Showing posts from April, 2011

Two awesome visual essays on contemporary Chinese cinema (Kevin B. Lee)

Slow Food . Oxhide II (2009/Liu Jiayin/China) and the art of dumpling making by David Bordwell and Kevin B. Lee ( Moving Image Source , 28 April 2011) 7'15" "[..] This video essay uses Bordwell's notes on Oxhide II , originally published on his blog Observations on Film Art , as a script to examine the film in depth. Additionally, we've translated Bordwell's analysis into Chinese to produce a bilingual commentary that alternates between spoken Mandarin with English text and spoken English with simplified Chinese text. [..]" * * * New Beginnings . Opening moments from contemporary Chinese cinema by Kevin B. Lee ( Moving Image Source , 28 April 2011) 12' "[..]This video essay looks at the six films in the program, demonstrating their collective range of stylistic approaches and thematic interests by focusing solely on their opening moments. Even within these minute samplings, there's a wealth of detail to be discovered, both cinematic

Various possible contemplative "genres"

CCC is not a genre, it is a (minimal) narrative mode, with a very particular aesthetic stylistics. That is why we can find a lot of various so-called "genres", albeit quite diluted with transgressed conventions, within the CCC family. The films that could be loosely related to one or several genre conventions, still retain the strict technical profile of Contemplative Cinema : Wordlessness, Slowness, Plotlessness, Alienation. Even if these films might hint at certain genre structures (in a very minimal way), they do not use illustrative music, plot-driving dialogue, action packed scenes, build-up and climax, denouement, star-system actors... at least for the most part. CONTEMPLATIVE (transgressive) ANIMATION Les Triplettes de Belleville L'illusioniste CONTEMPLATIVE  (transgressive) CHILDREN MOVIE Le Ballon Rouge Cri Blanc Bal / Honey Dooman River Winter Vacation Beshkempir / The Adopted Son Le Faisan d'Or / My Brother's Silk Road CONTE

Misuses of Cinema (Tsai Ming-liang)

Art and Entertainment Tsai Ming-liang: "If film is art, then the work should be an artist’s reflections, rather than something catering to the mass public. [..]  Nothing is random, and nothing should be made just for profit. [..] Film is not for entertainment only. [..] Nowadays, the number of films people watch usually exceeds the number of books they read. But what kind of movies do they watch? They are full of commercial fictions screened repetitively on TV, most of which are from Hong Kong [..] For those people, that’s what cinema is meant for: entertainment. For them, art is a far-fetched concept. [..] They announce the death of cinema because the films have no marketing value." Lisandro Alonso says the same thing (see his interview here ). It is sad that the general audience sometimes needs to be reminded that art is not a predigested commodity. But what is even more tragic is that critics who run the forefront specialized film press, also need to be reminded that

Losing the ability to contemplate art for itself

Do you need a narrator to know where to look? Red Fuji, 1831, Hokusai Do you need entertainment to enjoy this view? Mont Sainte Victoire, 1887, Paul Cézanne Do you need lyric music to make you feel? Le gobelet d'argent, 1768, Jean Siméon Chardin Do you need hero identification to suspend disbelief? Still Life, 1934, M.C. Esher Do you need a climax to keep contemplating? Oliviers avec ciel jaune et soleil, 1889, Vincent Van Gogh Do you need to pretend it's funny to make people watch? Bay of Greifswald, 1834, Caspar David Friedrich Do you need narrative devices to contemplate this? Swiss Landscape, 1830, Alexandre Calame Do you need spectacular effects to enjoy this? View of Madrid from Capitan Haya, 1987-94, Antonio López García Related: Starting from basics all over again   Losing the ability to contemplate nature for itself  

Unspoken Journal - now offline

I regret to inform you that the self-appointed person (Edwin Mak, former contributor and co-editor of the  Unspoken Journal ) in charge of the  online archive  of the  2009 issue on Tarr Béla , has unilaterally decided to delete it. Even the Wayback Machine didn't save a copy.

Thougths for Japan (EIKAWA Yuki)

HAMANOKAWA / SHIMABARA 2011 [浜の川湧水/島原] Director: 永川 優樹 EIKAWA Yuki ( egawauemon ; 18 March 2011) 九州を旅する web magazine " con-Quest " Related: Flâneries urbaines sans parole (egawauemon)