Our final recitation started off with the compelling but strange 2006 art film “Tommy Chat Just Emailed Me“. This directly tied into our reading of Wayne Koestenbaum’s article “Situation Hacker” on the creator of the film, Ryan Trecartin. The class focused on the first line of the article which read: “Imagine slasher films without blood; nudity without porn; the Sistine Chapel without God..” (1). From this, we gathered that when the essence of something is removed, that something is no longer familiar but foreign. This is the effect Trecartin’s work had on the class. We discussed the shock value of the film, comparing it to Warhol’s “Chelsea Girls” and debated the uniqueness and innovation of the two films in the context of their times and respective societies. We questioned what ‘one of a kind’ was and if something had to be one of a kind to be good.
This led us into our discussion on Tuesday nights screenings. The class first discussed Zodiac and it’s digital effects. There were two very prevalent instances when these digital effects were utilized and the class agreed that though they looked cool, they really (to us at least) weren’t relevant to the very sixties mise-en-scene of the film. Then again, David Fincher can do whatever he wants. We then discussed the clip we were shown from Speed Racer. It was interesting to think of its style as the new potential future of cinema. Where is technology going in terms of filmmaking and will audiences come to prefer a CGI heavy spectacle over something arguably more cinematic? As is, The Hobbit is currently being shot at 48 fps and though this is new and cutting edge, some viewers have complained about the quality of the film saying it was “too real”. However, according to Stephen Prince’s article, photography in cinema is nothing less than instructive meaning that a film can’t look “too real”. We ended the class with a brief discussion on this and digital imaging, as well as the 3D film fad and the preservation of media materials.
Thanks for everything and have a great summer!!