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BLACK AND WHITE.
HE POINTS TO "IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" VIEWED
BY MILLIONS EVERY CHRISTMAS ON TELEVISION.
HE POINTS TO
"YANKEE DOODLE DANDY" AND "SERGEANT YORK" AND "CITIZEN KANE"
AND "THE MALTESE FALCON" AND "ON THE WATERFRONT".
"THEY'RE GREAT FILMS", THE BOSS SAYS.
GOING TO IMPROVE THEM.
THEY'LL BE GREATER WHEN I'M
FINISHED WITH THEM."
"BUT THE DIRECTOR OF 'CITIZEN KANE' IS DEAD.
WHO'LL TELL YOU WHAT COLORS IT SHOULD BE?"
"WE HAVE MEN TO DO THAT.
NEVER DIRECTED FILMS AND KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT,
THEY SURE CAN WORK COMPUTERS AND BETWEEN YOU AND ME
"OH, THAT'S IN THE FUTURE", THE BOSS SAYS.
COLOR, THEN MAYBE WE REPLACE THE SCORE OF
WITH THE WIND' WITH ROCK.
I HAVE LOTS OF IDEAS."
NOW, YOU MIGHT GET THE IMPRESSION FROM ALL THIS THAT I AM
AGAINST COLORIZATION OF BLACK AND WHITE FILMS, BUT BELIEVE IT
OR NOT YOU'D BE WRONG.
IF A MOVIE DIRECTOR WISHES HIS FILM
TO BE COLORIZED, THEN I SAY BY ALL MEANS, LET HIM COLOR IT.
IF HE PREFERS IT TO REMAIN IN BLACK AND WHITE THEN IT IS
SINFUL TO FORCE HIM TO CHANGE IT.
IF THE DIRECTOR IS NOT
ALIVE AND HIS WORK HAS BEEN HISTORICALLY ESTABLISHED IN BLACK
PRESUMPTION THAT THE COLORIZERS ARE DOING HIM A FAVOR AND
BETTERING HIS MOVIE IS A TRANSPARENT ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY THE
MUTILATION OF ART FOR A FEW EXTRA DOLLARS.
THE COLORIZERS WILL TELL YOU THAT IT'S PROVEN NO ONE WANTS
BLACK AND WHITE BUT THIS IS NOT TRUE AND IF IT WERE
AUDIENCES WHO HAVE GROWN UP ON MINDLESS TELEVISION WERE SO
DESENSITIZED THAT A MOVIE LIKE "IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT" WHICH
HAS BEEN DELIGHTING PEOPLE IN BLACK AND WHITE FOR GENERATIONS
NOW HAD TO BE VIEWED IN COLOR TO BE APPRECIATED THEN THE TASK
WOULD BE TO CULTIVATE THE AUDIENCE BACK TO SOME LEVEL OF
MATURITY RATHER THAN TO DOCTOR THE FILM ARTIFICIALLY TO KEEP
UP WITH LOWERED TASTES.
NOT ONLY DO THE COLORIZERS HAVE
CONTEMPT FOR THE AMERICAN PUBLIC BUT ALSO FOR THE ARTIST.
LARGE NUMBER OF AMERICAN MOVIES ARE CLASSICS BOTH AT HOME AND
AND WHAT OF THE OTHER INSULTS
THE EDITING, THE ARTIFICIAL
PANNING, THE CUTS MADE TO ACCOMMODATE THE COMMERCIAL SALE OF
RESPECT FOR PEOPLE WHO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SOCIETY BY DOING
CREATIVE WORK TO ALLOW ANYONE TO SUBVERT THEIR CREATIONS AT
MY PERSONAL BELIEF IS OF COURSE THAT NO ONE SHOULD
EVER BE ABLE TO TAMPER WITH ANY ARTIST'S WORK IN ANY MEDIUM
AGAINST THE ARTIST'S WILL AND THIS PRINCIPLE CAN BE ARGUED
JUSTLY BY ANY CITIZEN.
IT DOES NOT NEED A DIRECTLY INVOLVED
THE COLORIZERS MAY THINK THEY HAVE A LEGAL LOOPHOLE BUT THE
MORALITY OF WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS ATROCIOUS.
WITH ENOUGH CLOUT TO MAKE SELF-PROTECTING CONTRACTS THIS IS
BUT FOR THOSE LESS FORTUNATE AND, OF COURSE, THE
DECEASED ONES, PROTECTION MUST BE GUARANTEED.
IF A PRODUCER INSISTS ON COLOR AND IF A HELPLESS DIRECTOR IS
FORCED TO FILM IT THE STUDIO'S WAY, DESPITE HIS OWN FEELINGS
THAT IT SHOULD BE BLACK AND WHITE
WELL A DEAL'S A DEAL.
ONCE A FILM EXISTS
IN BLACK AND WHITE AND HAS
THRILLING AUDIENCES FOR YEARS, THEN TO SUDDENLY COLOR IT
ULTIMATELY, OF COURSE, THE COLORIZERS WILL LOSE THIS BATTLE.
IF IT'S NOT IMMEDIATELY THEN FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL FOR SURE
DISCARD THESE CHEESY, ARTIFICIAL SYMBOLS OF ONE SOCIETY'S
THEY WILL, OF COURSE, GO BACK TO THE GREAT ORIGINALS.
PRACTICE TO CONTINUE ONE CAN EASILY PICTURE YOUNG MEN AND
WOMEN SOMEDAY DISCUSSING US WITH DISGUST AND SAYING, "THEY
DID THIS AND NOBODY STOPPED THEM?"
"WELL THERE WAS A LOT OF MONEY INVOLVED."
"BUT SURELY THE PEOPLE COULD SEE THE DEEPER VALUE
TO AMERICA OF ITS FILM TREASURY, OF ITS IMAGE AMONG
DON'T TELL ME IT WAS THE KIND OF NATION THAT
ADORED PROFIT AT ANY COST AND HUMILIATION."
HERE I FINISH BECAUSE IT'S TOO EARLY TO KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT
BUT I HOPE DEARLY THAT I WILL NOT BE PART OF A CULTURE THAT
IS ONE DAY RIDICULED AND REVILED AS A LAUGHING STOCK.
Senator LEAHY. Thank you, Mr. Allen.
STATEMENT OF MILOS FORMAN Mr. FORMAN. Mr. Chairman, I was born and I lived the first 37 years of my life in Europe, and that, I feel, qualifies me to testify that the only U.S. Ambassador who is welcomed with open arms and love and admiration by everybody everywhere in the world is American film. The emotional impact that American movies have on hundreds of millions of people everywhere every day is astonishing, and we can be very proud of it.
You can give the audiences Hollywood glamor. You can show them films showing our dark side, criticizing ourselves, and they admire our freedom with which we can talk about ourselves.
So, whichever end of the stick you grab, the American film always wins, except at home.
You can imagine how saddened I was when, after coming to the United States, I learned that these wonderful and proud Ambassadors of our culture, when they return home, to the homes of Americans on television, they are treated by the money people not even as second-class citizens, they are treated as sausages on the butcher block.
They are cut. They are colorized. They are panned and scanned, sped up and altered, and I learned it myself the hard way. I made a musical for United Artists, which was sold to 115 syndicated stations all over the country in the United States with nine entire musical numbers cut out, and numerous little cuts here and there throughout the whole film.
But the interesting thing is my name was still on it. The film was still sold to the audiences for profit as an original, as a Milos Forman film. I asked the lawyers if there was any way to protect my work against this mutilation. I was told if you are not protected by your individual contract, there is nothing in American law which protects the rights of creative authors of motion pictures. Whoever buys them can do with them anything they wish. They can even sell them after the alterations as the original work.
It was shocking for me to discover that the creative authors of this genuinely American art form are much better protected in every other country in the civilized world than they are in the United States. For example, if I commission a painting, it does not matter if it is a Picasso or from an unknown, it is mine. I paid for it, and I can do anything-anything. It is mine. I can do anything. I own it. Nobody can protect the painting against me doing anything with it I wish. I can change colors, I can alter the lines. I can even cut a few inches here and there to accommodate the space on my wall. But should I still be able to sell this as a Picasso or an unknown for profit as the original work? I believe not.
I realize that I am hired and paid by the money people to make a film. But so was Michelangelo whom Medici hired and paid to paint the Sistine Chapel. And still none of the Medicis went inside during the night and changed the colors or repainted or otherwise altered Michelangelo's work. But, of course, those were the Middle Ages, or were they?