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Re: [a_film_by] Re: Andy

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  • Dan Sallitt
    ... There s always been a funny power dynamic between the avant-garde and the narrative people – probably we should try not to be distracted by such things.
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 22, 2012
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      > As for myself, well,
      > having to suffer the grandiose pretensions of avant-garde undergraduates at
      > SUNY Purchase who regarded themselves as great artistes was enough to turn
      > me off the whole movement.

      There's always been a funny power dynamic between the avant-garde and
      the narrative people – probably we should try not to be distracted by
      such things. In the last ten years, I’m pushing myself more and
      finding more and more non-narrative filmmakers whose work I like. But
      I still can’t get rid of the feeling that narrative changes the game
      in amazing and sophisticated ways. - Dan
    • tharpa2002
      ... There s always been a funny power dynamic between the avant-garde and the narrative people...I still can�t get rid of the feeling that narrative changes
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 22, 2012
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        --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt <sallitt@...> wrote:

        "There's always been a funny power dynamic between the avant-garde and
        the narrative people...I still can�t get rid of the feeling that narrative changes the game in amazing and sophisticated ways."

        Many years ago Fred Camper worked out a theory that tried to unify avant-garde and narrative by finding a common underlying factor that he described as light reflected from a screen. The light can be modified in different ways, starting with relatively simple modifications such as "flicker" films or movies like MOTHLIGHT and TEXT OF LIGHT moving to heavier modifications such as representative images, representative images with sound, with stories, etc.

        On genre of avant-garde movie that somewhat bridges narrative and non-narrative is the "trance" film like MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON or FRAGMENT OF SEEKING. Then there are the avant-garde narratives of Straub-Huillet.

        Richard M
      • Rick S
        I don t know if Koyaanisqatsi qualifies as avant-garde , but it is a feature length non-narrative movie that didn t bore me. And that is the thing -- if a
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 22, 2012
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          I don't know if "Koyaanisqatsi" qualifies as "avant-garde", but it is a feature length "non-narrative" movie that didn't bore me. And that is the thing -- if a filmmaker can make a genuinely "avant-garde" movie lacking a "story" that can hold my attention for 80 minutes or more, I will celebrate.


          --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, "tharpa2002" <tharpa2002@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Dan Sallitt <sallitt@> wrote:
          >
          > "There's always been a funny power dynamic between the avant-garde and
          > the narrative people...I still can�t get rid of the feeling that narrative changes the game in amazing and sophisticated ways."
          >
          > Many years ago Fred Camper worked out a theory that tried to unify avant-garde and narrative by finding a common underlying factor that he described as light reflected from a screen. The light can be modified in different ways, starting with relatively simple modifications such as "flicker" films or movies like MOTHLIGHT and TEXT OF LIGHT moving to heavier modifications such as representative images, representative images with sound, with stories, etc.
          >
          > On genre of avant-garde movie that somewhat bridges narrative and non-narrative is the "trance" film like MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON or FRAGMENT OF SEEKING. Then there are the avant-garde narratives of Straub-Huillet.
          >
          > Richard M
          >
        • Dan Sallitt
          ... The line is so porous - even the most one-sided viewer has to cross it sometimes. A lot of the difference between narrative and non-narrative traditions
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 22, 2012
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            > On genre of avant-garde movie that somewhat bridges narrative and
            > non-narrative is the "trance" film like MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON or FRAGMENT
            > OF SEEKING. Then there are the avant-garde narratives of Straub-Huillet.

            The line is so porous - even the most one-sided viewer has to cross it
            sometimes.

            A lot of the difference between narrative and non-narrative traditions
            has less to do with the presence or absence of narrative than it does
            with the influence of totally different film cultures. For instance,
            when Brakhage scratches the emulsion, he's sort of allying himself
            with a fine-art tradition in which the celluloid is the medium. But
            one of the subtle points of the Bazinian revolution, which early
            auteurism grew out of, is that the true medium of film isn't the
            emulsion on celluloid, but is rather the ontological realism of the
            photograph. Like any other gap, this one can be shortened or bridged.
            But it's a real difference.

            In a very general way, the avant-garde grew out of various "pure
            cinema" traditions of the 20s and 30s, and consequently many
            avant-garde filmmakers still give editing the primacy that comes from
            it being a film-specific function. Whereas one of Bazin's
            transformations was a strong advocacy of impure cinema and of the
            value of relationships between cinema and the older art forms.
            Editing was therefore downgraded to some extent in post-Bazinian
            culture. Again, not an either-or thing, but a case of different
            parentage.

            My impression is that today's auteurist-influenced young cinephiles
            have mostly embraced avant-garde filmmaking, and that the generation
            of auteurists who gave the avant-garde a hard time is passing slowly
            from this earth. - Dan
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