experimental filmmaking: every creative act is an act of resistance

day two: tuesday was another day full of content and discussion. some thoughts and notes …

20 practical disciplines: learn your craft, get to know all your camera can do, try different types of cameras, get familiar with programmes for editing, understand the projector and screen relationship. build your community to share films, experience and resources. check out your arts office re grants for developing films and ideas. engage with the history of film, understand your film making in the context of film making. be aware of copyright and other legal requirements – e.g.: talent release form, be careful of who you rely on, try to do as much as you can on your own so you are not delayed, so you can afford to make the film, so you are in artistic control.

Robert Bresson: french film maker, used non professional actors, minimalist film maker, don’t overstate things, leave things unsaid and alluded to, half suggested rather than spelled out and obvious. check out ‘Au Hasard Balthazar’, ‘Sight and Sound’

Bresson: ‘life as a stage and life as a dream’

Chris Marker: french film maker, poet, writer. indirect themes, collages of ideas. images of places. non direct. check out films – ‘Sans Soliel’ – a travel memory film, and ‘la Jette’ a black and white science fiction film.

Sans Soliel, Marker, 1983

watch: Jon Nguyen’s ‘Lynch, the Art Life’ – a documentary film that follows David Lynch film maker.

Giles deLeuze: ‘every creative act is an act of resistance’.

personal filmmaking: do we need to explain what we make? is the experience of making enough? is the audience experiencing what we make enough?

Black Wave Filmmaking: a filmmaking period in Yugoslavia/Bosnia during the 1960s and 1970s. films that are characterised by subversive, political and social issues that faced Yugoslavia at the time.

authority: as film makers, do we need to be in a position of authority and knowing, or does a questioning position enable a process of cocreation with you, the film and the audience?

reality: are films reflections of reality or are they reality itself? creating a crisis of perception or a catastrophe gives film dynamics, tension and power.

ghosts and methodologies: some thoughts on the ‘laboratory of making’, the process, the doing. Brian Eno says being in extremes is good but its ok to visit extremes and then go home! the process involves creating cinema rather than making a film. does the film need to finish or is it a life long commitment to making? is film making an act of play and experiment rather than the making of an end product? in the act of filmmaking – am i the creator or the audeince?

cinematic images: where do images go? like food, are they ingested into the body, some excreted and some remain for linger?

formalisation: not knowing is a good place to be but it is also good to check in to what interest you and what themes reemerge. accept the unknowing but structure the unknowing around some structure – a exquisite corpse, a word, a method etc. is over ambiguity isolating – to filmmaker and audience? interrogate your work – ask what is it i am doing (post work) do not allow the idea to freeze your creative impetus, act like your gathering work is ‘found work’ by another. Rovel, chilian filmmaker, says non knowing is an interesting place to be.

David Bordwells: read ‘the poetics of cinema 1 and 2’. he says films are made things embedded in the historical context of the time. films channel and recast cultural influences for a cinematic purpose.

Poetics of Cinema, Bordwell, 2007.

watch: Alfred Tarkovski film ‘Solaris’ (1972) – set in space with emotional depth. a film does not describe something, a film is something.

watch: Bela Tarr – a hungarian fimmaker, film ‘Satantango’ (1994).

watch: Lav Diaz – filipino film maker, part of the slow film movement with use of time and slow takes.

Window, Water, Baby Moving: film by Stan Brakhage (1958) about birth of his first child, intimate, sensual, close up, cuts between place and time.

Window, Water, Baby Moving, Brakhage, 1958

The Negative Hands: film by Marguerite Duras, uses voice over and continuous take around the streets of Paris from Bastille to Champs Eylesse. check out: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0206115/

The Negative Hands, Duras, 1958

parting notes: don’t underestimate the audience, abandon your comfort zone, write your manifesto (with room to maneuver and change), decide what you are about.

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