Tuesday, December 08, 2009

about waysofseeing.org

I've added an About page to waysofseeing.org.

It talks briefly about who I am, about this website, and about the name "ways of seeing".

I was strongly influenced by John Berger's famous book Ways of Seeing when I was a kid but when I was naming this website I didn't want to specifically refer to Berger's book. The phrase at the time meant, and still means something closer to the way Fred Camper uses it in his writings.

Here are some examples from Fred's website:

Permutations 4: The Tower, All Views 13 (2008), by Fred Camper

About his own art:
"I am trying to use multiple images to suggest a traveler's journey of discovery. Cinema is one of several influences, in the many ways that a cut between two different angles of the same scene can open up, or close down, the space, or that camera movement can reshape an entire locale. In film or on paper, images can construct a visual architecture, new ways of seeing space and objects. Presenting an object or locale through multiple images is also a way of undercutting any single view, creating, for the viewer, a voyage through different levels of awareness. Multiple views can also suggest, by extrapolation, an infinitely large number of different ways of seeing an object."

About Gerhard Richter:
"If we learn only one lesson from the last century, it's that artists are constantly redefining what art is, and that each redefinition requires new criteria, new ways of seeing — indeed, that's often the point of the redefinitions."

About Stan Brakhage:
"Part of Brakhage's goal is to enrich viewers' seeing of things in the ordinary world, to help each viewer uncover unique and imaginative ways of seeing."

About Roberto Rossellini:
"There are some zooms in pre-1967 Rossellinis -- there's even one or two in "Generale Della Rovere" -- but starting with "La Prise du Pouvoir par Louis XIV," Rossellini used the zoom pretty continuously. At one point he even had a remote control device built so that he could zoom without looking through the camera, during shooting. The zoom is constantly reframing, going to wider or closer views, and his use of it I think is crucial to the style and ideas of the films: it places every moment of them, every image, at a potential transition point between two or more perspectives, suggesting that at any instant there are other, and in a sense always "wider," possible ways of seeing the situation. Rossellini's late films tend to center around "pivot points" in history, such as the beginning of the Renaissance in "The Age of the Medici," which is consistent with his way of seeing, in which whatever is happening is always on the brink of some momentous change."

My definition of the phrase changes with every new artwork I encounter, which is exactly the point...

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Johnnie To's "Vengeance" (2009)

Vengeance was my first Johnnie To in 35mm.

If you take things for granted, it is a mechanical film that drives its plot to more and more action scenes. But if you look carefully, there's something about the obsessive way everybody in the film is obsessed. "What do your primary instincts mean when you've lost all your memory?" is a question To asks, but doesn't delve on much. Vengeance doesn't delve on anything much except the consistently imaginative frames, compositions and the puzzling lighting.

There are many hints of a great vision, but I have to say the film isn't consistent in this. Which is why it's not ranked so highly in my best of 2009 list.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

New Videos

I finished ten videos yesterday (many of which I've been working on for the last three months) and uploaded on Vimeo. You can take a look at them below but try to see them fullscreen (you can make them fullscreen bu clicking the small button on the lower right). They are in chronological order.

All of this was shot with my Nokia E65. In the first two, (ÎLE DE RÉ & APRIL FLOWER), there was some form of superimposition done on Final Cut. In all the other ones, I exported my footage on Quick Time, limiting the data rate to 32 kbits/sec, which is where the extreme pixellation comes from. I did very little or no editing on these, since what interests me is their randomness... The titles are: horn, mears, forever and a day, residue, theatre, notation, slightly, whirling. All of the videos, except horn, are silent.

I've been updating my My Videos page, you can find all the news about my videos over there.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Best of 2009...

Here, you can see my favorite new films seen on 2009.

The most striking discovery, with no doubt, is Philippe Grandrieux's Un Lac, which convinced me, by itself, that he is one of the few greatest filmmakers alive. It is truly sublime!
I plan to write more about it when I can...

Other film or video makers mentioned:
James Gray, Semih Kaplanoğlu, Manoel de Oliveira, Francois Ozon, Eytan Ipeker, John Maybury, Abbas Kiarostami, Bong Joon-ho, Jia Zhang Ke, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Özgür Özcan, Cevdet Erek, Luci­a Puenzo, Claude Chabrol, Ilan Duran Cohen, Bram Schouw...

I also updated my My Videos page to include a link to my Vimeo profile and a complete videography of my videos.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bong Joon-ho's "Shaking Tokyo" (2008)

Bong Joon-ho does wonders with lighting yet again... I don't know how he comes up with this very personal way of lighting things, or over-exposing... Hope somebody asks him about this. In Shaking Tokyo, the main character talks about how much he hates sunlight, how he sometimes watches the slight movements of light, etc. drawing closer attention the form on the screen.

Bong Joon-ho's unique lighting presents a new, unique, tender way of seeing the world despite everything that distances us from it. Isn't the story of Shaking Tokyo somehow similar to what I just described?

I have added the film to the Best of 2009.

The images I picked are from the trailer of Tokyo.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Best of 2009 so far...

Here is my list of the best new films I've seen so far in 2009.

Both Two Lovers and Süt are wonderful discoveries... I'm planning to write a few words on them when I get a chance...


Friday, November 07, 2008

Best of 2008

Here is my list of the best new films I've seen this year.

Le Silence de Lorna by Dardenne Brothers is the best one by far. What an experience it was. Can't wait to see it again!