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July 1995, Week 1


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Gene Stavis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 30 Jun 1995 18:40:56 -0700
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 it obviously is easier, less
annoying, more pleaant, to read a poem that is printed clearly on clean
paper, than it is to read the very same poem handwritten over the print on an
old sheet of newspaper . . . but isn't the poem exactly the same in both
cases? . . . does the text itself change when the medium of delivery changes?
. . . on the face of it, it would seem not
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Mike Frank continues to frame this issue in terms of literary examples. It is
as if he ascribes no value whatsoever to the quality of the image. As long as
the literary values are intact, he seems to feel that he has had the entire
cinematic experience.
Even the improved sound so highly touted in these forums serves to further
diminish and throw out of balance the visual aspects of the film. Seeing
degraded visual images on tv, surrounded by the highest of high tech sound is
NOT a good thing, necessarily.
I have repeatedly said that necessity makes the use of video the only way to
go for many teachers. But, why oh why this obsession with proving that video
is "as good" as film. In terms of visual quality, it is simply not. And all
this talk of the "quality of light" is just a straw man. As far as I can
tell, no-one has advanced this argument except Mike Frank.
What I have said and continue to say is that, given a choice, the cinematic
experience is better served on film than on video. I don't see how this is
even a question. Since most people cannot take a field trip to the Louvre,
reproductions must serve to experience the Mona Lisa. But is anyone seriously
saying that the reproduction is better?
Gene Stavis, School of Visual Arts - NYC
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