Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cyber Classical Program #65

Sunday February 24, 2008

Nothing about the music we played. I'll fill that in later. We got all wrapped up in the Oscars and indulged our second love, film!

Oscar Night:

Bryant, what was important about this night?
What about the international aspect of the awards? Is that a change for the better?
Bryant: The number of international winners this year is unprecedented -- it seems. For critics like Jonathan Rosenbaum, who have written books deriding the Hollywood system and particularly the Academy Awards, this is a small step in legitimizing the awards to world cinema fans. And, if you can get past all the self-importance, the award ceremony presents a friendly face to the rest of the world, i.e., plenty of anti-Bush and anti-Republican statements are made. Doncha think?

Gerry: Actually, I don't. I haven't examined the list of winners in detail, but I'm willing to bet that all of them, with the possible exception of the low-budget "Juno," are beholden to Hollywood/American corporate money, just to get seen by Academy members. Token Liberalism is warm and fuzzy, but there are actually films out there that represent their cultures more honestly and with greater artistic integrity than the user-friendly stuff that passes for "international" cinema.

Bryant: I think that's an elitist and bogus phrase, if you'll excuse me. A movie made in France or Pakistan *is* international cinema, any way you look at it. As for greater artistic integrity, would you care to elaborate?

Gerry: Just because a film is made on Pakistan, or has Pakistani actors does that really make it Pakistani if the entire funding was European/American, or if the script was written by an Englishwoman, or if the actors are, say Indian or Sumatran? Take a look at the credits at the end of any International film that gets distribution widely, and you'll be enlightened..

As for artistic integrity, I don't mean that these beholden films can't have it but that for me, I am more moved by films that come from the heart of the culture that produces it rather than by ones that have as their primary function the utilization of cultural "style" for the purposes of making a lot of money for the international cartels that fund them.

Bryant: I see your point. But isn't a Pakistani film that has AmEuro backing better than no film at all? I still hope that many of the artistic choices are still left to the director and his/her vision. David Lynch continually goes to France's Studio Canal to get financing, but I still think of his films as uniquely his own. In my opinion, of which you will most certainly disagree, the best films transcend a culture or a politics or a nationality. Andrew Sarris and Truffaut talked a lot about an "autuer theory"; that movies are the complete products of its director. Do you seek out movies because they are about Iran or because Makmahlbaf, for instance, directed it? Or better yet, the storyline seems interesting?

Gerry: Well, I think the "auteur" theory is a bit "old", and not really accurate in a lot of ways. When a director employs a cinematographer who stamps the visual experience with his unique view (think Bergman and Nyquist), who is the auteur? Think of Fritz Lang making film noir under the American studio system (which he did try to stamp with his point of view, however subversively) and you'll see what I mean. Th artifact called "film" is such a tangled mess of creators and motives that pure "auteurism" is almost impossible now. By the way, I think it's almost impossible for any film to transcend its culture (which includes nationality), since what you are able to see is so much a part of where you're from, culturally, historically, personally, that you would almost inevitably miss all the cultural subtleties that make a film such a great way to communicate feeling to people.

Bryant: So even if a director gets "final cut,"--which is most certainly not always the case--then isn't he essentially authoring the film? Yes, many competing visions go into film production, so I would agree that "pure" auteurism is a myth. But if you have final say, then the baby's yours. This kind of relates to your idealistic view of world cinema which is completely unshackled by Western influences or finances. In other words, everything is corrupt and adulterated. OR, another way of looking at it, these ingredients make the films their own things. Truffaut has gone on record saying he thought Hitchcock's Hollywood period was more artistically interesting than his British period. But now I'm veering from the topic at hand. I need to be thinking about the QNG.

Gerry: Get to work, we'll do this later.


Anonymous said...

Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!
It's the little changes that produce the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

Look into my blog post: CrossFit flooring

Anonymous said...

It's very trouble-free
to find out any topic on web as compared to books, as I found this paragraph at this website.

Feel free to surf to my weblog; stall mats for gym floor

Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog
loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

My web blog; Garage Rubber Mats

Anonymous said...

Hello! I've been reading your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

Check out my web site - Reebok Nano 2.0

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I check your new stuff daily. Your writing style is awesome,
keep it up!

Here is my page - adwords sponsored links

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was
a amusement account it.
Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

Feel free to surf to my web page - - homes for sale and real estate ::