PRINT November 2005


avant-garde film on DVD

THAT 16 MM FILM is dying, at least as an exhibition format, has long been obvious to those of us who teach film. The 16 mm prints on which film studies has relied since its inception are gradually becoming so old and worn as to be unusable, and are not, for the most part, being replaced. The solution for many institutions is to project DVDs of films, often using low-end digital projectors, resulting in the paradox that, while more and more students are studying the art of film, fewer and fewer are actually watching films on film.

In addition to the significant loss of image and sound quality—which will only marginally improve with the introduction next year of high-definition discs—a major problem with DVDs is that their release is market driven; while DVDs of commercially successful films are readily available, art films are less so, and experimental films hardly at all—until the past few

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