Re: 16mm films; the argument continues

The Picture Palace (PicPal@ix.netcom.com)
Sat, 20 Jul 1996 22:12:30 -0400

At 05:19 PM 7/18/96 -0700, Ron Green wrote:
>I feel strongly about the importance of seeing works of art, film or otherwise,
>in as close to their original form as possible.
You can't really say students in the age of the multiplex have seen big
screens, can you? ;)
Certainly some films can't possibly be seen with any great detail on video
or even laser - Demme's Silence of the Lambs, older releases of Cocteau's
Beauty and the Beast, and anything shot by Gordon Willis. Showing various
copies of the same piece can be instructive in such cases, and this strategy
is often used in art history courses. What it boils down to is, how much
are you willing to spare to fight the effects of the cement bunker down the
block? I took film within a humanities curriculum and many of the movies
shown were only used as literary references - adaptations like Despair,
Death in Venice, etc. There's no reason to show those on film if you're
only discussing basic comp lit issues. Your investments should depend upon
how many departments could use the material and why. If the drama and lit
teachers only need video references, and the recordings have no photographic
subtlety or complexity of interest to fine arts teachers - especially if you
have no dedicated communications or film curricula - then there's no reason
to rent or purchase film copies that will only be used once, or once a year,
or may break or age badly.
My 2 cents - J. Kramer