Last night I sat in on part of a storytelling lecture at the UW that featured part of this film, The Perfect Human, directed by the Danish Jørgen Leth. I've seen this before, probably as part of my experimental film class in grad school, but thought I'd post it here. An exquisite example of experimental filmmaking, I think.
While here in Seattle, I was also fortunate to have screened the first edit of my friend Apryl's thesis film. She's finishing up her MFA in film from Columbia and is currently adjunct faculty for the UW's DX ARTS department. Her finished piece will be on exhibit in New York City this spring. I can't wait!
God, I love those Scandinavians. Don't you just love how the Perfect Human is WHITE??? Jesus. Hitler would love this film.
So, yeah. This is the work of Martin Arnold. I want to do more experimental film and I really like how he architects time.
To see how I felt last week with all the news of layoffs, watch Arnold's Passage à l'acte. It'll make you twitch like an epileptic.
Last Wednesday night, I had my friend Apryl come speak to my class on film and semiotics. I met her while I was studying experimental film in grad school. She is now finishing up her MFA in film at Columbia and teaching at the University of Washington.
She introduced us all to the work of Lynne Ramsay, an up and coming director whose work is visually splendid. I am inspired. And I am going to buy Ramsay's feature length film, the Ratcatcher. I am also going to watch more short films.
Despite the fact that I disagree with most of my country's foreign policy decisions and ABSOLUTELY DETEST the Bush administration, I am still glad to be an American. This country is far from perfect, but it's still a great place to live and the ideals upon which it was founded are once and forever honorable and admirable. And I always, always get the chills whenever I hear the national anthem sung. Always. No matter how hard I try not to. No matter how corny I think it is. No matter how much I think I hate America sometimes and all it stands for. No matter how much I threaten to move to Canada, France, or Scandinavia when I get so pissed off that I can't even listen to the news anymore.
Anyway, this whole Pangea Day concept is pretty cool. I hope I can find a place in DC that's partcipating.
Will and I went and saw Four Months, Three Weeks, and Two Days last night, an excruciating film. At one point, the feelings evoked were so intense that I thought I was going to have to leave the theatre. At another point, I looked over and watched Will cover his eyes for what seemed like an entire scene. I can remember only one other film that evoked such visceral responses: Boys Don't Cry. The rape scene in that movie is almost unbearable.
This Romanian film is part of what the New York Times reports as Romanian New Wave Cinema. It is powerful. Disturbing. A thinking person's film. I highly recommend it. It's ironic that it's out the same time as Juno, another indy film that deals with an unintended pregnancy. The moods of these two films, however, couldn't be more different. And while Juno is being praised by the Academy, Four Months was denied entry into the Oscar competition, even though, IMO, it's a much more challenging film.
Last night I had the pleasure of loading film into a movie camera for the first time. We're using a Bolex H16 Reflex Camera and in terms of industrial design, it's beautiful.
In terms of usability, it's not bad, either. The camera is pretty simple, mapping almost directly to my mental model of a still analog camera. There are plenty of affordances and product semantics that tell you how it's meant to be used. The shutter mechanism is the one thing that's based on a different conceptual model. That works on a flap that is set at different angles to affect the shutter speed. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how that works mechanically, but I'm sure I'll figure it out once I've had a chance to actually put it into action. I can't wait until next week when we actually get to shoot!
On a package from Will. This is sooooooo my husband!
p.s. I was offered a lecture position at the UW this fall. I'll be teaching a graduate-level course on the theory and history of interaction design. I can't wait! My official step into teaching at the university level.