It's Saturday, traditionally a day of recreation and indolence for many in America and the West, so I hope you have some time today to take in a couple of short films—running times 10:51 and 7:17 respectively. Get a cup of coffee, settle in.
A promotional film by the famous husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames, SX-70 was created for the 1972 rollout of the famous camera. It was shown at the shareholders' meeting that year and distributed on 16mm film to dealers and salespeople. A concise model of intelligent filmmaking that transcends its promotional function, it enlightens us equally about the formidable technology of the camera as well as its philosophical and conceptual underpinnings.
It's interesting especially when compared and contrasted with...
The contrarian art of John Chiara. Something to ponder in light of one of Charles Eames' most famous quotes: "Innovate as a last resort."*
If you still have time, you might want to read Michael Neault's very fine essay "The Films of Charles and Ray Eames."
Mike (Thanks to Mark Seel and Taran Morgan)
*What did Eames mean? Essentially, look to tradition first; solve what problems you can by traditional means, and innovate only because you need to, not for its own sake.
Featured Comment by Grant: "That SX-70 is never going to catch on. Do you see how long it takes to chimp?"
Featured Comment by robert e: "What this pair of films seems to be telling me is that, aside from fabrication issues, a particular camera represents a particular set of assumptions about how photography should be approached and how photographs ought to look."
Mike replies: That, Sir, is the soul of succinctness.