Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Jonathan Dennis Memorial Lecture 2009: Edith Kramer: Film Programming: Where We've Been and Where We're Going (Arguments With Myself)

Auditorium della Regione, Pordenone, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, 7 Oct 2009.
- As a programmer, looking back, I re-live the nightmares.
- Every screening is different. Every audience is different.
- I started as a teacher of art history, then in the 1960s moved into the Bay Area avant-garde distribution.
- I always stood at the back of the cinema in a dark corner near to the telephone.
- It's working when the audience is breathing with the film.
- Programming and presentation: programming as a narrative, with infinite stories. I never run out of stories.
- Respect for the audience.
- Respect for the medium. Concerning photochemical vs. digital: there has always been constant change. We don't talk enough about film stock and lights. Having studied film-making myself I had renewed appreciation about how difficult it is to make a good film. How technology can inform the language.
- I'm digitally challenged.
- I belong to a generation with a missionary feel. The mission: understanding cinema as an art form. The fight for the prestige of the cinema in an art museum.
- Facing a corporate mentality, the approach of business administration in the art museum world.
- The meaning of the theatrical experience. The dvd will probably stop. Online downloading is on the rise.
- I feel the difference in digital presentation. My whole physiognomy reacts differently.
- Restoration: the word has been so wonderfully promoted by the film archives. The media took this word, one even talks about "the restored dvd", the language gets corrupted.
- The real total cost of the digital cinema can be overwhelming. It may become more expensive to go to the cinema. The real bargain may be to stay at home.

- The question about an ageing audience and ageing programmers: I don't think we're useless.
- In the 1960s there were lines around the block for Anger, Rocha, Griffith, but I never thought it would last. Now film courses have been more than full over ten years.

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