On Mar 31, 2015, at 11:27 AM, Dave Tetzlaff 
<djte...@gmail.com<mailto:djte...@gmail.com>> wrote:

Chill out, people!

Amen!  Tell it like it is brother Tetzlaff!

I didn’t participate because the initial question seemed very flawed for the 
reasons David has pointed out, and I was off at a conference (Society for 
Cinema and Media Studies, with LOTS of presentations on experimental tim and 
video topics, thank you).

But I would say this about teaching Wavelength.  For a time back in the 80s I 
had easy access to a very inexpensive rental of the film and I used it as the 
first film the first ay of class.  This was for a Junior/Senior/MFA/PhD student 
class at Northwestern’s RadioTV/Film department.  We also picked up some arty 
and boho students from humanities departments, and a bunch of self-styled punks 
and post-punks who worked on the campus radio station and were into the newest 

I soon discovered that some undergrads would take the class because the time 
was convenient for their schedules, but really they were mostly industry 
oriented and would then be unhappy during most of the course (they did like the 
more humorous films) and turn in negative evaluations of the course and the 
prof.  Therefore, I needed an audience chaser from the get go, and Wavelength 
was perfect.  I showed it after the intro admin detail and a short intro 
history to avant garde film, but with no time for discussion after.

I did say before the film that I was going to show them a film that was like no 
other film they had ever seen, and that they had to discuss it with whoever 
they had dinner with that evening, and their friends wouldn’t believe someone 
had made such a film. I suggested they try to “explain” to them why this could 
be the first film in a class on artist films, what it “meant” etc.

This worked perfectly.  The students who aspired to go to Hollywood and had no 
other imagination dropped the class.  Those who stayed had the opportunity to 
show just how arty and smarty-pants they really were to their peers.  The 
campus radio kids loved the soundtrack (industrial was big at that time) and 
immediately got the pun in the title.  The tech oriented production oriented 
students were fascinated with "how did he make it?”  Above all, those who came 
to the second class (and sometimes brought a transfer in friend) loved the 
feeling of insider-elite knowledge, and saw the rest of the course as opening a 
new door, a Wonderland like rabbit hole for exploring new ideas and experiences.

BTW, I would try to show Joyce Weiland’s Water Sark later in the class and use 
it as a chance to talk about 8mm vs. 16mm, the difference between a prestige 
male artist having a studio and “his wife” having only a kitchen table top.  
Sometimes I’d add in Snow’s Breakfast table top dolly film and read it as a  
misogynist’s attack on the women’s world  of Water Sark.

Chuck Kleinhans

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