By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Tony Kushner

“Well, like absolutely everything that this guy has done since getting into office, I think it’s an appalling idea. I hope it’s noise. I really hope that the Republican Congress doesn’t go along with it. We spend $400 million on military marching bands, and $145 million on the NEA, in a country of 319 million. They’re woefully underfunded. It’s a completely empty gesture: we’re talking about a $1.1 trillion budget, and a savings of a few hundred million dollars – a negligible amount. They think the NEA is going to be an easy win for them – an easy thing where they can say to their base, “Look, we got rid of these wasteful programs”. But the programs are of value, even if they’re woefully underfunded. They’re digitizing information that’s of immense value to scholars. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting produces invaluable news programs, which I suppose are among the enemies of the people. It’s never about the NEA. The barbarians who go after it are usually after something bigger than that. In the 90s, when Republicans went after it, it was to stop the LGBT movement and feminism and multiculturalism. The NEA was a handy way of going after that. Now, I think, this is only comprehensible as an expression of the president’s priorities: Congress has to pass the budget but what he’s saying is, ‘Let’s start dismantling the federal government.’ The vision that is more and more clearly looming is that we’re not looking at an attempt to set up a fascist state. We’re looking at a decisive victory in a battle that’s been going on since before the Civil War – really since the founding of this country – for the states’ rightists.”
~ Tony Kushner

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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