Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007
"Peter, Peter, Peter!"
"What's the matter, Dead Beat? Something I said?"
"It's always something you said."
"What did I say?"
"The death of cinema."
"Well you know that is correct. Cinema's death date was in 1983, when the remote control was introduced to the living room. Every medium has to be redeveloped, otherwise we would still be looking at cave paintings."
"Okay, then, the Scorcese thing."
"Scorsese is old-fashioned and is making the same films that D.W. Griffith was making early last century."
"Yeah, that thing."
"What's wrong with that?"
"Oh come on. He only just got his Oscar."
"Don't get me started."
"Peter, you are always started."
"Cinema is predicated on the 19th-century novel. We're still illustrating Jane Austen novels -- there are 41 films of Jane Austen novels in the world -- what a waste of time."
"See what I mean. Not even Jane Austen is sacred."
" 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harry Potter' were not films, but illustrated books."
"Oh no, not Tolkien, J.K. Rowlings."
"Thirty-five years of silent cinema is gone, no one looks at it anymore. This will happen to the rest of cinema. If you shoot a dinosaur in the brain on Monday, its tail is still waggling on Friday. Cinema is brain-dead."
"Dinosaurs, you're now shooting dinosaurs in the head! I mean Jurassic Park. Surley you liked Jurassic Park?"
"Why do people spent thousands of millions of pounds trying to create artifical dinosaurs for 'Jurassic Park', that seems to be a total waste of time to me. These sort of things are just heading conventional text story lines with conventional attitude, it has nothing to do with changing the media, it just means to create robotic equivalents, which exist in the frame anyway, I don't see any point, you know, a real 'Jurassic Park' can be much more exciting than any robotic invention anybody invents inside a frame."
"No, no, Peter, no, no..."
"I suppose, my general sense of anxiety and disquiet about the cinema we've got after 100 years -- a cinema which is predicated on text. So whether your name is Spielberg or Scorsese or Godard, there's always a necessity to start with text and finish with image."
"NOT Godard. No, not Godard."
"I don't think that's particularly where we should organize an autonomous art form. That's why I think that, in a way, we haven't seen the cinema yet, all we've seen is 100 years of illustrated text."
"TEXT. What's wrong with text?"
"A supreme example is The English Patient. Why would anybody spend so much time and energy and money to make a product like that which is just perfectly well in a book? That makes it highly questionable in regards to, "do we really feel confident that cinema is an autonomous medium that can create its own product?" Why do we have to keep running off to the bookshelf all the time? But that's an extreme example. Whether your name is Godard or Woody Allen, there's still a way we have to start the text...."