Saturday, August 09, 2008

Painful, Humiliating Work

Imagine you are a filmmaker, an auteur who has just released a short film to the waiting public. Every image, every word was painstakingly chosen to convey a single message. This single-mindedness of theme is reflected in the tiniest details -- down to the style and coloring of every letter that appears onscreen. You edit and re-edit until every second, every frame reinforces this single theme. Your finished product is seamless, relentless, forceful and uncompromising.

Now imagine that after all that work, all that laborious craftsmanship, you find yourself forced to go before the public in order to deny that this single, unmistakable theme was the intent of your film. In interview after interview you are forced to lie again and again. "No," you say, "that's not what the film intended to convey, not at all."

Those interviews would be painful, humiliating work. Some part of you -- the craftsman, the artist -- might be secretly proud that your intended message had gotten through as clearly as you had hoped. That small part of you might feel rewarded and gratified to see your skills recognized. Yes! you'd be thinking, they got it. But at the same time, you'd be forced to deny that this was really the message of your film. You'd be forced to try to convince these astute viewers that you were, in fact, an ineffective and talentless filmmaker who had failed, miserably, to convey the "true message" of your film. It doesn't mean what it seems to mean, you would have to say. It means something else.

The scenario above is not hypothetical. It's happening now, in the real world, to real filmmakers. {continue...}
[via slactivist, also: Unsubtle]

and there's apparently an Election Shocker! via The Nation, HT: The Rambling Prophet 2

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