and physically
exhausting production coursses with studies courses (usually in the same
semester) the malaise will continue. Eisenstein saw arts and culture operat-
ing dialectically with the production process. His later writings attempt to
realize Wagner's old goal of the "Gesamtkunst" - the total work of Art,
something attempted occasionally (e.g. The Archers) but used rejected and
trampled upon by philistine economics.
 This is a valuable insight still awaiting realization. If not, some film
production courses will remain at the level of trade schools or mere
avenues for those waiting to make the right contacts and"break intothe
industry." With the decline of Arts Funding and State aid (e.g. Poland and
most of Eastern Europe now), Film is now in danger of becoming the Visual
Equivalent of McDonalds or Burger King in the last decade of this century.