The Death of Cinema pt. 94

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Given yr poopooing of masterpiece-hunters, how the fuck do you measure aesthetic advances then, quitit? Most avant-garde films I've seen recently are, as usual, fucking empty.

you kind of answer yourself there. what aesthetic advances do you see in art-house cinema? i sort of think it's hard to separate technological from aesthetic questions, personally, though that can lead to hyping sheer novelty.

the avant-garde i'm thinking of is bunuel, franju, marker, that kind of tradition. not empty at all. but not really thriving now either.

I'm trying to make a list of the best films of the decade thus far, and I'm hard-pressed to find more than 6 or 7 I consider 'excellent,' let alone great. I think the even SOMEWHAT trad narrative feature... well, almost everything's been done. Even more than ever.

i don't understand this impulse, to treat cinema like this. why can't it be as ephemeral as music or theatre or literature?

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

because ephemeral = worthless.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:27 (7 years ago) Permalink

no it isn't.

to shakespeare's audiences, his plays were ephemeral. they changed through the run and were then forgotten, except by the performers.

why is that a bad model for other media?

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

Film has always had a difficulty straddling the importance it desires academically, and the cold hard fact that it is run as a business AND HAS TO RUN AS A BUSINESS cos it costs a lot of money to make.

Why cinema isn't dead. Because it no longer costs quite as much money to make. This is still in its infancy though of being exploited because the word cinema also means exhibition IN THE CINEMA. But as the study of cinema likes to think of its subject preserved in aspic (Celluloid, or if a bit modern DVD), they miss out on the importance of the ephemeral. Same as it ever was.

Same Sight & Sound has a terrific suggestion on how the multiplex could be used to the casual viewers advantage as exhibition costs go massively down. Get fifty friends, or (fifty facebook people - social networking possibly being the cornerstone of this idea) who want to see a film, any film avilible for digital projection, go see the film in a cinema. Hopefully a clever inner city cinema (with a good bar) will toy with this suggestion, as it strikes me that there is plenty of money in them thar hills (particularly money over the bar which is pretty much pure profit in a good cinema).

Pete, Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:43 (7 years ago) Permalink

the avant-garde i'm thinking of is bunuel, franju, marker, that kind of tradition. not empty at all. but not really thriving now either.

I think I've said it before and I'll say it again: Inland Empire saved my cinephilia for the time being. I'm not even positive it was a great movie, but it did that much.

Eric H., Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

I don't think of Bunuel as being avant-garde

Tom D., Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:48 (7 years ago) Permalink

(x-post) That's ed, I'm still trying to work myself away from the sort of cinephilia that ebbs and flows with the whole "summer movies/Oscar season" calendar.

Eric H., Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:48 (7 years ago) Permalink

re the Shakespearean model, because cinema is an inherently repeatable experience now. And we have indoor plumbing.

IE did something similar on a smaller scale for me, even moreso (maybe) The Joy of Life.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

'chien andalou' and 'l'age d'or' are sorta avant-garde, tom.

i can take or leave his other stuff.

xpost

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

The E in the R is HBO as the new studio system, 8 pages on the Sopranos in the NYRB, hi-def tvs larger than many minor multiplex screens etc etc etc.

Apatow is just fine, but he's never going to be involved in anything as good as 'Freaks & Geeks' unless he goes back to telly...

Stevie T, Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:50 (7 years ago) Permalink

'chien andalou' and 'l'age d'or' are sorta avant-garde, tom.

But those are more about the art world than cinema! To use your phrases.

Tom D., Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:51 (7 years ago) Permalink

the golden age of TV is over.

s1ocki, Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

otm

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:02 (7 years ago) Permalink

R.I.P. Maude

Eric H., Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:04 (7 years ago) Permalink

tom -- no way, not when they came out. they played in cinemas, not art galleries.

The E in the R is HBO as the new studio system, 8 pages on the Sopranos in the NYRB, hi-def tvs larger than many minor multiplex screens etc etc etc.

Apatow is just fine, but he's never going to be involved in anything as good as 'Freaks & Geeks' unless he goes back to telly...

-- Stevie T, Thursday, September 13, 2007 2:50 PM (12 minutes ago) Bookmark Link

for the true believers multiplex screens and tv screens just don't compare with the big screen. they also have a thing for the communal experience, etc.

it isn't just about quality of transferable "content."

but the ending of 'the sopranos' and 'the wire' within 12 months of each other is a bit of a marker too.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:06 (7 years ago) Permalink

Oh, Enrique, btw, you still haven't explained to me why Repulsion isn't shit.

Just got offed, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

try explaining to us why it IS, goofus.

s1ocki, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

I don't believe "the big screen communal experience" is coming back as anything other than charming nostalgia outdoor summer screenings etc.

Stevie T, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:11 (7 years ago) Permalink

except more people are going to the cinema than ever before. so what exactly do you base that on

s1ocki, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:12 (7 years ago) Permalink

no, i agree. but that's one reason why people think the thing is dying.

xpost

s1ocki that's not true. or, not within the west. people went to the cinema habitually once or twice a week up to the '40s.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:13 (7 years ago) Permalink

more people are going to the cinema and acting like they're in their living room than ever before.

re the Dargis article in the TIFF thread, the problem of cinephilia gaining sustenance from the likes of Inland Empire is that it's marginalized. Culturally discerning [sic?] 25-year-olds who would've seen and discussed every Godard film in the mid '60s now reserve their passion for Knocked Up.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

ya but that's because they all worked there. xp

s1ocki, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

re the Dargis article in the TIFF thread, the problem of cinephilia gaining sustenance from the likes of Inland Empire is that it's marginalized. Culturally discerning [sic?] 25-year-olds who would've seen and discussed every Godard film in the mid '60s now reserve their passion for Knocked Up.

-- Dr Morbius, Thursday, September 13, 2007 2:14 PM (21 seconds ago) Bookmark Link

what is the evidence for this exactly

s1ocki, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:15 (7 years ago) Permalink

try explaining to us why it IS, goofus.

I did, on that London movies thread.

Just got offed, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:15 (7 years ago) Permalink

Get fifty friends, or (fifty facebook people - social networking possibly being the cornerstone of this idea) who want to see a film, any film avilible for digital projection, go see the film in a cinema. Hopefully a clever inner city cinema (with a good bar) will toy with this suggestion, as it strikes me that there is plenty of money in them thar hills (particularly money over the bar which is pretty much pure profit in a good cinema).

had a similar idea a while back but more based around small indie cinemas AND a range of viewable material not constrained to films (think TV, live sport/events).

blueski, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:16 (7 years ago) Permalink

Why not just invited your mates round to your house and bring yr own booze?!

Stevie T, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:19 (7 years ago) Permalink

but morbs those godard fans were also the first-gen auteurists, going to hawks and hitchcock retrospectives. i don't see that as any more mature or whatever than digging on 'knocked up' (a far more mature, if less formally interesting, film than anything lunatic maoist godard has done).

xpost

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:19 (7 years ago) Permalink

Why not just invited your mates round to your house and bring yr own booze?!

houses and screens/systems in houses are not as big. not so much '50 friends' anyway but '50 people who want to see this', as it is now. essentially what has already been happening for years with some bars showing a film in the back room.

blueski, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:22 (7 years ago) Permalink

i saw Vanilla Sky in some bar in Brighton with about 20 people. it was a cool experience.

blueski, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:24 (7 years ago) Permalink

watching vanilla sky could never be a cool experience.

s1ocki, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

predictable ;)

and there's those guys in NYC who showed films on a projector on a building roof in Summertime. nice.

blueski, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:26 (7 years ago) Permalink

ya, rooftop films? i saw their mtl show.

s1ocki, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:26 (7 years ago) Permalink

i have done lots of public screenings in bars/show venues/etc. mostly of my own stuff tho, i guess that's diff.

s1ocki, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:27 (7 years ago) Permalink

democratisation of viewing films as well as making films

blueski, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:27 (7 years ago) Permalink

(Funnily enough, I spoke to Lynch about all this stuff when he was in town earlier this year, and though he very much still thought of cinema as the big screen in the dark room, he thought that more and more this was likely to be in the form of home/private projection or large screen entertainment systems...)

Stevie T, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:27 (7 years ago) Permalink

Lynch would never make a film for outdoor big screen heh

blueski, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:29 (7 years ago) Permalink

'knocked up' (a far more mature, if less formally interesting, film than anything lunatic maoist godard has done)

If mature equals boring, sure.

Eric H., Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:29 (7 years ago) Permalink

what is the evidence for this exactly

ILX

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:31 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yeah the key is that you'll know 15 of the 50 ppl so if the other 35 are twats you'll still have as good a time as just going to the cinema w/friends, BUT if they're not you know you've got at least 1 thing in common and you've got a readmade conduit for meeting and chatting - it's a good idea and someone not wasting their time on ILX might make a bit of fake dotcom money out of it. (xpost)

Groke, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:31 (7 years ago) Permalink

ILX is not cinephilia, tho, or do the stats at ILF mean nothing?

Eric H., Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:31 (7 years ago) Permalink

ILX has 'ruined' Comedy for me because ILX can be as funny as/funnier than anything else out there. As long as I don't start reading THIS IS MY VLOG on a cinema-sized screen, film will prevail.

blueski, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

oh, I wasn't saying the Apatow monks of ILX were cinephiles. They might've been in a different cultural moment.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:33 (7 years ago) Permalink

where's Southy with the 'it HAS to be grainy, you cannot watch it on cellphone' rockismo

blueski, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:34 (7 years ago) Permalink

Ooooooohhhhhh, bitch! (xp)

Tom D., Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:34 (7 years ago) Permalink

where's Southy with the 'it HAS to be grainy, you cannot watch it on cellphone' rockismo

-- blueski, Thursday, September 13, 2007 3:34 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Link

haha indeed.

fwiw i will chip in with: CRT televisions >>>> pwn the shit out of >>>> digital bullshit.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

well cinema may be dead, but so is the novel, poetry, the fine arts, classical music.....or maybe it's just dispersing itself into smaller and smaller audiences, all part of the inevitable march of modernity surely?

what sight and sound and the like seem to be yearning for is a whitman-esque "return to the common people" aesthetic that will find some way of bridging the increasing distance we all feel between each other and our values and experiences. a super film that will unite us all!

whitman aside, this is not a new desire, and it's always been utopian.

ryan, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

and like all utopian desires it projects itself into the past as much as the future.

ryan, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:39 (7 years ago) Permalink

i don't get morbs on this score. the "original cinephiles", the parisians in the 50s, were crazy for uncomplicated, populist filmmaking.

xpost

no sight and sound don't think the golden age can return. it's not a new lament, but it's not that old either. your line of thinking tends to say nothing ever changes, but of course it does.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

What was "uncomplicated, populist filmmaking" in the heyday of French cinephilia was also filled with solid formalism that is basically not even in the equation w.r.t Apatow.

Eric H., Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:43 (7 years ago) Permalink

yeees, i.e. Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?is a superior example of uncomplicated, p*pulist (GODDAMN YOU) filmmaking, and that Napoleon Dynamite is a horrid one.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 13 September 2007 14:44 (7 years ago) Permalink

week from Wednesday.

http://sidebysidethemovie.com/

It covers a lot of the issues discussed above, esp re archiving toward the end, but often in "It's like this / No it's not" fashion.

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Monday, 13 August 2012 21:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

morbs did you read david bordwell's 'pandora's digital book,' its great

Author ~ Coach ~ Goddess (s1ocki), Monday, 13 August 2012 22:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

dude, the last 'serious' book I read was Nixonland and it took me a year.

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Monday, 13 August 2012 23:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's a quick read!

http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2012/05/17/pandoras-digital-book/

and i guarantee more insight than keanu reeves' documentary.

Author ~ Coach ~ Goddess (s1ocki), Tuesday, 14 August 2012 00:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

some outtakes from that doc here

http://www.tribecafilm.com/videos/?sortBy=-startDate&11963=1030576

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 15 August 2012 17:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Neil Young: "Once there was a friend of mine/who died a thousand deaths." (Haven't read this yet, haven't decided if I will.)

http://www.salon.com/2012/09/28/is_movie_culture_dead/

clemenza, Friday, 28 September 2012 22:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

"there's a lot of handwringing about the death of cinema so here is an article where i handwring about the death of the cinema."

really it's just a blender of TV IS MORE DISSCUSSED and that NYFF doesn't matter anymore and the cultural elites don't dictate the wider discussion

Legendary General Cypher Raige (Gukbe), Friday, 28 September 2012 22:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just noticed that our Landmark franchise here--which resides in perhaps Houston's last movie palace that actually still shows movies--has gone all digital for new releases.

50 Shades of Greil (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 10 October 2012 19:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hungry Hungry Hippos, which debuted in 1978, is a game in which players compete with plastic hippos to swallow marbles off of a board.

shit i've been playing it wrong

thread lock holiday (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 10 October 2012 19:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha

Number None, Wednesday, 10 October 2012 19:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

My twitter feed these days has basically become a daily report of digital/DLP critics' screenings gone awry.

Ham Lushbaugh (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 October 2012 19:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

do tell!

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 10 October 2012 19:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

Every day, digital/DLP critics' screenings go awry.

Ham Lushbaugh (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 October 2012 19:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha

there is no dana, only (goole), Wednesday, 10 October 2012 20:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

great story

stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 10 October 2012 20:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's even better in yfrog form.

Ham Lushbaugh (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 October 2012 20:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

"Old" movies to look like video forevermore....

In June, director Martin Scorsese tried to show his 1993 film The Age of Innocence at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese's editor for the past 40 years and a three-time Oscar winner, called Grover Crisp, the senior VP of asset management at Sony, for a 35mm print. But Sony not only didn't have a print, it couldn't even make one.

"He told me that they can't print it anymore because Technicolor in Los Angeles no longer prints film," Schoonmaker recalled. "Which means a film we made 20 years ago can no longer be printed, unless we move it to another lab—one of the few labs still making prints."

..."I was used to hearing, oh well, maybe films made in the '40s or '50s, but our film?" Schoonmaker said, referring to titles that have become unavailable. "And it's not the only one of our films that is in this situation. What really worries me are the lesser-known movies."

And film buffs are worried not just about the lack of digitized titles, but how they are being converted. Schoonmaker for one has been appalled by some of the digital "restorations" she's screened.

"I saw a digitized version of a film that David Lean made during World War II, and it looked just like a TV commercial that was shot yesterday," she said. "It was wrong, the balance was completely off. Originally it had a slightly muted look, and now here were all these insanely bright blues."

Schoonmaker believes that the colorists who have been trained in the last 10 or 15 years "have no idea what these movies should look like anymore."

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/11/with-35mm-film-dead-will-classic-movies-ever-look-the-same-again/265184/

saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Monday, 26 November 2012 16:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

I don't want the endless stream of those articles over the years to get me down, but boy do they get me down.

Gukbe, Monday, 26 November 2012 16:11 (1 year ago) Permalink

Countdown to the death of "the death of Cinema" articles.

Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Monday, 26 November 2012 16:20 (1 year ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

Not really about the "death" of cinema, but Steven Spielberg thinks the Hollywood system is about to "implode," and everyone has some thoughts...

http://www.fandor.com/blog/daily-spielberg-lucas-and-that-imminent-implosion

ballin' from Maine to Mexico (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 15 June 2013 18:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

just read this annoyingly-written snippet of a memoir and it seemed relevant: http://www.salon.com/2013/06/15/lynda_obst_hollywoods_completely_broken/singleton/

Gukbe, Sunday, 16 June 2013 07:18 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

I had no use for it but RIP anyway

Dr. Winston O'Boogie Chillen' (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 31 July 2014 01:42 (2 months ago) Permalink

Seitz interviews Godfrey Cheshire, 15 years after the Death of Film/Decay of Cinema articles:

http://www.rogerebert.com/mzs/death-of-filmdecay-of-cinema-at-15-a-conversation-with-godfrey-cheshire

Insane Prince of False Binaries (Gukbe), Friday, 1 August 2014 05:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

Great dialogue there; I've always loved G.C. to death.

For starters, I definitely read Four Arguments For the Elimination of Television at the start of the '80s, maybe for a media class.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Friday, 1 August 2014 19:33 (2 months ago) Permalink


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