The Observed – AXW Film Festival October 1, 2015 – TRT: 39:25
- THE FUTURE IS YOU; Lili White; mini DV to digi; TRT: 8.45
Shifting nature and architecture in the International City during the week after the 9/11 attack.
Like a lithographer’s velvety mezzotint, this film’s content roams between the opposite poles of Eden and the Apocalypse: the Garden of NY’s Central Park and that downtown corner of disaster after 9/11.
A monochromatic future of molten metal exploites black as a color, while true color lies trapped behind a shifting veil that tricks the eyes.
“Seemingly” among city and forest, the landscapes shift between Nature’s trees and man’s canyons of steel – showing neither but both.
A chromium sound — doubled and abstracted — accompanies the moods of anxiety and serenity. Exploring the gradient view, the focus is on small movement like amoebas in a primordial soup; eventually stretching our attention to the larger matrix where we all reside.
- WORKING WITH NATURE - THIS IS MY SHOW; (2011) Lori Felker; Digi; TRT: 14:44
Working with Nature can be grueling and painful, but your hostess Adrienne is ready and willing to walk you through what it takes to perfect and control your surroundings.
Your method seems to have a lot of humor to it, this is unusual in experimental films, how did this come about?
I often say that I never write jokes, I’m just drawn to awkwardness, failure and vulnerability. And i like to put these things in a position in which we can enjoy them and learn from them. When you put a character on screen under those circumstances, people find themselves laughing earnestly, empathetically, perhaps giggling at odd juxtapositions, or nervously chuckling out of embarrassment. I want to explore all of these avenues– humor is so ripe and complex.
Humor exists in a natural, common, performative state, an area of human culture that seems to both define and challenge both groups and individuals on a daily basis. Humor is what we reach out for to feel human, to enjoy being human, to communicate something human as we play, interact, anticipate, wait, and realize. I hope that my work sets up situations that contain an intersection between satire, honesty, the uncanny and the nerve-wracking, where one might be able to find the relief of laughter, an audible connection with an audience, or be lost in a guffaw of disbelief.
What was your creative process with these films?, do you write them first?
This Is My Show was sourced from my own and other people’s lists of complaints and pet peeves. I wrote the dialog for the character Adrienne, but I also had to write a normal script, one that I could follow with my gestures. Having memorized both, I would run through the information and hand motions referring to daisies and planting and not over-watering (or whatever) but then I would insert Adrienne’s complaints and commentary on top of these relatively normal gardening poses. And voila! Weirdness.
I like to call this video “TV-shaped”. I’ve done four variations now: gardening, travel, teen science and the news. I plan to do more.
- UNA SPORCA VACANZA (DIRTY VACATION); (2010); Cinzia Sarto; digi; TRT: 7.00
Inside a labyrinth of cement cubes, debris by the sea, humans distracted by the rituals of vacation seem indifferent to the world surrounding them. A veiled woman is searches for a way out.
This was my first video experiment were in the same frame I edited documentary and fiction, joining fragments of reality from different places and time and weaving the tapestry back to what I think is the essence of what I see. I placed myself in the video as the veiled woman searching a way out in a labyrinth of cement cubes, debris and water, where humans distracted by the rituals of vacation seem indifferent to the world surrounding them. The filming started when I was in the island of Pantelleria and went to look at the cemetery. Across the street from its entry the sea and the wind were roaring at a long line of cement blocks discarded on the shore. Queen Anne’s lace flowers were blooming between rocks, animal carcasses and all sort of human debris. On the other side, expensive flower arrangement were tended by hands full of sorrow, the ground was well swept.
This two way to acknowledge death were very striking at that moment and moved me to start an imaginary journey into our coexistence with decay and our unwillingness to be conscious of were we are.
If the veiled woman is a witness of event, she is also the collector of plastic waste and at the end must take upon herself the burden to carry them for a further transformation. Leaving behind a devastated landscape she will finally pronounce the sound: “maaaa…” that concludes the video. A verbal way to go back to a beginning, to start again, to leave behind all the undefined human noises covering the animal’s cry in vacation land. The video is an attempt to reveal the etymological origin of the word “vacation” from the Latin “vacare” to be vacuous, empty, free.
- BELL & HOWELL; Ana Rodríguez León; 8mm & Super 8; TRT: 8.56
A trip from the past to the future via the camera.
What was your creative process?
In 2010, I was part of the team of the Super 8 festival Toma Única, a kind of tourné-monté cinema festival. It was decided to make a collective movie, where every member of the team would shoot a work under the common theme: message in a bottle. That was the very beginning of Bell & Howell 2146 XL, which was later distributed independently from that project.
It took me a long time to get to a visual and narrative proposal for that idea, but everything became clear in the end, one afternoon at my grandmother’s house. That was the day when I found the Super 8 projector and other items for analogic edition that had belonged to my grandfather. I already had his Bell & Howell 2146 XL camera, but when I saw all the materials to shoot, edit and see Super 8 movies, I thought that was the message in a bottle for me, a message from a filmmaker to another, a hidden oportunity to build my identity as a filmmaker, in a poetic dialog with my own story and my own hypothetical future –or the future after my death-, all through the central figure of the camera.
This was my first work in first person in this way. Documentary and fiction mixed up together very naturally, but I found the real sense of the whole in the editing room, seeking for a hidden mystery in the images, that led to the final result.
The music I used, from spanish band Balago, brought a very hypnotic atmosphere to the work, that I believe took it further.
Is this inspired by a true story?
The pictures that appear in the work are my grandfather’s original pictures. As an amateur photographer, he portrayed his life and the life of his family and his town. So, in a sense, it is a true story, but it is also a fiction, based on the idea of what will happen to this camera after I have died. Who would have it? Would he or she, in the case of the film, use it? What would she see through the lens?
Even it’s every time more difficult to shoot in analogic formats, and it’s unlikely they will still be used in 2060, it was a great resource for the film to imagine the story this way. It was more about secret connections between people, through objects, than a realistic scenario of this future.
Was the house/space of any relevance?
The house where this couple appears in the future time it was the house where my parents were moving at that moment. As it was being remodeled, it had this aspect, which I thought was great, as it can give you the idea that these two people are building something, starting their own story. They look happy and in love and they portray this moment of their lives with the Bell & Howell 2146 XL.
In low budget (when there is any budget at all) projects, it’s some times difficult to find inner domestic spaces that give you a good result. When you use a house where you live or where someone close does, it’s complicated to make it fit with a story, as there are things everywhere full of information, connotations out of your control. The furniture, for instance, gives you the idea of what kind of people live in a house, what age they have, how much money they earn, and so. If you have the possibility to dispose all the elements in the way that suits your story that is fine, but here, where the action took place in the future, it would have been a huge process. This empty house lacked of most of those informations and had an austere beauty that I liked, and at the same time showed some elements, like doors, windows, the floor etc, very particular of some old Barcelona’s houses, linked to my own memories.
It was a great luck to have this space for this film.