Author: Tony Williams <[log in to unmask]> Date: 12/13/94 12:35 PM [Editor's note: This message was submitted to SCREEN-L by the "Author" noted above, and not by Jeremy Butler ([log in to unmask]).] From: Tony Williams English SIUC This is a good posting, Don. Many of Eisenstein's goals for a film production course have never been properly realized, certainly not in VGIK. Unlike the utilitarian nature of most film production courses, Eisenstein stressed the value of art and culture as indispensable guides towards any creative film production. Uusually, a vast gap exists between production and studies/ theory, the latter usually tolerated in programs as a means of getting the appropriate accreditation or keeping M.F.A. programs in existence. While most film production students attempt to combine mentally and physically exhausting production coursses with studies courses (usually in the same semester) the malaise will continue. Eisenstein saw arts and culture operat- ing dialectically with the production process. His later writings attempt to realize Wagner's old goal of the "Gesamtkunst" - the total work of Art, something attempted occasionally (e.g. The Archers) but used rejected and trampled upon by philistine economics. This is a valuable insight still awaiting realization. If not, some film production courses will remain at the level of trade schools or mere avenues for those waiting to make the right contacts and"break intothe industry." With the decline of Arts Funding and State aid (e.g. Poland and most of Eastern Europe now), Film is now in danger of becoming the Visual Equivalent of McDonalds or Burger King in the last decade of this century.