Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On Rappaport and Carney

I've been lucky enough to see two of Mark Rappaport's films, both of them years ago on VHS, and I have been eagerly awaiting the day that I could see more of them. As anyone who is reading this is no doubt aware, that day at the very least seems very far off due to Ray Carney's possession of the materials Rappaport needs to make them available to stream online. I don't have much to say about this that hasn't already been said, but the situation is so morally repugnant to me that I feel compelled to say it anyway: Rappaport made the films. He absolutely has the right to them, and to make some kind of living off of them. It is abhorrent to claim otherwise.

I would stop there, but in the interest of full disclosure, I present the following:  It was Carney who introduced me to Rappaport's work. Ray Carney introduced me to a lot of artists I wouldn't have heard of otherwise, including some contemporaries whom I consider friends. For a time, I considered Ray a friend, and we corresponded often. Much of that correspondence, I was to find later, he put on his website. Had I known it'd be public I'd probably have sounded less like a mewling little sycophant most of the time, which doesn't speak well for the person I was at that time.

When his website was "shut down" (it's still there, just not updated) some years back, Ray suddenly stopped responding to my emails. I knew from mutual internet-acquaintances, all of them much more successful and "established-ish" filmmakers than Mary and myself, that he still checked his email, still responded to them, etc. But he just stopped talking to me. It felt like that since he didn't have a website to post my letters on, that since he lacked a forum with which to post my embarrassingly effusive praise, he didn't have any further use for me. I was sore about that for a while. I got over it. I haven't heard from him in years.