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October 1996, Week 4


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Justine Sawyier <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 22 Oct 1996 12:51:45 -0400
text/plain (39 lines)
In a message dated 96-10-22 09:48:59 EDT, Mark Devlin wrote:
<< That said make your period drama or sci-fi epic, do it on video and you'll
 still have one film more than critics who complain about a lack of quality
 image. >>
I don't usually write to the list, but in reading over the latest batch I was
surprised to find the above comment.  It seems that Mr. Devlin is under the
illusion that all critics are frustrated filmmakers, and doesn't think that
film criticism is a valid aesthetics field.  Was Mr. Devlin referring to
newspaper critics, or is this statement applicable in his mind to academics
as well?  Mr. Devlin's comment seems to reinforce the attitude in film
circles, that directing is the height to which all aspire, and that all other
aspects of filmmaking are subservient to the direction, and somehow, a less
valid pursuit.  I'm curious as to other people's reactions to this comment.
Regarding the question of video or film:
 The post process can make video just as expensive as film.  If you are
looking for a "film look" why not just shoot on film rather than going
through elaborate machinations to fake it?  Given that the quality of the
image is an intrinsic aspect of any visual medium, shouldn't one take every
opportunity to make the visuals as good as possible?  If the visuals are bad,
the "critics" would be quite right in condemning something as amateurish and
visually unappealing.  If you are going to ask people to sit in a dark room,
or for that matter on their living room couch, for extended periods of time,
shouldn't they see something that is well-thought out both in plot and
In any event, good luck with it!
Justine Sawyier
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