Friday, August 26, 2011

The Hyrcynium Wood: Short Film by Ben Rivers

The 'Hyrcynium Wood' is a 2005 experimental film by British filmmaker Ben Rivers who tends to work with old film cameras and 16mm. I like the layered misty anxiety of this short film. Rivers has a couple of films showing at this year's New York Film Festival.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Beauty and Love Are Another Song - Song About the Youth Uprising in England

Michel Montecrossa's latest video examines the desperation behind the rioting in Great Britain. His direct and heartfelt approach works to cut through all the recent bullshit about the rioters being simple thugs with nothing more on their minds than robbery and destruction. Riots are open wounds that erupt after enormous damage has already been done to a population. The seething pressure is always there for a long time before exploding in everyone's faces. By definition, riots involve damage and robbery. What else would there be to do at a riot? Riots are anger and desperate hopelessness that cannot be controlled. Yes, of course one must punish people who burn down buildings. But one must also have the intellect and social responsibility to seriously look at why children and adults would feel so awful that the only thing they can think of doing is burning down a city. That is serious rebellion and it is going to spread. The world is under incredible economic pressure and the people who suffer understand that governments tied to extreme wealth and corporate interests are responsible. Populations are going off like bombs. The uprisings in the Middle East are directly connected to the uprisings London because both groups of people have become aware that the same corporations control what happens in both places. The dictators and authoritarian regimes in the Middle East are kept there because they provide certain corporations with efficiency in the region. Assad is exterminating people in Syria because it is convenient for Western companies and politicians that he do so. The Western governments have wanted globalization and now they've got it. Globalization of uprisings and riots. One must remember that the riots in Great Britain were started by a policeman who killed a young man. A policeman who chose, just like the policemen in Syria, to point his gun and fire a bullet into the body of a human being. A violent reaction to such an act should be expected in most cases.

RETINABALL! : A Bang Wash Film

Have you seen any of the films from Bang Wash Productions? I hadn't until today. Fantastic. I'm always utterly confused by underground things and how they operate but I enjoy them nevertheless. This film is from its two stars, Becky Lawn-Darte and Dang Steele. They also made the music. The film is an intensely fluorescent trip through sensory experimentation. The video is the message. The color hurts when experience is focused. The lo-fi approach is beautiful, concerning itself only with the creation of absolute image. In other words, it is not possible to work as a painter if you are worried about your camera. It starts off like a caper movie and then gets into secret device territory where it veers off into a volcano movie and then brings us into an analog 3D viewing glasses world of portable television, puppet shows and well-spoken pop music.

Seizure: A Magnificent Cry for Art by David Vaipan

At the start, I'll say that this is one of the most magnificent films I have seen in years. David Vaipan has made this relentless and fully-committed scream of artistic intent, desire, confusion, effort and love. This is a film about being an artist. It is a film about fear and confidence. About effort, will and failure. Vaipan simply takes the entire history of art and all that it has given him and dumps it out on his desk and turns it all into his own material. All of art, music, film, literature and poetry become Vaipan's crayons and he uses them to tell his own personal story.

The film bombards with imagery. Just gaze in wonder at the crayon animated memoir that's presented like a little puppet theater show. It moves from birth to boarding schools to Wall Street and beyond with effortless skill. The drawings are amazing and funny. Just when you think you've seen plenty Vaipan moves into a stick figure run through the history of art and it just keeps coming at you. He cuts and chops and mixes and slides and just keeps streaming the grandeur of art at us like a force of nature. He's completely lost inside the world of inspiration. He sees the fear of getting lost in the pile - the fear of being ignored - and he literally revels in the fear itself. He makes the fear seem like something to seek. This is a grand and important statement from someone who I think is a young artist. The tools of his trade are digital and he uses them freely with a wild eagerness to explore that is extremely difficult to maintain. The unabashed use of video effects and computer equipment as if they are the oil paints and charcoals inside a painter's box is one of the hallmarks of the emerging American video art movement.

I can see the influence of Ryan Trecartin's work in this. There's a familiarity with digital layers that is of primary significance in this recent art. There's a hard-edged willingness to allow the digital processes to show through. It's sort of a freedom with the computer and video that means one doesn't have to make anything necessarily look the right way or look like something it isn't.

You have to really watch this film very closely and try to catch the pieces of the roaring mass of art thrown at you. Even the ending credits are a complete statement in themselves with the director drunkenly singing the Rolling Stones' 'Sympathy For the Devil' in the background.

So many people are part of this film. Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Jean Luc Godard, Maya Deren, Luis Bunuel, Stanley Kubrick, David Foster Wallace, Michael Snow, Agnes Varda, to name but a few.
I know that the intertitles and other things flash by too quickly to grasp and maybe that intimates something about the info-age and attention spans, it's why your lord Hiesos Kristos, magician of the beautiful, invented the pause button and that's also why the real Creator (one D. Vaipan) put this on the internet rather than wherever, because you have control.

See? That's one of the little treasure waiting for you in the end credits of this gigantic and raving epileptic fit of a film that should ultimately bring you close to tears and make you want to explode in all directions and actually truly and finally... make something!

Here is the artist's web site.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jim Jarmusch Short Film: INT. Trailer. Night

This is Jim Jarmusch's short film contribution to a 2002 double feature film compilation project called 'Ten Minutes Older.'

Short Film: Plot Device

Seth Worley made this very fun and amusing tour through plot and genre as a sort of advertisement for Red Giant which provides filters used in video editing. A struggling video maker happens upon a 'plot device' and all sorts of trouble begins. Each segment has its own unique and appropriate look achieved through the use of Magic Bullet filters.