MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

New documentaries focus on Franken's crusade, Jesus Youth and Tibetan skies

September 20, 2007 Digital Dretzka officially digs documentaries, and, each year, we like to welcome the start of Documentary Season. In fact, we much prefer watching documentaries at 10 in the morning on a Tuesday than attending prime-time screenings of 90 percent of all Hollywood movies on a Saturday night. We also enjoy watching non-fiction…

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When Lennon sang, 'Give Peace a Chance,' Nixon and his cronies replied, 'Scram'

September 13, 2006 For the past dozen years, David Leaf and John Scheinfeld have made a pretty decent living churning out rockumentaries and video biographies of several generations worth of pop-culture icons, ranging from Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Durante to Brian Wilson and Jonathan Winters. Indeed, a scan of their resumes might suggest that cable…

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Katie Couric era arrives at CBS and a grateful America rejoices … for about 20 minutes, anyway

September 05, 2006 Tonight, I did something I hadn’t done in years. Like millions of other obedient Americans, I tuned into “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” to see the face that launch’d a thousand sappy magazine and newspaper articles in the months since her departure from NBC in May. Helen of Troy, Katie wasn’t….

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Dretzka

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“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many recappers, while clearly over their heads, are baseline sympathetic to finding themselves routinely unmoored, even if that means repeating over and over that this is closer to “avant-garde art” than  normal TV to meet the word count. My feed was busy connecting the dots to Peter Tscherkassky (gas station), Tony Conrad (the giant staring at feedback of what we’ve just seen), Pat O’Neill (bombs away) et al., and this is all apposite — visual and conceptual thinking along possibly inadvertent parallel lines. If recappers can’t find those exact reference points to latch onto, that speaks less to willful ignorance than to how unfortunately severed experimental film is from nearly all mainstream discussions of film because it’s generally hard to see outside of privileged contexts (fests, academia, the secret knowledge of a self-preserving circle working with a very finite set of resources and publicity access to the larger world); resources/capital/access/etc. So I won’t assign demerits for willful incuriosity, even if some recappers are reduced, in some unpleasantly condescending/bluffing cases, to dismissing this as a “student film” — because presumably experimentation is something the seasoned artist gets out of their system in maturity, following the George Lucas Model of graduating from Bruce Conner visuals to Lawrence Kasdan’s screenwriting.”
~ Vadim Rizov Goes For It, A Bit

“On the first ‘Twin Peaks,’ doing TV was like going from a mansion to a hut. But the arthouses are gone now, so cable television is a godsend — they’re the new art houses. You’ve got tons of freedom to do the work you want to do on TV, but there is a restriction in terms of picture and sound. The range of television is restricted. It’s hard for the power and the glory to come through. In other words, you can have things in a theater much louder and also much quieter. With TV, the quieter things have to be louder and the louder things have to be quieter, so you have less dynamics. The picture quality — it’s fine if you have a giant television with a good speaker system, but a lot of people will watch this on their laptops or whatever, so the picture and the sound are going to suffer big time. Optimally, people should be watching TV in a dark room with no disturbances and with as big and good a picture as possible and with as great sound as possible.”
~ David Lynch