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March 1995, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 8 Mar 1995 20:37:49 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
<<This is just the re-emergence of the old art vs. entertainment
argument in jazzy deconstructionist clothes. I don't buy it.
        Don't buy what?  You'll have to expand on that point (if
        you want to) cause I'm not sure exactly what you're
        saying.  That the art vs. entertainment debate isn't
        valid at all?  That you already know the answer to it?
        I'd appreciate if you could elucidate.>>
Obviously you have a right to your views and I have a right to mine. However,
when you choose to put your views in a public forum, why are you so shocked
to have them challenged? I did not intend this to be a personal attack on you
(I don't KNOW you.)
To me, the implication that the attitude of Tarantino and Letterman et al is
superior to attitudes that have preceded it, is not a defensible stance. What
you appear to be saying is that, since that attitude (which is a denial of
meaning-a reduction of all things to the level of a joke) is appealing to you
it is somehow aesthetically superior to what has come before. What you seem
to be saying is that any differing attitude is a sentimental, less true
approach to life and art.
It is that advancing of your own world view as inherently superior to what
has come before that bothers me. Yes, the unpredictability, the
meaninglessness of life, as you say, is a valid view. I often see it myself
in life and art. However, to denigrate any other view, on the supposition
that it has some "morality" (which seems to be a dirty word for you) instead
of the "cool" amorality you enjoy, is simply too narrow a view for me.
To me, the joy of being alive is in contemplating the wonderful variety of
attitudes and views of the world which a medium like film can provide. Your
view, as I interpret it, is a narrowing of options, an unwillingnes to have
your world view challenged. Has it ever occured to you that there was some
intellectual life before Tarantino and Letterman and that it might have
something to teach you? I get the feeling that you don't have a rich
background in the history of movies -- that you are letting preconceptions,
rather than actual experience, dictate your position.
Of course, I could be wrong about this. Neither of us here is creating holy
writ. It's just an exchange of views, which might teach us all some things we
hadn't considered before.
Gene Stavis, School of Visual Arts - NYC