A Letter From Beirut

From Beirut
A Letter From Beirut (2006, 36.9MB, 4:41 min.)

This video letter was made on July 21, 2006 at the studios of Beirut DC, a
film and cinema collective which runs the yearly Ayam Beirut Al Cinema’iya Film
Festival. This video letter was produced in collaboration with Samidoun, a grassroots
gathering of various organizations and individuals who were involved in relief
and media efforts from the first day of the Israeli attack on Lebanon. It was
also featured at the Biennial of Arab Cinema, organized by the Arab World
in Paris.

Max Moswitzer – early found footage and remixed videos


COMPUTER GAME (1987, 9 MB, 3:53 min)

Early videos by Max Moswitzer using found footage material, remix
and live performance.
films from 1938-1945 and was a live action performance at the
University of Applied Arts in Vienna in 1988.
COMPUTER GAME was exhibited at ARS Electronica in 1987.

More Max Moswitzer here.

One Minute, Volume 4

Martin Pickles – Dinosaur  (2010, 130 MB, 1:01 min)

1961 Revisited.
Nicki Rolls – 1961 Revisited  (2010, 114 MB, 58 secs)

Two pieces from a touring screening of one minute films,
the fourth such from British filmmaker Kerry Baldry.

It’s a really well put together and gripping hour
(transparency dictates I confess I have a piece in it
but I won’t foist that on you here), with a strike rate well above
most of this kind of compilatation.

Here are two of my favourite pieces; both, in different
ways, little gems of cinematic poetry.
Although Martin Pickle’s piece is amusing there’s
something enchanting about the changing seasonal
landscape & light of West London and how it manifests on screen,
which raises the work from anecdote to something more complicated
and lasting.

The Nicki Rolls piece had me in the palm of its hand within about a second.
(I’m a total sucker for near stillness and for the movement of light)
Then I started to think about what exactly I was watching.
You might like to give it some thought too.
Again, the twist breaks the confines of the one minute form
to resonate long after.

I haven’t see the other three compilations but I hope we could maybe
feature a couple of pieces from each in the not too distant future.

Next week we’ll have a piece by Kerry herself.

Three from Writtle

Impossible Conversations
Ashleigh Smith – Impossible Conversations (2010, 75 MB, 2:30 min)

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Emma Haggis – Out of Sight, Out of Mind (2010, 118 MB, 2:18 min)

Lucy Mills – Response (2010, 108 MB, 2:02 min, silent)

So, first, I should say, Writtle is where I taught this year, but it cuts both ways:
I wouldn’t post these pieces by graduating students here on DVblog unless I
thought they were all great, which I do.
They’re also diverse, in a fascinating way.
There’s Ashleigh Smith’s haunting – stays with you long afterwards – game/real life hybrid,
Lucy Mills beauty industry critique – half mash-up, half rather brave performance,
(It’s interesting the way that all three pieces incorporate, to
some degree, elements of self performance) and Emma Haggis’s superbly made
and utterly captivating stop motion environmental piece.

In each case one can see a personal language well into its development.
(All these pieces or variants/derivatives thereof formed part of larger
installations; I’m impressed by the naturalness & lack of self consciousness
with with these three move between modes of working/presentation)

I hope they’re all still making work in ten years – given this
starting point then that would be a treat in store.

Stan Douglas – Win, Place or Show

Win, Place or Show (clip) (1998, 1.6 MB, 47 sec.)

Two men are having a discussion in a small apartment. The scene,
lasting only six minutes, is filmed from twenty camera positions.
A computer program then produces some 200,000 possible combinations
of images and sounds, so the viewer always sees a different version of the story.
Win, Place or Show questions our conditioned viewing behaviour.
video installation by Stan Douglas.
from ZKM Videosammlung.

Howe Gelb – Spiral

Spiral (2008, 16 MB, 3:41 min)

On the whole I’m totally bored with popular music of all kinds,
especially sick at hearing how “innovative” this or that is just to find
it as dull & derivative & lazy as the rest.

SO..the wonderful Howe Gelb continues to be a signal exception
to the gloom. Passionate, odd and totally engaging music seems to flow
from him continually & ( I could be wrong) he doesn’t seem to have
fallen into the trap of giving people what he thinks they want rather
than what his artistic conscience tells him to make – or to put it better
art trumps business in his work in a shockingly unusual way.
Long may it continue.

Walead Beshty on his Whitney Biennial Installation

Walead Beshty – Whitney Focus (2008, 25 MB, 2:18 min)

2008 Whitney Biennial artist Walead Beshty discusses his photographs
of the former Iraqi embassy to the former East Germany (two nations that no longer exist)
and the complex ideas behind them. He also explains why his glass sculptures
have acquired multiple cracks and fissures.

Produced by the Whitney Museum.

Brantley Jones Again

Mountains – “Interlude” (2010, 105 MB, 2:11 min)

Wistful, quirky & -well, just quite lovely – bit of filmmaking from
Brantley Jones who squeezes real magic – what feels in part like a summoning up of a child’s
eye view of the world (in the best possible sense) – from minimal resources.
Don’t be fooled though – there’s both eye and technique at work here.
We’ve shown his work here before & on the evidence of this will certainly
do so again.

The music is Interlude by Mountains from the album Sewn