The arrogance of the film artiste (takes one to know one)

I was a film student, and I was incredibly stupid! But watching for the
first time The
Independent Film Channel's show, "Film School,"
you get the idea
very clearly: these kids are stupid! (Am I unfair?)

Overambitious schooting schedules. Unrealistic budgets. Silly
arrogance and disregard for the crew members who are there to bleed for
the film, if necessary ... if only they're made to feel appreciated.

Were we all like that in film school? I went to one of the big ones.
And I'm sure we were incredibly full of ourselves. All
the more so because we were at a semi-famous one -- not
#1 by reputation so we had to make up for it in pretentiousness. We all
knew it, too. Oh my. But boy did we have fun! Several of my
classmates have had much greater success than I have so far. Emmy's,
Independent Spirit, Oscars, modest commercial success.

So here I am ranting on a blog while I work on a DVD project.

The most arrogant person in the show tonight, in my view, was Leah.
She's the one with war paint on her face. Yes, war paint. I don't mean
traditional Alphabet City eyeliner. We're talking pink stripes
diagonally across her forehead and cheecks. What-ever!

But you know, she's the only one IFC deigned to show actually directing
the actors. (Note to film students: Don't forget about your actors.
If they aren't real, it doesn't matter of the way kewl crane shot is

Now before the tomatoes start coming my way, I'd like to add that I'm
not so much the pollyanna to think that IFC can, should or actually does
show the reality of what's happening on those sets. They're using the
grit, the conflict, the ego trips, the dramatic moments. Hey, they need
viewership to justify their carry fee to the cable and dish companies,
right? So I'm seeing just a distorted presentation, about as real as
the 7 o'clock news.

But it sure was a nice break from the political hack parade presented by
the cable networks 24/7, with programming for free to attract the
programming for fee. Makes me want to scream like a film student.


I don't know that stupid is the word you're looking for here, media girl. Perhaps fatuous is closer to the mark. Film is one of the few arts that doesn't require the practitioner to have any real understanding of the technology being harnessed. Can you imagine being a sculptor without knowing how to wield chisel against stone? Or a glass-blower not knowing that you have to heat the sand to obtain the metal from which their art is derived?

Film makers who really love their art become obsessed with the technology of their art. Artists who are obsessed with themselves have other fish to fry.
Well said, Dave! Although a filmmaker has to know what she is doing with visual language. She doesn't have to know how the camera works any more than the writer has to know the physics behind ball point pens. But filmmaking is more than point and shoot.

Which is all beside the point I was trying to make before, which is that they were not realistic in their scheduling, budgeting and shot lists, while at the same time disrespecting their crew members -- that is if they deigned to notice them at all.

It can be easy to get wrapped up in one's vision, but it ain't gonna happen without time and labor. If you have only half the movie shot, but you didn't have to compromise on your shot list, you can pat yourself on the back in the unemployment line, because you got no movie.

I find this all a riot, because when I look at Leah, I see myself in film school, all ambitious and full of myself and dismissive of those who disagreed. (You'd never guess now, huh?)
Hello there, MediaGirl. Just clicked through Slashdot and landed in your (very interesting!) Blog.

Film makers who really love their art become obsessed with the technology of their art.Hmm, I've a bone or two to pick with that. I do not mean to generalize here, but most of the artsy folks I've seen tend to love their -art- immaterial of the technology. Film makers may be interesting in making their art better, but are not all that often interested in the technology there in.

I'm quite sure that Van Gogh wasn't all that interested in the PAINTS and the BRUSHES as much as he was interested in how he got the work done, and Mozart was not interested in the PIANO or the VIOLIN or their workings in getting the work done, but rather his own sound.

Very few who insist upon their technology succeed very well (Yngwie Malmsteem is an example, albeit one not quite liked by many for the same reason).

Coming back to the point of movies, consider the classic example of George Lucas. That man is most certainly interested in working on Star Wars for eternity - however, he is not interested in the technology but rather in leveraging that technology to his benefit.

Agreed, there are a cross section of film makers out there who work on films with the technology in mind. However, I think that percentage is not quite large - those that consciously DO work with technology in mind are either technology-philes or are paid to do so.

Consider the classic example of George Lucas. That man is most certainly interested in working on Star Wars for eternity - however, he is not interested in the technology but rather in leveraging that technology to his benefit.

I know several film making artsy friends of mine who'd beat the crap out of me if I suggested that they love the technology behind their art. They may have personal preferences, such as a particular camera or a particular style - but that is no different from Van Gogh having Blue and Orange as his favourite colours.

That's just my opinion, ofcourse.
Thank you, Karthik. I would agree. The gear heads (as we call them ... unless we call them gobo heads) fetishize the technology, the toys, the stuff. But real filmmaking, be it narrative or documentary, is about story telling, isn't it?

I believe my comment above, which was probably written concurrently with yours, further clarifies my attitudes on this.
Damn, didn't realize I'd made so many mistakes in that post!

Yup, I don't quite recall your first post being around when I posted this - I lingered on for quite a while before actually coming up with a reply :-)

Well, look at the bright side - kids like that probably don't make it very far. They're the kind who either make it insanely big because some dude/ette with a fetish for technology decided to pump them up or because they're just too good - or will just fade away.

Eitherway, goodluck on your work!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Thanks, Karthik, for the feedback and well wishes. :)

Planning a trip? Be sure to check the Rapture forecast first!

Concerned about Armageddon and having trouble planning your day? Concerned that the destruction of the World Trade Center was actually Biblical? Concerned that God's wrath may begin before the Rapture?

Not to worry! Thanks to the Internet, we have the Rapture Index. Such intangible tragedies like famine, pestilence, ecumenism (!), and the Beast Government have been analyzed, quantified, tallied and indexed into a reliable predictor of just how soon the world will be blown to crap. (Soon. Very soon. It's all there in the numbers.)

In case you're not up to speed on this, perhaps you should consult the discussion of The Rapture Categories:
1. False Christs
(Mat.24:24) Jesus talked about false Christs and false prophets. A
false Christ is anyone who claims to be equal or greater than God.
The realization that an individual is placing himself in the role of
deity is not always easy to discern.

2. Occult
There are two supernatural forces in the universe that are able to
affecting the natural world. God said that prayer was only valid means
of getting his attention, and he forbids using occultic devices. Who
do you think will answers the inquiries using taro cards, astrology,
or psychic phone lines?

* * *

8. Oil Supply/Price
Oil remains an economic and a political issue. We fought The War in
the Gulf because of its strategic importance. The final battle of
Armageddon may also involve a dispute over oil.

* * *

12. Drug Abuse
(Rev. 9:21) Everyone knows what drugs are today. The Bible also may
make mention of drugs. In the book of Revelation the word sorcery
has the Greek word pharmakeia as its root. This is where we get the
word pharmacy. When it says, "they repented not of their sorceries,"
it could mean they repented not of their drug use.

* * *

15. Moral Standards
This is the fabric which holds our society together. When a state of
disorder takes over, strong forces are needed to bring back control.
Civil rights are often the first casualty of this action.

16. Anti-Christian
(2 Tim.3:3) A bias or hatred of the bible believing Christian. The
media is the primary contributor to this category.

17. Crime Rate
An insecure society looks for a strongman. As crime proliferates, it
eats away at the nations moral and economic underpinnings. A nation
with a high crime rate will eventually have less freedom because of
the police state the unrest it brings on. High crime rates originates
from low moral standards.

18. Ecumenism
The movement to join all religions into one. This has been a goal of
the Devil for sometime. By having all religion unified, he could more
easily control their leadership.

19. Globalism
The breaking down of barriers increases the number of alliances, and
it making the world more integrated.

* * *

23. Russia (Gog)
(Eze.38-39) Gog is the ancient name for the land of Russian. In the
last days, Russia will make a move against Israel and be defeated by
a supernatural act of God.

24. Persia (Iran)
(Eze.38:5) Iran will aid Russia in attacking Israel before or during
the tribulation. Even now, Iran acts as a destabilizing force in the

25. False Prophet
(Rev.13:12) The Antichrist will have a religious leader to aid him.
The present or future pope will have some connection because of the
large influence the pope has. The Antichrist and False Prophet will
be headquartered in the same area as of the Old Roman Empire.

* * *

29. Liberalism
It's not just a part of the democratic party. liberalism is what I
would call the "true conspiracy." The liberal media is 100 percent
control by the forces that bow to this humanistic ideology.

30. Peace Process
(Dan.9:27) This refers directly to Bible prophecy, where the state
of Israel signs a peace treaty with the Antichrist.

* * *

33. Beast Government
(Rev.17:12) The Roman Empire will revive under the leadership of Ten
rules. This revived Roman Empire will exist for only 7 years.
(Rev.17:13),(Rev 13:5) After the Roman Empire is revived 3 1/2 years
into a seven year rule, the Antichrist will take over and rule for
the remaining 3 1/2 years.

34. The Antichrist
(Dan.11:36-39) The most evil and destructive man who will ever hold
public office.

35. Date Setting
To create confusion ahead of Christs return, Satan will likely
continue to moviate people into setting dates. By being exposed to
date settings, I've noticed that non-Christians can made hostle to
the end-time message.

* * *

37. Earthquakes
(Mark 13:8) God used earthquakes to show his disapproval with man.
I look for more earthquake activity as the return of Christ draws

* * *

39. Civil Rights
To have a dictator you must have a shortage of this. The time you
least expect your loosing your freedom is when you willingly give
it up.

* * *

43. Climate
(Mat. 24:7) Jesus foretold of an increase in the severity of weather
events as a sign of the end times. The extremities of nature are
difficult to measure. Any activity that goes beyond normal weather
patterns shuld be taken into consideration, whether God has a warning
behind it.

Bill Moyers talked a bit about this in his Address to the Society of Professional Journalists, made on the 9/11 anniversary this year.
These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the 19th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative millions of people believe to be literally true.

According to this narrative, Jesus will return to earth only when certain conditions are met: when Israel has been established as a state; when Israel then occupies the rest of its “biblical lands;” when the third temple has been rebuilt on the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques; and, then, when legions of the Antichrist attack Israel. This will trigger a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon during which all the Jews who have not converted will be burned. Then the Messiah returns to earth. The Rapture occurs once the big battle begins. True believers” will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to heaven where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts and frogs during the several years of tribulation which follow.

I’m not making this up.
And if God isn't bringing Armageddon upon us, we can sure work hard to do it ourselves:
When the President asked Ariel Sharon to pull his tanks out of Jenin in 2002, over one hundred thousand angry Christian fundamentalists barraged the White House with emails and Mr. Bush never mentioned the matter again. Not coincidentally, the administration recently put itself solidly behind Ariel Sharon’s expansions of settlements on the West Banks. In George Monbiot’s analysis, the President stands to lose fewer votes by encouraging Israeli expansion into the West Bank than he stands to lose by restraining it. “He would be mad to listen to these people, but he would also be mad not to.” No wonder Karl Rove walks around the West Wing whistling “Onward Christian Soldiers.” He knows how many votes he is likely to get from these pious folk who believe that the Rapture Index now stands at 144 --- just one point below the critical threshold at which point the prophecy is fulfilled, the whole thing blows, the sky is filled with floating naked bodies, and the true believers wind up at the right hand of God. With no regret for those left behind. (See George Monbiot. The Guardian, April 20th, 2004.)

I know, I know: You think I am bonkers. You think Ann Coulter is right to aim her bony knee at my groin and that O’Reilly should get a Peabody for barfing all over me for saying there’s more to American politics than meets the Foxy eye. But this is just the point: Journalists who try to tell these stories, connect these dots, and examine these links are demeaned, disparaged, and dismissed. This is the very kind of story that illustrates the challenge journalists face in a world driven by ideologies that are stoutly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. Ideologues – religious, political, or editorial ideologues – embrace a world view that cannot be changed because they admit no evidence to the contrary. And Don Quixote on Rocinante tilting at windmills had an easier time of it than a journalist on a laptop tilting with facts at the world’s fundamentalist belief systems.
I'm not worried that they might be right. Actually, God's Rapture would be a favorable scenario to the more secular version, in which we just fuck up so badly we blow the shit out of everything, and -- as Jonathan Schell put it -- leave behind nothing but a republic of cockroaches and grass....
It is as though life itself were one huge distraction, diverting our attention from the peril to life. In its apparent durability, a world menaced with imminent doom is in a way deceptive. It is almost an illusion. Now we are sitting at the breakfast table drinking our coffee and reading the newspaper, but in a moment we may be inside a fireball whose temperature is tens of thousands of degrees. Now we are on our way to work, walking through the city streets, but in a moment we may be standing on an empty plain under a darkened sky looking for the charred remnants of our children. Now we are alive, but in a moment we may be dead. Now there is human life on earth, but in a moment it may be gone.
"The Fate of the Earth"

Bush Signs Corporate Tax Cut -- I'm rich!

Nothing like hitting the jackpot!Oh my, I can hardly wait! Now my small business can reap huge rewards and stimulate the economy!!

What's that? I have to be profitable to see any gain? How the heck am I supposed to do that in this economy?!

Looks like the big corps weren't too impressed with Bush's economy either. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 107 today. Actually, if you look at these trends, you will see the DJIA popped up when Kerry got a boost, and the market dropped when Bush did. Look at the graphs. I'm not making this up! The correlation is there. One thing nobody talks about is how the current lagging economy started around when Bush won the court decision and was appointed president.

As for causation, I don't know. But it certainly could be concluded from the NYSE figures that the business sector really doesn't feel good about Bush.

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