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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hunter Millmoss: the Ramos Interview 

(Cinéaste and linguist, Millmoss has fairly thrown down the gauntlet to any who would see cinema as an outmoded artform. Since his groundbreaking novel/essay Artitude, few have been bold enough to counter his assertion that cinema is really in its infancy—or, to use Millmossian terminology, its "latent toddler stage".

This conversation was recorded while Millmoss was taking a break at the Atrium.)

Ramos: Now, in your early, curious—

Millmoss: Oh, oh, this isn't going to be about movies, is it? I really don't think... no, can we talk about something else?

Ramos: W—, w—

Milmoss: Can we talk about, I don't know, just anything? Except movies?

Ramos: Bvvv... h'mm.

Millmoss: Anything at all. Ask me anything. Just not about movies or language.

Ramos: We kind of ... thought only about that.

Millmoss: That's not good. Don't you have some other interests besides movies?

Ramos: Well ...

Millmoss: Don't you have a wife or children? What do you talk about to them? Not movies, surely?

Ramos: ... not really seeing anyone at the moment.

Millmoss: What? Well, there you are. None of my business, but lots of people get turned off if you're obsessive about something. I mean chicks, for example. When they first meet you, it's like, "Oh, he's a really interesting guy, so passionate about" whatever. That lasts for like four months. Then it's like some kind of boring hobby of yours. "Yawn yawn, oh shut up about movies".

Ramos: Well, we are a magazine devoted to cinema and—

Millmoss: Yeah, but look at you. Hanging around, interviewing old guys that no one's ever heard of, giving yourselves over to these insincere enthusiasms. Discussing the same old incomprehensible stuff every evening at the coffee shop. Where's the fun in that?

Ramos: But we've invested considerable—

Millmoss: And where's it got you? No offence, but look: a magazine your age has to have more than boyish enthusiasm going for it. You know?

Ramos: We suppose so.

Millmoss: H'm. Well, don't be offended. Don't be like that. Come on, cheer up. Really. Come on, buck up. Look, it reminds me, during the shooting of Modern Sports, I wanted to mount a large mirror on the side of the Texas School Book Depository, so we could shoot the reflection. Because we couldn't get a camera up there, where I wanted it. So I was talking to Hank. He, as it turned out, knew quite a lot about optics—I mean, unusual stuff.

Ramos: Who, if memory serves, had been called in to consult on This is Cinerama (1952) at a crucial moment.

Millmoss: ... You know, you need some help. Really. I'm off.

(And once again, the staff at Ramos finds itself confronted with the work. Where does Millmoss go from here? How does he justify his stated intention of "moving beyond the camera" in the light of his most recent excursion, Camera Chiara? And why does he have to be so hard on people?)


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