Jazz, I don’t know anything about Manny Farber but after looking it up, my answer is “roughly.”
Hey, good to see you, Michael.
Honestly, my knowledge of Carney is based on the discussions here at mubi, but after reading about Farber’s concepts, it sounded like Farber and Carney would get along. I suspect that not only would Carney prefer Termite Art, but he’d share Farber’s feelings about White Elephant Art. But again, I haven’t really read Carney, so…
Carney rarely agrees with someone- even people he likes (Mike Leigh, Jon Jost, etc.)- unless they are dead.
Just from hearing the names, I don’t think Carney would find White Elephant and Termite art to be useful distinctions. He’s more interested in the form of the films than their reasons for being made.
Hey Jazz, it’s been a few months since I’ve posted here. I don’t know if you remember me, but if you do, well, I’ve changed my views on intersubjectivity since then! You’re right when you say he would prefer Termite Art and share a dislike of White Elephant Art but I agree with Fraser Orr that Carney would not want see much use for those terms. For Carney the only two categories that matter are works that are worthy of one’s time and works that are not.
There’s also the matter of deciding who fits in which category. Farber lists Chaplin as White Elephant Art but Carney is a big fan. Their disagreement likely stems from a disagreement on what to value in art rather than a mere clash of tastes, and this speaks to Carney’s (likely) non-appreciation of this terminology.
What the two writers seem to share is a dissatisfaction with formal complexity as a substitute for profundity.
“I don’t think Carney would find White Elephant and Termite art to be useful distinctions. He’s more interested in the form of the films than their reasons for being made.”
I think you’re right about form vs. reasons, although for Farber the distinction he’s making between motivations would also be reflected in form.
“There’s also the matter of deciding who fits in which category.”
Right, even Farber didn’t define the two terribly rigorously, so there’s plenty of room for disagreement . His issue with Chaplin as White Elephant was generally expressed in contrast to Laurel and Hardy as termite:
“The position of Laurel and Hardy in their scene was revolutionary: it was dispersed. They’re always viewed in relation to American suburbanism, possessionism, commodityism, or copism. That’s very different from Chaplin or Keaton in that they’re rather small items in a space, and the space is political, social—prestige to get the money and be accepted in society—and the viewpoint never loses that distance on them. Instead of being virtuosos commanding space, the way Chaplin is, dissolving space around them . . . the thing that intrigues me about Laurel and Hardy is that they’re sort of lost in the frame, they don’t work it to their advantage, either aesthetically or egoistically. That’s what’s so exciting about a Duras or Rivette movie. There’s a great deal of reality and truth, and it’s magic; you forget the idea of a linear construction into a story or into an event. The edge of the frame is where art is today. That’s a big statement, but that’s where the fun is. Not only the edge of the frame, the edge of the soundtrack. Not like Bernard Herrmann’s Taxi Driver idea, in which you’re inside the movie, there’s nowhere to go, it’s like a bowling alley.”
Oh I definitely remember you, as I’ve enjoyed your conversations in the past. (I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts about intersubjectivity, too.)
As for the terms, I don’t think they’re so important, but hearing descriptions of them made me think of Carney’s preferences and dislikes.
I remember you to, Michael. Good to “see” you again.
Matt said, Good to “see” you again.
This means he also wants to talk about intersubjectivity, too. Right, Matt? ;)
I don’t want to derail this thread!
Carney is one of my biggest inspirations. If you want Carney summed up quickly, I’d recommend this: http://people.bu.edu/rcarney/indiemove/art.shtml
I see this thread ended a while ago and the only reason why I’m here is that I just watched “Love Streams” for the first time in a long while and it reminded me why I think it’s the best movie ever made (if you can get over the “how I missed you” dream sequence song with Rowlands and her daughter about 3/4 into it), and also made me think of an old friend of mine, Mike Sheinheit. I decided to look for him on Facebook and couldn’t find him but when I did the search on FB, it gave the link to this thread and I saw his name mentioned. Now there is the possibility that the Michael Sheinheit who wrote here is a different person than I knew, in which case that would be absolutely bizarre, since this person writes just like he did and has the same ideas as he did. So, Mike, if this is you and you read this, what’s up, man? Last time I saw you I think it was at my son’s first birthday party (that’s about 7 years ago, as he’ll be turning 8 this July). How’re things? Here’s my e-mail if you’re not on Facebook: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are on Facebook and somehow you didn’t pop in the search or you want to go there anyway, here I am:
and here’s my artist page on FB, for my books and my music, in case you were wondering what I’ve been doing these days:
and my site:
You might not like my writing nor my music or maybe you will – it’s cool either way – because even though I continued to have Cassavetes as much an inspiration as before, I also became just as influenced by the artsy fartsy intellectual stuff like Joyce, Rimbaud, Lautreamont, Baudelaire, Mallarme, Goethe, Marlowe (and yes I still think he wrote Shakespeare’s stuff), Beckett and all that. I also got into The Fall, the post-punk band from Manchester (probably my favorite and I kinda remember you not liking them). My music sounds nothing like the The Fall, as it’s all electronic, so it’s more like Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle, Coil, etc. Anyway, it was nice to read what you wrote and be good to hear back from you. Are you still with the chick I met you with at the Cat Power show (Lannie and Alice were with me and you with your beautiful young gal)? She was something else. It seems I destined to be like Robert Harmon, to be honest … which I don’t mind actually … I always thought you would end up in a happy marriage like Minnie and Moskowitz personally, however much other people disagreed with me.
that’s bonkers. i actually tried to call you a few months ago..left a message but it may have been a much older number i had for you. i think the last time we talked actually was when i was living in the valley. i live on the east coast now…we were gonna play basketball. might have flaked out cause my knee is shot. remember that night that jacked up homeless guy with the crazy jewlery hacked me in the middle of my jump shot and you had to take me to that hospital downtown? good times!
anyway lot of ups and downs as i’m sure you can understand…playing a lot of music myself as of late..getting pretty good..still writing too..shot some stuff in LA before i left…couple of years ago now…some great acting moments… i mean better than any garbage you’d see now…but was pretty much a disaster otherwise..have many hours of footage but can’t really bear to watch it..breaks my heart..seriously…didn’t finish….not a dream that died easy anyway. problems with neighbors and police…couldn’t get anyone to help and the film world turns my stomach anyway.
anyway let me try to get a hold of you on a private message sometime in the next couple of days somehow so we can exchange numbers. i’d love to talk to you…it’s been a long time
got your e-mail. didn’t see it at first. …
Alright! Nice. I was hoping this thread thing would find a way to contact you. Since it was about a year ago when you left the last comment, I was concerned that perhaps it being left hanging the folks who commented on here were disengaged somehow. So yeah, I was notified of your response by mubi sending it to my e-mail so I just read it right now on my yahoo e-mail (which, again, is email@example.com) My yahoo IM hasn’t been working recently so send me an e-mail message and we can communicate that way or if you wanted to text or phone call, you can leave me your number in the message to my e-mail.
The guy’s name should be Ray Carnie.
MUBI missed connections.
brown shirts are at it again. i suppose it’s some kind of personal affront now that someone reconnects with an old friend on the prestigious serious MUBI. personally i think you twats need to pull the academy awards out of your asses
hey if anybody out there in the film world wants to hire torres and parks do it…they can be flip and they’re oh so with it
Calm down, Mike, we’re kidding. No one cares, I’m glad you guys are back in touch and all, and you’ve called so many people Nazis here over the course of a few weeks that no one can possibly take offense at it anymore.
As a matter of decorum, though, guys, there’s a reason that this forum (and most others) provides you with the ability to send personal messages to one another. It’s so you don’t have to put your personal stuff out on display in a public forum.
yes well… decorum isn’t very high on my list . on my friends behalf he was responding to a closed account..
but more importantly if you don’t care why leave a comment? i mean thanks for the forum tutorial and all but it really just doesn’t make much sense
signed jack klugman
Because your exchange took the form of a missed connection, Mike. I figured that was self-explanatory.
it was self explanatory before you even took the time to point it out. you must have a pretty exalted view of your own intelligence not to mention some really strange idea that everybody gives just as much of a fuck about decorum as you. okay so i turned the thread into a missed connections for a few posts. i don’t culturally analyze every god damn thing i do. so what? seriously buy looser pants guy
Lots of people here give a fuck about decorum, including the people who own this site who give moderators (like me) the job of enforcing decorum. So let’s have decorum shall we?
aww i read this exchange yesterday and found it really touching. chill out everyone
Geez, Mike, I would take your posts more seriously if you could make it through a single post without sprinkling in a bunch of feckless insults. I don’t really have anything else to say on the matter, but, should you find that you do, feel free to message me.
Mike S- “hey if anybody out there in the film world wants to hire torres and parks do it…they can be flip and they’re oh so with it”
Well, I work in the business, have done so for 30 years as a film editor, sound editor and post production supervisor. Dropped out of film school because I got offered a full time editing job at 22. First person to set up a NLE system (AVID) in my country, even edited a 70mm Expo film and two features, dozens of documentaries and hundreds of commercials. Retired as an editor last year to write spec scripts.Also some script doctoring. Financially independent at 52.
So… What did you say you do for a living?
In 2000 I edited a documentary for Princeton about Borges. The director of foreign languages sent me a letter complementing ’’the clear editing and structuring of such a complex subject". Only thing I have framed in my study room. In junior high I belonged to the A/V club. Also I was listening to Krautrock and reading Marx and Nietzsche. A true Nerd.
i don’t know what films you’re editing and what scripts your doctoring…but you might want to step it up a bit because there have been like two decent films to come out of the “business” in the last twenty years. i did a couple of commercials to..but i didn’t brag about,,,made good money but tried to get fired. in fact i couldn’t sleep at night when i was doing it. i don’t give a shot about your imdb credit..and anybody who knows me will tell you that. i’m sure you work hard…and you may even be a creative person but you’re a fucking sheep and i’ll tell you why…because you’re refering to something i love and care deeply about about as a fucking “business”. just get the hell out and go into accounting. the world doesn’t need another patzo throwing around an imdb credit. it was already unconscionably boring beforehand
@parks. i didn’t know how to private message…and had you given advice on how to do so without making some snide comment regarding something that had absolutely nothing to do with you i might have been interested in taking it