Video Playback: Less is More, and Othe Video Verities

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Deirdre Boyle


Sightlines (1982)




"While viewing the videotapes in this year?s Global Village Video and Television Documentary Festival, I renewed my Subscription to the "less is more" philosophy. Independent Video began by adhering to this aesthetic out of sheer necessity. With only half-inch black-and-white equipment and either no editing or only primitive systems available, a tape had to rely on the sheer intimacy and immediacy of the medium and on presenting people and topics one wouldn?t ordinarily encounter on TV or in the movies. Today, 14 years after the first potapaks were sold in the United States, just about everyone is trying to outstrip television with slick and gratuitous visuals, dizzying quick cuts, fancy computer graphics, living color (frequently out-of-registration!) heckling interviewers, and a crazy-quilt montage that serves more to confuse and distract viewers than to inform, inspire or delight them." Includes mentions of Barbara Rosenthal, Skip Blumberg, Philip Mallory Jones, Parker Auburn, Dan Reeves, Jerry Bass, and Maxi Cohen.

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