Sunday, February 13, 2011
Several times in recent years, I have attempted to watch documentaries. This is rare, since I seldom watch video of any length. But occasionally, something catches my eye. Recently, I checked out a DVD on the New York art scene in the 1960s, since I've become quite fascinated by the history of painting.
After puzzling over the seldom-used DVD, I lasted lest than ten minutes before I had to turn it off. It wasn't obscene, or boring, or even dead wrong. Rather, it was impossible for me to watch, given its production values. There was no coherent development of ideas or even images. The scenes jumped jerkily from one talking head to another, to one film clip to another, from one sonic background to another. It nearly nauseated me while inducing vertigo.
You see, my sensibilities are set by books and older films. Flashing lights were used at rock concerts when I was growing up, but they had no intellectual content; they were special effects. Now everything, every form of media it seems (excepting Ken Burns's films), are overloaded, thickly larded with rancid special effects that are supposed to carry meaning and even truth. It cannot be done, but most are too hypnotized to even notice.
Interruption will not be a way of life for me. I refuse it.