Showing posts from August, 2019

On A Dirt Road (contemplative video)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Janos Kis (YouTube) 13'18" (2018/Janos Kis/Cambodia) There is a cow lounging on the side of a dirt road. Is it a sacred cow? This is not a postcard... the cow is ruminating patiently.  She whips her tail to chase away the flies, and shakes her large black ears. She is alone, abandonned on the side, at a distance in the frame. Not too estranged, not too familiar. The landscape is planted there for eternity. The road, although losely defined, with patches of grass here and there, is mostly sand, stretching perfectly in the axis of the shot. A symetrical composition only distracted by the excentric position of the cow and a huge tree on the opposite side of the road, as a counterbalance. And behind the cow, a power line with dancing posts that can't seem to keep a straight posture. The road has no end in sight it seems, as it unrolls up to the horizon, rigth into a perpendicular line of trees, which probably follows a perpendicular

Rooftop under construction (contemplative video)

Building (2014/Arthur Caria/Brazil)1'58" This shot is not only Black & White, but devoid of greyscale as well. Strictly pure black and pure white. For the most part. We notice a shadow on the bottom right corner which divulges a possible video effect used to saturate the contrast to the max. With an odd canted angle this view could be a photograph of the Soviet Constructivism. The aesthetic is sublime. But it is very frontal. This scene is a black cardboard cutout (pure shadow) against a white background (pure light) as only a camera could see it. These minuscule silhouettes remind me of the fine paper cutting of one Lotte Reiniger ( The Adventures of Prince Ahmed /1926). But these stickmen aren't animation, this is real life. From a high vantage point we observe the last level of a building under construction, and a team of busy workers : 8 on top and a couple more on the lower levels (they are caged in a prison of wires). The handheld camera emphasizes the v

Sidewalk - Exterior : Night (contemplative video)

Unheimlich (2015/Arthur CARIA/Brazil) 3'31" One take, one point of view, one subject, one continuous temporality.  It is difficult at first to figure out what is going on in this seemingly stolen shot from an overlooking window. A God's point of view. The  grainy light is gloomy and crepuscular. It is challenging to make out shapes from shadows, foreground from background, representations from reflections, impressions from illusions...  The curious high slant at an almost perfect 45° angle composes an eerily deceptive axonometric projection, which can revert inside-out the perspective depending on the viewer's inclination. Are we looking at a valley or a mountain fold? Is it a precipice or a wall? The shadows disappear on the edge, but is it because the shadows are projected down below at the bottom of the wall or is it a wall standing on the edge hiding the end of the shadows? Cars pass by furtively, with their headlights sweeping the scene from below. H