Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Film: 'Christmas Black'

The sun is low and cold when Christmas time comes. The lights flicker and dark boxes are slowly opened. Trees spin round faster and faster until the light explodes.

The film uses two movements from Respighi's 'Pines of Rome.' The music and film start slowly, quietly, as if conserving or gathering their resources. Then the music builds to a martial crescendo and the film images begin to fragment.

This film took me the better part of two months to make. It uses footage taken during December and some older footage that fit the subject matter. Last night when the moon was full and apparently showing at its largest for the year, I went out and took some video of it and decided that the shots were the missing element that I had been puzzling over for the past several days while editing my film. The editing took me about a week to complete. There are many connections to draw between the images that appear. Some of them are very quick, but the overall impression should be a little bit on the mystical side.

I've been very impressed lately by the work of Kenneth Anger. His underlying mystical concerns and his total lack of fear in his image-making are extremely important. He makes me think that it is the intent behind an image that determines whether it will become a part of memory or not. If you see a cup in a coffee commercial, you don't remember it five years later. If you see one in a Kenneth Anger film, you remember it forever. The intent behind an image functions a bit like magic.

I don't necessarily completely like everything Anger has made, but I admire his willingness to film beauty that frightens people. There are many very tough and hardcore underground filmmakers, but I think there are very few who are unafraid of actual, shocking, terrifying beauty.


Anonymous said...

Alessandro, you have included so much GORGEOUS imagery in this film. The footage of the Moon is spectacular! "Christmas Black" is an enchanting world - fascinating, compelling, frightening, and sublime.

"In some cases
The Moon is you
In any case
The Moon."
- Jack Kerouac

Camouflage Lenses said...

Jennifer, thank you for your comment at that 'gorgeous' word! ...and the Kerouac. I always love a little Kerouac. Never gets old.

Anonymous said...

"Christmas Black" is an excellent movie. I really appreciate your work.