HAHA! Fuck yeah. That’s what I’m talking about.
I remember I was baked with a friend of mine a while back and we were discussing great, outlandish ideas for movies. One of them was about a New Hollywood director in modern times. Washed up, so to speak, like Friedkin and the rest. And in order to be relevant and revolutionize cinema he creates a 360 degree projector that audiences can enjoy interactively and rest the way you would at a planetarium. Foolhardy old man. His first test is projecting primary colors at different frequencies to awesome classical/electronic music like a post-modernist Brakage or someone in that crazy fashion. Wacky.
So, Alvin Lucier with visuals, then.
He want back to the basics, reconstructing. Primary colors + 360 (the representation). Alvin Lucier with visuals. Innovating with what we already know sounds like post-modernism, of course. 0500 est le «recueil-repère» d’un nouveau mouvement, peut-être, qui sait. Je suis prêt à produire. I’m ready.
The limits to innovation could be the boundaries of our knowledge…
But since our knowledge is constantly increasing, there is therefore no limits nor boundaries to innovation in filmmaking.
-Voir l’animation “Etudes élastiques”
« L’animation est construite autour de l’idée de déformation et d’élasticité. »
The animation is constructed around the idea of deformation and elasticity.
mao, lets ALL fly to the swiss alps; we’ll bring (counts out of fingers) cameras, microphones, pads of paper, sharpies, violins, night vision goggles, an ice chest full of wine (no glasses, we’ll share like family), and monk robes. lodge up in a cabin, get baked. create the 360º projector— we’ll go with nathan’s suggestion of experimenting with scented scenes and pheromones, pumpkin pie, and all the rest. sit in a circle,
and make a goddamned movie.
I have no additional comments to add to this other than: wonderful discussion guys, it has been a rich read so far and I’m curious to see where it goes!
SHIT. Mr. Sweetums, it’s embarrassing to admit your suggestion was sexier than the short, buxom stripper I talked to about Stevie Nix last night. When we’re healthy financially and our films are in Cannes, we will sure as hell do it. I say yes sir and you can hold me to that.
This is so interesting, I’m just trying to figure out in what context we could use that word (sovietic). I’ll have to work on it ; I’m doing two projects this winter, I obviously don’t want to go into alienating paperwork before taking my camera ; I’ll jump into the action and write on the set, knowing that my tools are my camera, my computer, my two hands and obviously , my imagination.
How can I shoot considering the fact that I’m reconstructing and deconstructing what I already know ? I see this like an elastic, a little bit like the concept of Spacetime by Einstein. An intimate relationship between images and sounds that I want to cut, or curve. This is starting to be serious now, we need to experiment now, in order to find the proper definition. 0500, so far, is a good example of it, because it takes advantages of hyper-modernity, era of communication, juxtaposition and social/cultural divergences, a world of infinite possibilities, almost parellel to the one we’ve known since humanity.
i could just… cry. i love you guys.
Pushing the limits of cinema through experimental forms is great. But I think we have to admit that the more profound, or at least the more influential, advances in cinema have come from within industrial narrative film establishments (whether private or state-run), rather than from true outsiders like Stan Brakhage or video installation creators. Certainly there are significant and fascinating in-between figures like Chris Marker also, and absolutely experimental cinema can be very rewarding and excellent stuff (I’ve been watch Project 05 clips with great interest). But in terms of aesthetic and cultural force, the mainstream is, well, the mainstream.
How did the Hollywood studios become the cartel they are anyway? They triumphed because they captured a broad audience’s taste for fantasy. And in the first place, they recognized fantasy (wish fulfillment, an idealistic or just unrealisitc view of life) as having greater appeal than other approaches to cinema (straight documentary, social realism, etc.). Their audience of course, was and in many ways still is, masses of people with jobs and hassle-filled lives looking for a brief respite from their daily concerns in the form of thrills, romance, or plain amusement. Narrative coherence was expected (nowadays I’m not so sure), and creative daring and experimentalism was often met with skepticism and commercial failure (the careers of people like King Vidor are interesting to study). And yet there have unquestionably been advances in mainstream narrative film, and there will be further ones, and I do not see feature films declining as a cultural product, economic and social changes aside.
I am a screenwriter and hopefully soon will be a director, and I cannot deny that I am interested in reaching as large an audience as possible, as well as in improving through my work the dreadful quality of mass-market cinema production. I think it is inadequate for creative people who want to work in cinema to dedicate themselves solely to the cause of “self-expression”. That is fine for people with the means to make cinema entirely by themselves, but doing so in turn greatly limits the potential audience (and the kind and degree of the audience’s interest) in his/her work.
Please understand, I do not admire kowtowing to vulgar sentiments or reliance on conventions, or compromising one’s own artistic values. I mean, rather, that I want people working in the industry to focus more on the end product, and on the understanding that an audience is going to approach that end product with a set of expectations. Buying a movie ticket or renting a DVD carries with it a very different set of expectations than those in effect when browsing clips on youtube, or going to a video art installation.
Experimentation is certainly worthwhile and interesting, but it is still to me ultimately a curiosity. A fully realized feature film simply has more cinematic heft: an achieved reality rather than a shimmering fragment. And of course another part of this is the public, social weight that is accessed through achieving a feature film with significant production value.
Some of my favorite directors (Antonioni, Lynch, P.T. Anderson) obviously made deeply personal impressions on mainstream filmmaking: they have made films that were wholly or at least generally the films they wanted to make, works of self-expression. I’m just dubious whether the future of filmmaking needs more of that, or whether filmmakers themselves might not benefit the medium by trying to temper their personal vision with a more objective approach toward the medium and its audience.
In other words, the boundaries of filmmaking have more aspects than simply the personal side of the creator’s expression, and the technical side of the means of distribution. There is also to be studied the variety of ways that audiences watch cinema, and perhaps more importantly, the ways they want to watch cinema.
“How did the Hollywood studios become the cartel they are anyway? They triumphed because they captured a broad audience’s taste for fantasy. And in the first place, they recognized fantasy (wish fulfillment, an idealistic or just unrealistic view of life) as having greater appeal than other approaches to cinema (straight documentary, social realism, etc.). Their audience of course, was and in many ways still is, masses of people with jobs and hassle-filled lives looking for a brief respite from their daily concerns in the form of thrills, romance, or plain amusement.”
On the subject of fantasy… you could conceivably substitute that word for voyeurism… and then you’d be approaching one of the horizons of 05. And a web audience? How does that differ (if it does)? —I feel with web-based film we are like the early pioneers of oil drilling. Without the Daniel Plainview syndrome.
We have an open canvas. What has never been done? what was impossible to do before this time? What form can be created now that could not have been imagined previously?
Once a form exists, then it can bleed back and cross-breed with other forms (“cartel” cinema, for example)
Just thought I’d throw that out there.
Many of the clips of 05 are quite alluring. The strangest part is the weird feeling of familiarity. Some of these places (Sunset and Vine, Santa Monica Beach) I’ve actually been to, but other places where I certainly have not been still give off a strange deja vu.
yes, that is what is interesting. but we are early stages yet. really these cuts are simply cells from which we can begin to explore another kind of geography, a multiple landscape, in which is a new sense of narrative. almost psychic narrative.
I don’t know yet. It is now all in the practice, not the theory.
but it’s good to talk about it as we go.
meanwhile to steal a quote that Bobby wise posted in the Primitive Cinema thread—
“One is always alone, before the set as a writer is before a blank page.” Godard.
The topic of voyeurism, or privileged viewing access, is very important in Hollywood aesthetics. Since the inception of American cinema, one of the fundamental draws of buying a ticket to the movies was the appeal of being granted access to a spectacle that is exclusive; that you have no other way of seeing than in this dark space. (Imagine yourself as a working stiff in the 1920s; what deep, secret titillation there must have been in a DeMille film promising to take you inside ancient Egyptian palaces, to witness Cleopatra and her attendants, etc. – The Globe theatre in Shakespeare’s time operated on a similar principle.)
This may well be the profoundest part of cinema’s transformation: screens and media are now so ubiquitous and saturating, that to a see a great Hollywood spectacle no longer feels like much an exclusive privilege. You can see the same damn crap pretty much anywhere. (isn’t this also why CGI spectacles are so banal, why the new Star Wars films and the Indiana Jones 4 are so totally unimpressive?).
My own prediction is that the spectacle economy of Hollywood will collapse; and that narrative economy will take its rightful place as the prime attractor of feature films.
An excellent point. And I seriously hope so too.
Thanks man. Good argument.
I used to be heavily Marxist. Now I’m more interested in models of Mutualism and Inclusive Democracy.
I just read this whole thread and am completely exhausted, but in a real postive way. I cannot properly respond at the moment yet I felt compelled to simply say it is an honor and a true moment in history and I am proud to say I too would like to be a Sovietic if I may be allowed. If it’s even a thing to be allowed or simply a state of being, a way of thinking or maybe it’s against everything. Nevertheless, I LIKE IT.
We have above a whole series of stimulating and sometimes conflicting narratives, if I can use that term in the context of these very thought-provoking discussions. I will not touch upon the themes discussed above of those of you who are the soldiers in the field of cinematic battle, the experimental filmmakers out there, but comment only on the beginning thread questions: Where are we now? And ask a further question, certainly the subject everyone is discussing in their posts above, Where are we headed? Or more appropriately, Where might we go?
We can all agree that film as a medium of expression is going through a whole series of sea-changes – some good, some not so good. On the plus side, film is becoming much more international, and film artists in many different cultures are producing interesting and significant work. Also, because of the ubiquity of the internet, the ability to get any conceivable image or message to any conceivable audience or person instantaneously, is certainly creating a revolution in terms of possibilities of communication. Perhaps here the image is the new medium of universal expression. Even if we can’t understand each other’s verbal language, we can understand each other’s visual language – the language of film (here in its broadest possible context, whether digital, celluloid, or cyber-chip). In other words, the image is the new way of transcending the verbal “fall” of the “tower of babel,” the verbal babel, that is. Image can once again unite us as human beings and transcend the limits of communication and mis-communication if we live in a verbal only world – even one with subtitles!
Next, what can we expect for the short-term future, in terms of further exploring the artistic medium of cinema? Of course, new technologies are coming into being every day, but they are all so much useless technological junk without the intersession of the artist, the person who can see the possibilities inherent in the new technologies as they unfold. Many great innovators are out there, and many have already been named, but I will turn my attention to one only: Peter Greenaway. Greenaway started out as a graphic artist and took his love of visual objects directly into his cinematic canvas. All his early films (please see them) are filled (whether you like them or not is not the point of this discussion) with beautiful collage objects; be they fruits, elaborate costumes, naked bodies, ornate drawings – they are very visually stimulating. He has been working since the 1990s, in films such as Prospero’s Books and Pillow Book, with complex digital layering of images. In Propero’s Books, for example, he used a Japanese super-computer to construct digital images that over-layed other film images to create a complex mosaic that would have been impossible with existing cinematic techniques. His films have a rich visual palette, that , for me anyway, demonstrate where film might be heading. That is, toward a more vibrant, hallucinatory, infinitely complex visual image – much like similar things that are happening in computer art (Mandelbrot knots, for example). This will enrich the visual possibilities for all film artists.
Also, I would like to comment on the video game phenomenon. Although I agree it can appear very dated in hindsight, I for one, think it offers great possibilities for the filmmaker who truly realizes the revolutionary potential in the new medium. What I like about it, and everyone can agree here if you play any of them, is the INTERACTIVE nature of the medium. You, the player/viewer must at all times interact with the medium presented to you, to navigate, figure out, move ahead or behind, etc. We all know that the visual medium of the best games are cutting-edge, graphic wise. We cannot ignore the excitement of interacting in a virtual world, a world where we don’t really know what is coming next. The games I most enjoy are the Japanese varieties, as they are ahead in so many ways, of the rest of the world. Those games with a strong mythological, or fable-like quality, appeal to me – no matter how fantastic the worlds are. I think the key point I am making, is these games bring interactivity, depth of complex storyline, mythological other-worlds – certainly some of you filmmakers can see the possibilities here. If we are to have the ‘Finnegans Wake’ of films, it will surely come from a film medium that is interactive with the viewer, where the viewer has to puzzle out the next step, as it presents the viewer with a new reality. Of course, if the world we live in is viewed deeply enough, just read the metaphysical poets or Blake, it too can be a supernatural reality.
Perhaps we need to have a film that is multi-lingual, with characters and situations representing many cultures and languages, too. Some have mentioned films like Babel that are a crude example (at best) of what I would hope to see. Perhaps, for a simplistic example, it would be more like the spaghetti Westerns, using actors speaking several languages, where one language is dubbed-in for the final cut. Except, I would envision a film where the actors all spoke different languages in the context of the same scene, storyline, and location – just like the spaghetti Westerns without the need to reduce all the dialogue to one dubbed language. This is a crude approximation, but just walk the streets of any city in the world, where all conceivable languages are spoken by people sharing the same space and time, and you see what I mean.
So, to summarize: to progress, cinema in the future should embrace and enhance new technologies, have a rich and complex visual palette, speak to the diversity of languages, be interactive with the audience or viewer. The need to create alternative worlds, worlds inter-laid with mythological content, the whole Jungian universal archetypes, would be my idea for the cinema of the future. That’s what I want to watch. Remember, cinema is inter-active if it causes us to question our assumptions and gives us possibilities, not conclusions. I am not talking about creating a virtual film video game, like say, Tron did way back when. This is more a metaphor for possibilities. Otherwise, I will be reduced to rehashing all my old favourites from Criterion or whatever, again and again.
mark: hell yes, you can be sovietic.
and you can do so by contributing to the 05:00 project! grab a camcorder and start shooting, dude!
This thread needs to be moved into Garage, as it was the foundation piece for the first wave of writings on Editing for the school. We’ve moved way past this point now, but it’s important to archive these things for later review.
Reviving another oldie that is still relevant.
ONCE UPON A TIME
I’m BUMPING this up again, bec. it was excellent, a real moment of pure energy onsite. Chaotic, disorganized thoughts maybe, but a pure intent to try and kick start a serious debate about the future of film.
Feel free to chime in, we’ve got new blood onsite since this was first proposed, and I for one would like to hear some more ideas.
So I checked out the thread on Project 5. Now what? I need a map for this site. It should be a sphere, with lines connecting different people to different projects so I can keep track of it all. Selfish, I know…
Now I contact you and I tell you what happened to it. It kind of went underground, evolved, and it’s shortly about to resurface, less confused, more focused and better looking : )
LOL, sounds like a secret sect out to destroy something! Do I need a secret handshake?
OK, let’s force ourselves to consider some very real possibilities that may face cinema in the future.
1) Animation evolves to a point where animated movies overtake live action. The phenomenon of the “movie star”, and screen acting generally, both decline as computers get better and better at simulating human expressions.
2) Alternatively, the capacity to digitally manipulate footage becomes so advanced that the element of chance and incidental things effectively vanish from cinema: If an actor’s mouth looks slightly wrong, it can be fixed. If an actress doesn’t look quite sad enough, or doesn’t react at just the right moment, that too can be fixed by the computer.
3) 3D becomes somehow good. Good enough to serve as the default visual condition for standard narrative cinema.
4) Piracy spreads and reaches a crisis point. Efforts to police the proliferation of free movies fail. People still go to movie theaters, but the most crucial revenue streams, DVD and TV licensing, collapse. The means of making feature films dries up as the public demonstrates unwillingness to pay to see anything.
Any more scenarios?
How do these possibilities effect the possibilities of cinematic expression?
So? what happened?