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A handful of weeks back while rummaging the many hours of old tapes on hand, I started to mess with some material I’d originally thought to make into an installation, and instead now have made into a film of some kind.   Better hurry before tape goes the way of of the dodo – in fact just the past week went to have my old DSR-11 fixed as the tape insert mechanism went on blink and the authorized Sony repair guy, charging $120 or so for my bother, gave me back the deck in worse shape than I gave it to him: now not only doesn’t the in/out mechanism work, but it won’t play when the tape goes in; Friday it goes back but not for him to pretend to repair it.   Will get it directly to SONY somehow.

This film is one  in which 3 standard DV images share an HD wide-screen most of the time, though at a later point it’s two images.  And I think towards the very end it’s likely to be a single image.   These are culled from various things shot in the last 14 years, since I started working in DV – odds and ends that are of interest, but which I didn’t shoot with anything particular in mind.   Slowly they’ve gravitated together.

A few minutes in10 minutes in or so30 or morealmost 50 minutes

The woman to the right was Portuguese Olympic-level sharp-shooter, exercising 2 hours a day – the shot is almost 60 continuous minutes; the middle is a rickshaw cyclist in Raipur, India, giving me and another guy a ride; and to the right is my own hernia operation, filmed by myself, about 8 years ago.  I find all these images a bit disturbing, for differing reasons, and imagine they’ll shake up most people’s sensibilities.

A brief few seconds of scientific footageJust over 50 mins

Portuguese acting as if they were afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome

Then some more scientific material.

About 55 mins

A bit more Tourette’s

A girl and a gun

And then a finale, which I kind of know what it should be, but haven’t come up with the material just yet.  It should be very disturbing.  [Update April 11 2011:  the finale includes now 3 screens of hard-core porn, a bit more scientific imagery, and death.]

Just what this means, I am not sure.  Just as I’m not sure why in the present situation I should plow on making these things at all.   Of late my track record’s been rather minimal, to say the least:  starting back in 2004, with Homecoming, and then with La Lunga Ombra, Over Here, and Parable, I’ve been pretty much shut out of festivals, each film going to just a festival or two, and then…. nada.   Still waiting to see if Swimming in Nebraska gets anywhere.  Since I haven’t tried at all, there’s been no television, though I suspect there’s still a few places where some of these would fit in, but maybe not.  Maybe a few places or maybe not that they’d fit in.

Bottom line is that each film took more time and energy than I could tally up, and the end result is maybe a few hundred people see each one.  Of course at the back end it is the same as at the front: no pay.

Now with a work like Dissonance I can kind of accept it: it’s a demanding, elusive, strange film, which even I have no idea what, if anything, it means, or if it should “mean” anything.   It seems more related to some visual arts/painters than to 99.9% of cinema.   But then I ponder, if painter X can unload his work on a museum for X hundred thousand or so, why doesn’t this do so as well.  Or at least a little.  The fact is if I went to show it at a prestigious museum, like MoMA, or the Walker, I’d be lucky if they coughed up $250.  And probably they’d want me in the flesh but not pay to get me there.  Or put me up.  In fact, as with many others in America, the pay-scale has been sliding the last decade, not even treading water.

And so, then again, what’s the point?   I scratch my head, and flick on the computer in the morning, and get on to the next one.  It’ll be a portrait of Lisbon, shot mostly in 1996-98.  [Update: shown at the Rotterdam Film Festival 2011.]

Imagens de um cidade perdida


[For earlier ruminations in the same realm, see this and this.]

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One Comment

  1. Looks good to me!


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Tokyo Notes « cinemaelectronica on 30 Dec 2011 at 1:46 pm

    […] I guess it will join the growing list of my unseen cinema.  I sent this one, and previous ones, out to enough festivals, but for some reason they […]

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