there you go


after the plenary session this morning -- briliant Jimmie Killingsworth and Geoff Sirc -- a man approached me, a man who had been in my session yesterday. he asked how i was feeling. he knew i had been ill because we had changed order of the presentations -- thanks again to fabulous and really smart Susan Wells and Chrisopher Carter -- to let me go first because i was not feeling well, courtesy of delta and all-around performance anxiety. so he said -- honestly, i think he was actually trying to empathize w/ the problem i was addressing in my paper, but it came out so wrong -- so he said, "film doesn't really have a place in academics." said he sees it as more a part of an "MFA" program . . . which is, what? not academic? not rhetorical work? and again, not academic? i suppose i could see his comment as wanting to align my film w/as "art," and that's nice. but still.

also, during the session: the delightful Lillian Bridwell-Bowles wrote me a note during one of the other talks. this was after my talk when i went to sit in back because i didn't think i'd make it through the whole thing; she wanted to comment upon what i'd done, to say that she thought i need not have argued, that my point was self-evident (she said this in the most supportive terms; we simply agree, and i think she was also sort of getting w/ my sense of dilemma about how slow we are being to take up this work).

but so, thinking about this morning's comment ("film doesn't belong in academics" -- FDBA) i am again reminded that, yes, i do have something to argue. i may simply shift now to making my arguments via my films, and maybe, if i have time to make them really good, i can advance the project (or just infuriate the FDBA tribe like they frustrate me; oh, agonistic rhetoric, you).

or write the damn book and get a better job.

or stop.

or, do like Godard said and engage in making "the real political film," which he imagined as "the home movie." that's fabulous, engaging intensity and language and reserving a sense of its efficacy absent a public audience. somehow, i want to vibe on that for a while.

heading down to lunch for more insults :)

Comments

John said…
Don't stop! It's when you've got smart people saying "Yeah, you're right" and a bunch of people saying "WTF? This isn't what we do" that you know you're on to something needing to be done. Kind of like doing anything with computers 15-20 years ago (or, sadly, sometimes even now).

I do know how frustrating it can be, however, having that vision which needs articulating only to have people reject it on principle because it's unfamiliar rather than reject, accept, or at least critique based on its merits.
thanks, John. really, for the most part, everyone was supportive. i love this comment from Francois Truffaut: "There is a moment when every true creator makes such a leap forward that his [sic] audience is left behind [ . . . ] a film so new that it looks confusingly as if it might be a failure; one of those failures that leaves you, the morning after, counting your friends." -- Cahiers du Cinema 34, April 1954

i don't dare count myself among the likes of La Regle, of whose work Truffaut was speaking, but i do identify with the potential to imagine That morning after. today, i had lunch w/ Johndan and Geoff and James Brown (yep!), and i shared my sense of FDBA guy's take, and i realized that i have at least 3 friends :)

now, you write. 4.

thanks, John.
actually, like i said, many more friends than 4. *most* people seemed to like what i did. one woman even said that she'd never seen a film that wants to be art AND uses text that she liked, but she liked mine. so, yay. sue wells loved Cammie's little hand (see my writeup at http://blkyburz.wordpress.com entitled "tinylittlehands" for more on that) and her short, red nails. yay, Cammie! sue also liked my improvisation of the MoMA bathroom that i shot at my friend's hair salon (Shep's Studio in Provo, Utah . . tres chic and superminimalistcool).

anyhow, drinks all around . . . it's all just fine :)
chris said…
Follow your dream! i'll explain this cliche sounding phrase over at my place sometime in the next day or so. but, seriously, do your thang.

and to piggy-back off what you were saying about smart people getting things b4 others: that means you must be pretty smart yourself! it's so easy to let others' negativity infect our perceptions.

eff those with the negative bs.

on another note,
you're working with Sue? that woman is into freakin everything! i probably don't even know the half of what she's up to. she's been/is being a really good mentor. i hope i can live up to the training she (and others) are giving me.
chris said…
my bad. i guess i was pickin up on what John said.
sue and i were simply placed on a panel together, but i was *very* interested in what she was saying/doing and delighted by her grace in allowing me to change the order of presentations and all around decency toward me. very smart. very engaging.

i'm cool w/ the comment/criticism. like i said, i actually think he thought he was being helpful, empathizing even . . . because i had been saying how freaked out i get about presenting my films, about how the stakes feel even higher than when presenting a paper, so maybe he saw it as an invitation to problematize what i was doing. instead, it came out and fell on the flow, to my way of seeing it. sort of clunky and insulting. but again, probably not his intention.

anyhow, last nights trip to the bar was worth the whole trip :)

can't wait to hear more about camp!

thanks for writing.