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July 1995, Week 1


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Mike Frank <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 5 Jul 1995 22:47:13 -0400
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> On Wed, 28 Jun 1995, Mike Frank wrote:
> > Actually it may be a kind of dancing on the head of a pin question, but then
> > i suppose that all theory is subject to the same strictures . . . it's
> > clear that for many of us video is the only way to go . . . but that doesn't
> > address the question of why it's merely second best, of why steve fore would
> > "prefer to use film."  The fundamental question remains, and it is a nagging
> > one: what, IN PRINCIPLE, is lost when we access cinematic texts through
> > channels?
> >
> >
> I'm not quite sure what you mean here.  I don't see much "principle"
> involved.  The practical fact remains that a 16mm image (on a good print)
> still offers better resolution than the best non-HDTV video image.
> However, the trade-offs are beginning to even out.  In my class
> last night, for instance, we watched Aliens on disc on our brand-new big
> (big!) screen video projection system.  Incredibly good, wall-rattling
> sound, of course, widescreen (not available in 16mm, is it?), freeze
> frame capability and all that, and way better image resolution than our
> previous system was capable of.  However, that image was *still* not as
> good as a good 16mm image, although I was startled especially by the
> improvement in the capacity to deal with reds.  Also, the projected
> image of widescreen laser discs is significantly smaller than that of
> widescreen 16mm prints (e.g., when I use Red Sorghum on 16, the visual image
> is suitably overwhelming--but the sound isn't as good).  So: I want my HDTV
> (and not that HDTV-lite exon they're working on).
 . . . now, these comments on comments on comments get really unwieldy so let
me respond very briefly and put the question as brutally as possible: while
there's no doubt that film gives more resolutiuon than video, why is that
important?  exactly what information does that extra detail provide?  (i
don't doubt that there's more PLEASURE in watching a good film version . . .
but is that really all that's at stake?
what i'm hoping to find is reasoned arguments explaining why the experience
of film is substatively and epistemically different from that of video
are there such arguments to be made, or is pleasure in viewing enough of a
ground for institutionalizing prerferences?
mike frank  <[log in to unmask]>
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