"The scream is over the top here, but in your defense, it really conveys the sound of pride leaving the body."
December 30, 2011 5:32 PM   Subscribe

The Ramsey Brothers present: Home Videos with DVD Commentary: There's A Bear / Chorophobia / Not Where You Saw [via]
posted by defenestration (6 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I really like this. I really really like this a lot. By presupposing authorial intent these videos are inventing the position of the author. But has this narrowed or expanded the possible interpretations of the piece? I would argue that the creation of fake creators has ironically provided for a a substantially wider variety of possible meanings (i.e. would you have assumed this work was anything but a home movie without the audio commentary?). Intentional fallacy? "Not where you saw" indeed.

Roland Barthes, were he alive, would make a 10 hour long TED presentation on the cumulative 9 or so minutes of these videos and then pose moodily in a weirdly lit room while smoking constantly.
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:26 PM on December 30, 2011

2bucksplus, I think you might have been taking these a bit too seriously! The position of the narrators as author? Intentional Fallacy?

It's a JOKE!! WHOOSH!!! That sound you just heard was the joke whizzing past over your head.

The joke is obviously that the author is clearly the mother here...who holds the camera? Clearly, Barthes could present on the video, but I think even he would defer to Kristeva. Notice the detachment of the mother, she holds the camera, yes, but she has no intention of getting involved. We see the two boys fighting, but she derives some pleasure from this violence. At 1:15, the narration alludes to the "heartless" mother...she is depassioned. It is a bit contrived for her to seek pleasure in the visual rift occurring between the brothers, the split of the figurative fetus from herself. The camera signifies the final abjection - as auteur and voyeur, she must hold onto the camera and her gaze. She cannot intervene, and the brothers are horrified but also empowered by this notion.

Sure, 2bucksplus, there are videos that might have the paternalistic viewpoint you are describing, but not where you saw.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 6:51 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

So you guys are grad students?
posted by jeremias at 7:00 PM on December 30, 2011 [6 favorites]

I think that the true meaning of these films is an indictment of society as mother. If one considers the young people to be symbolic of individuals (since clearly their very different costume choices in there's a bear are intended to highlight this, as well as the hermaphroditic costume in chorophobia to include the feminine in their depiction of individuality) then clearly the bored, mechanical behavior of the mother gives us a vision of the society into which the individual is birthed. This society compels us to commit ourselves to our descent while frightening us with the possibility of disaster, then allows us to ascend once the voyeuristic pleasure of that disaster is complete for the other which is our communal experience. It values goods (such as the clothes) over our emotional well being. We scream in agony, but the pain is irrelevant to our larger context as automatons who perform for the amusement of the collective. The pain is not where you saw. It is where you live.

I feel that these pieces, particularly chorophobia, are reminiscent of Herzog's vision of humanity and the universe.
posted by winna at 7:37 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

These looked much better when viewed on a CRT television on the original VHS.
posted by not_on_display at 10:28 PM on December 30, 2011

I like how we all just assume these are childhood movies, much less childhood movies of the filmmakers themselves...

"Double Negative" on their 'Channel' is also real good.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:14 AM on December 31, 2011

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