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Mike Frank writes:

>...that he interviews constance penley--whom he treats quite fairly--and
>visits a class by branigan, to whom he is less fair

I didn't think Penley came out of it in a particularly positive light
either.  The article gave the impression that she was an aloof academic,
more interested in French cultural activism of the 1960s (e.g. likening her
enthusiasm for Metz like a teenager's idolisation of a pop singer) than
helping her students forge successful careers; an impression which is
reinforced by emphasising the fact that the students from her department
who have been successful were there before Penley and Branigan turned the
programme's emphasis toward theory.  I wonder what she thought about the
way the article turned out, or even if she knew that Weddle was doing a
demolition job?

But the detailed description of Branigan's personal appearance in order to
portray him as a loony leftie extremist social misfit was a cheap shot, and
furthermore it was an unnecessary one.  Personally I believe that there are
very powerful, evidence-based arguments to suggest that the ways in which
cultural, literary, Marxist and critical theories are used in an attempt to
understand the production and consumption of cinema are fundamentally
invalid and have had their day.  So there's no need to resort to personal
character assassination to do the job, because there are much better tools
available.

Leo

Dr. Leo Enticknap
Curator, Northern Region Film and Television Archive
School of Arts and Media
University of Teesside
Middlesbrough  TS1 3BA
United Kingdom
Tel. +44-(0)1642 384022
Fax. +44-(0)1642 384099
Mobile: +44-(0)7739 412022
Web: http://www.nrfta.org.uk/

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