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Last night I went out to an EX-is screening, with my friend Amber, who plays lead in Marcella’s film Landing in the Morning Calm.  Wending our way down-town, we inquired just where was the Samillo Changgo theater, since our map was less than clear.   From another EX-is venue a young staff girl guided us (stopping to leap and then cover her mouth, laughing in Korean fashion, as a brown rat, no very big, strangely nosed around on a street corner, seemingly unafraid of people and cars – was rather a cute rat) up a rampway, and finally some stairs, to a small little theater, with some outdoor terraces, where we got tickets, bumped into some friends, and saw Daniel Cockburn, who’d invited us to his screening.  We went nearby and had a BBQ dinner of pork first (about $20 for two plus beer), and then returned for screening.

daniel cockburn

In a lovely small theater, seating 60, marred by a rather wrinkled screen, we sat in what seemed a packed house, and as I noted to Amber, the avant-garde sex ratio seemed tilted heavily to the female side – seemed like 3 girls to 1 guy in the audience.   After a little pitter-patter intro the first film came up, a fuzzy going in-out of focus diagram, which at first had my heart and psyche drop as I thought, “Oh god, more amateur night AG crap…”   However the voice-over was witty, intelligent and engaging, and I gave it some space.  Can’t say I liked it – the fuzzy image of line drawings in 8mm was off-putting, but the talk was droll and smart.   The next piece turned the corner and revealed Daniel Cockburn (pronounced,  we presume for long-ago learned reasons, “Coburn”), of Toronto, a sly, visually adept, and witty natural performer.  The following selection of short works covered a range of visual dazzle and convoluted verbal and intellectual play that had me entranced, and reminded me slightly of another “about the process” filmmaker whom I like a lot, Morgan Fisher.   Real fun.  I’ve asked Daniel to swap DVDs and when he’s returned to Berlin, where he’s living this year (grant I suppose) he said he’ll do so.  I’ll do a proper write-up then.  Meantime if he’s screening near you, go see.  It’s good.

Beydler Pasadena Freeway Stills

Pasadena Freeway Stills, Gary Beydler



FISHER INSTRUCTIONSMorgan Fisher films: Standard Gauge, Production Stills, Projection Instructions

Morgan lectures at Harvard



  1. Glad to see you are checking out the EX-IS. I saw a number of screenings on saturday, some of which sucked badly and some of which were great, especially a showcase of work by two japanese directors living in north america. It seems to be a great festival.

  2. I wish I had known to check out cockburn. Actually I wish I had known about the festival in advance and would have just taken some time to check it all out.

    • I see you must live in Seoul or nearby. Send a number or email, and we can meet one of these days. I’ll be tomorrow at closing party. Too busy these days prepping new film and dealing with older ones to go to screenings. Damn. Send note via

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