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February 1995, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 5 Feb 1995 11:40:52 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
PBRamaeker writes:
>>Excuse me, we shouldn't write on one of the most influential cultural forms
of the contemporary period? In fact, should we not analyze anything,
claiming that it's the artist's vision? I should think this is patently
ridiculous; I wouldn't even bother to respond, but for Christ's sake, maybe
you should get onto another discussion group! Maybe you've missed this,
but "analysis" is our job!<<
Well excuse the hell out of me for offering my opinion. Maybe you should have
listened to your mother when she told you about the "not having anything nice
to say" etc....etc...
But since you brought it up, allow me to respond in kind.
GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE! Over intellectualization of art tends to kill it.
You want to discuss how much MTV has influenced present day socitey? fine,
I'll discuss it all day, and even agree with you. But to start tearing apart
a 3:00 chunk of tape, wondering if it's post-industrial etc. IMHO is
right-out silly. If you think I'm an uneducated boor, fine, but whilst you
proclaim your richeousness, I'm in some burned-out wharehouse in Brooklyn
MAKING THE DAMN THINGS! Talk to the director or DP and they tell you what
they're doing, transferring the message of the musician's song from an aural
to a visual medium. The director & DP conspire to do so in a visually
pleasing and entertaining way. You might find 1 in 1000 where they're trying
to send some esoteric message through their work. The message in 99.99% of
the videos out there is simple and straightforward: This is our song, this is
what we look like, this is what we're talking about in the song, now go buy
our record. The art therein is in the lighting done for a specific shot that
looks really cool, or some edit combination that works really well. This art,
however, is usually wasted on those who don't notice the work that went into
something, and are instead looking for some deeply hidden message. Or wonder
if the director was influenced by Einstein, or Griffith, or Lynch, whoever.
Most likely, they were influenced by Madonna, or Jackson, or REM, or
Aerosmith....or even MORE likely, by the fact that the artist wanted a video
& they got the label to put up $20k to throw something on film.
Art is art. If you like it, it's art. If I hate it, it's STILL art. The
influence it has over anyone nonwithstanding. People that put too much
over-analysis into something without the benefit of asking the creator are
usually blowing wind. Ask the person who made it, THERE"S your analysis, and
the ONLY one that counts. If someone came up to me and said "ohh..I see, you
were influenced by the work of Sergi Eisenstein in that video you did" I
would simply tell them to take a hike, because the influence I had when
shooting that day was the miserable rate I was getting and how cold I was. I
shoot to follow a story, make it visually stimulating, and followy the
storyline of the song...NOT to re-create the Odessa Steps.
Do you see what I mean? The ONLY vision and analysis of what the
artist/cinematographer "was trying to say" is what the artist/cinematographer
SAYS it is..if you want to disagree with them, then have fun in your little
world mumbling to yourself "he doesn't know what he means...he just doesn't
Sorry for the ramble, but this is a little pet peeve of mine. Get out of the
book and into reality.