Life This last couple of days have been spent at a Philosophy of Film conference at Liverpool University. I'm feeling hot and drained so I can't really put into too many words how enjoyable its been. I might not be intelligent enough to have grasped all of the intricacies of everything which was said over the two days and I think I might have over compensated by talking to people a lot and loudly (as usual).

I did have a moment of zen during one of the breaks at the refreshment table on the first day when I began to second guess myself and my own greed.

Should that be a small muffin, or a large muffin?

I chose a small muffin.

I think it was a (tiny) personal victory.

Something which became perfectly clear during the two days is that the filmic experience we're all enjoying through dvd is nothing like that which should be a available at a cinema. Obviously. Even on a large screen tv, the interaction between you and the film is absolutely diminished because of the interuptions and distractions. It seems like the only, perfect way to see something like Tarkovsky's Stalker is in a massive auditorium with an audience that will stay completely still throughout the film just letting themselves be lost in the filmic experience. Anything other than that and the message or idea being projected by the film maker is corrupted.

Although dvd gives us access to many more films in a far better condition than could be conceived of previously the home market totally ruined the repertory secondary presentation system through which most people a few decades older than me saw these films. Although a flick through Time Out shows that these places do still exist in London, regionally, unless a new print has been released by the BFI, there isn't anywhere that someone could go and see an Bergman film in an environment close to that which he intended. There's something very wrong about seeing Persona on dvd. The pacing and rhythms are ruined because the viewer generally has somewhere else to look.

The trouble is, if in Liverpool, for example, someone were to buy up and renovate one of the old cinemas, The Futurist or old ABC on Lime Street and just had a diet of non-new not always commercial films, would there be an audience for them? I saw 8 1/2 at FACT last year and it was a near sell out but that was on the smallest screen. Perhaps a programme akin to that which the new version of the FilmFour channel are proposing might work, of 'popular' classics during the day with more challenging pieces in the evening. The only unknown factor I have is cost -- how much are the prints of these films to source and how big an audience would be required to survive?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:46 pm

    Eat the muffin . . . muffin gooood . . .