The Man Who Saw America:Looking back with Robert Frank, the most influential photographer alive. NY Times Magazine July 2015
Chantal Ackerman died October 5, 2015. This post honors her.
Chantal Akerman: a primer | Sight & Sound | BFI
It’s a well-known fact, often rehearsed in interviews, that at the age of 15, Chantal Akerman saw Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le fou (1965) and decided that her vocation was to be a filmmaker. Today, looking back over the career of this Belgian-born, mainly France-based director, we can happily conclude – and this cannot be said of everyone who makes such statements – that her own work has been worthy of the film that inspired her cinephilia. [read more]
At the age of 25, Ackerman made the film Jeanne Dielman,
23 quai du Commerce,
1080 Bruxelles (1975),
3 hours and 21 minutes,
Considered her “masterpiece,” it is a hugely innovative statement that made no concession to mainstream convention.
She also created many video installations.
Below: Chantal Ackerman, installation at the Venice Bienniale, 2015
A conversation between two brilliant minds, LAURA POITRAS and HITO STEYERL, in the pages of Art Forum May 2015
A few excerpts:
LP: The limits of my imagination are much less interesting than what I encounter going into the field and filming. So yes, it obviously changed the narrative. But part of vérité filmmaking, and documenting in the present tense as things unfold, is going where the story leads. It’s uncertain and scary at times, but that is why there is drama.
HS: What kind of storytelling can adapt to the technological novelty and also to the vastness of the database as an archive?
….how does the editor work in the twenty-first century? Especially if, as in your case, the editor is also the person with the movie camera and the Soundbeam and the encrypted hard drive; she is a writer who designs a whole infrastructure of communication.
HS on Editing:
… And I think that editing, not only in filmmaking but in a lot of different activities, is a crucial activity. Postproduction is not working on content in retrospect but creating the content. Editing is where the meaning is created.
Godard said an edit could be an “and” or an “or.” That is how traditional film or video editing works. But now editing, with newer media and with physical reality becoming mediatized to a large extent, becomes a much more expanded activity, being able to channel and process information and to put together meaning in a much more expanded field.
Now instead of expanded cinema, it’s expanded editing, expanded postproduction, and circulation across different platforms and formats. I think it’s one of the crucial lenses through which to analyze contemporary activities.
LP: I think in the art world, duration is often seen as transgressive because it’s somehow forcing the audience to go beyond their comfort level, to subject them to an endurance test. And yet duration is absolutely accepted within mainstream cinema. So duration is perceived very differently in those two domains. Warhol, of course, was the supreme example of really pushing that in beautiful ways.
“Hito Steyerl” is on view at Artists Space, New York, through May 24. “Laura Poitras” will be on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Feb. 5–May 15, 2016.
Another posting of the video at Critical Commons
Today I came across this link to 20 banned or otherwise unavailable movies you can only watch online. Many good movies (like The Karen Carpenter Story with Barbies) but most excited to find link to Bruces Conner’s A Movie. I can still remember seeing his films when I was grad student in Chicago and Bruce was a visiting artist. Pivotal moment for me seeing these film.
more info on Bruce Conner> J. Hoberman in VIllage Voice, Slant Magazine : The Art of Montage, Obituary in the Guardian
For all of us Chris Marker fans – great article in the Guardian
Chris Marker was a phantom, an escape artist, a shapeshifter. He told friends he came from Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Born in 1921 in a pleasant Parisian suburb, Christian-François Bouche-Villeneuve racked up many pseudonyms and monikers: Sandor Krasna, Jacopo Berenzi, Fritz Markassin. Early on, as if in anticipation of the new vocabularies and identities that would proliferate in the digital era, he signed himself Chris.Marker.
… Across many fields – in graphic design, multimedia, but most of all in film – he made the activity of thinking about images, whether photographic or moving, seem both profound and playful… [read more]
more at chrismarker.org
George Méliès – Le Voyage Dans La Lune A Trip To The Moon
(Restored and Complete Version)
I would mute the sound – the original was silent and this new soundtrack by the French band Air just doesn’t seem right
Notes from the youtube page by Johnnypt13 who did the research on this film and because it is in the public domain put it online despite the fact a new DVD has been released.
Like many of Méliès’ films, A Trip to the Moon was sold in both black-and-white and hand-colored versions. A hand-colored print, the only one known to survive, was rediscovered in 1993 by the Filmoteca de Catalunya. It was in a state of almost total decomposition, but a frame-by-frame restoration was launched in 1999 and completed in 2010 at the Technicolor Lab of Los Angeles. The restored version finally premiered on May 11, 2011, eighteen years after its discovery and 109 years its original release, at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, with a new soundtrack by the French band Air.
Watch Trip to the Moon in B&W but *mute sound/narration*.
>> More info on my page on Moving Image History
Light Is Calling
by Bill Morrison with music by Michael Gordon, 2004
35mm 8minute film
Filmmaker Bill Morrison optically printed and re-edited a scene from a deteriorating print of James Young’s “The Bells” (1926) to Michael Gordon’s 7 minute composition. A meditation on the nature of random collisions.
Bill is also a member of Ridge Theater, Ridge productions are epic visual and aural works that typically position performers within film and video projections, redefining traditional theatrical boundaries. Dramatic staging by acclaimed director Bob McGrath and haunting film work and projections by the filmmaker Bill Morrison (“Decasia”) and the visual artist Laurie Olinder are hallmarks of the Ridge style.
Ridge Theater productions are epic visual and aural works that typically position performers within film and video projections, redefining traditional theatrical boundaries. Dramatic staging by acclaimed director Bob McGrath and haunting film work and projections by the filmmaker Bill Morrison (Decasia) and the visual artist Laurie Olinder are hallmarks of the Ridge style.