Sørenssen, Sobchack, (Bought to you by the letter S)

Sam, writing about the Sørenssen essay, wonders about the democratisation of democracy, and the key question of whether all our access to making and distributing has realised Astruc’s vision. It’s a good question, and the idea that if you can use data to work out what people want then provide it, while one option, is also a risk to create sameness, homogeneity and repetition.

Zoe writes about the Sobchack essay and how QuickTime movies are likened to Cornell boxes. I also think this (Cornell boxes) is a very useful way to think about many Korsakow films, and as Zoe notes, perhaps your own computer is a sort of Cornell box too? Gina loves Astruc because it is about film making in itself. I agree. It isn’t about film making in the service of some master (action, narrative, audience, money) but trying to find a way to think it for itself. Respect, as Ali G would say.

Edward uses Sørenssen to think about the relation of technology to cinema, speculating about possible futures. Imogen like others notes the three main points of changes to making and access, more egalitarianism in media, and possible new forms. And his example of this is the elderly man on YouTube (which is a very interesting case study from the point of view of what video now is becoming). Laura also summarises the essay well, picking a very good quote: “there will be several cinemas”, that’s a nice way to think of this subject, it’s one variety of these several cinemas that we’re trying to invent. Koston has a nice overview of the rise of the digital camera and its impact on making, in terms of access but also that we can now see it (how easily we have forgotten what once was).

Bec has excellent dot point summary of the Sørenssen, wondering if the rise of amateur making is such a good thing. Mia recognises that the essay is from 2008 so was written before the smart phone + mobile internet + (Instagram video, Vine, etc) exploded, and so thinks about using a mobile phone to make documentaries. Astruc I would have expected to have been all over this, as this is surely (along with GoPro’s and their ilk) a camera stylo? Kylie discusses Astruc and Sørenssen in terms of the changes wrought by technological shifts. Miguel looks at Sørenssen and concludes that ‘true filmmakers’ posses ‘true power’, perhaps, but what work is ‘true’ doing here? (It is key to the argument but not actually defined.)

Nadya, taking some advice, wants to know if democratisation of media making also means the loss of film form, of I think she means informed, crafted, reflexive, self aware media making. It’s a great question.

Reading 03

After some readings about interactive documentary and historical examples of the relationship of cinema and documentary to technology now we turn to basics. While reasonably long this is simple to read, and many of you will have read this already. It is from Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Print. (PDF here.)

I’ve put them all into the one document but they are an introduction to narrative, then an introduction to experimental film, and the last bit is about documentary, nonnarrative, and two nonnarrative documentary forms. We want to make more visible to ourselves what a narrative actually is, and then to think about what experimental practices can teach us to better see the role of multilinearity in general, and for our Korsakow films specifically.