Yikes! LOL Then weeping…
YES, it’s ONLY in reference to contemporary contemplative cinema.
And heh, I just found a whole site devoted to the discussion of this.
Something that needs to be defined then, the difference between what is classified as CCC and what is classified as Remodernist. What are the major differences? Similarities?
You read the manifesto like you read or experience anything else. It inspires you or it doesn’t. You take from it or you don’t. Regardless, you let it go. You pick up a pen, camera, horn or step onto a stage and let it happen- there is no conscious manifesto, Ozu, Bergman, Hitler. It’s just you moving your pen, camera, horn, body the way it wants to move.
I believe # 5 is wholly relevant:
5) Is Remodernism a movement of its time? How does it fit in to the spirit of living in this time, how doesn’t it?
1) What is different/unique about these films?
2) Are they breaking new ground?
I think uniqueness and newness should be irrelevant. From what I am gathering convention and the siting of influences are okay.
@ Peter Rinaldi Just one thing, for now, about “Papa’s Cinema”. You have to look at it like this — what is “Papa’s Cinema” to ME, this filmmaker right here, writing this post? What is that giant thought, those giant works, those impacting influences, that ‘historical context’ to ME? and how is that affecting the way I express myself in MY films? The remodernists are not trying to tear down ’Papa’s cinema" in the world, they are trying to tear it down in MY MIND; in my mind when I execute (or choose not to execute) my creativity in cinema as I stare ’Papa’s cinema" in the face.
One of the precepts of modernism was to tear down what came before, but the second part was to replace it with something else. Some of us are wondering – what have you got?
My referencing subjectivity was a synthesis of what I was reading here. The issue with the focus on self-angst is that it becomes a motivator. If self-angst is overcome – what do you have as motivation?
Yeah stare ’Papa’s cinema" in the face and then, as Heidi suggests, go out and make something.
I would also say the Odi’s # 5 applies – although angst over history is not new a conundrum (Godard: “We were born in the museum.”), POMO has certainly amped it up for the post-POMO generation.
Robert, having seen In Passing, I don’t think that Remodernism is about angst at all. What is IS about, at least to me, is taking the medium and using it in a way that throws out one’s expectations of what you normally do with it. There’s all kinds of texture, visual and sound, in In Passing. It’s stretching film expressively. And regardless of the subject matter, that’s one of the things that hits me most about that film. You FEEL film, as an expressive medium, differently. And you THINK, wow, the Remodernists are pushing this to another area, they’re using film differently. It’s experimental, but it’s also reaching toward narrative film, using a fearless attitude toward the medium, the kind of irreverence you often find in experimental circles, and telling a story despite the avante-garde visual and sound, editing. That’s where I’m relating to it anyway.
There have been filmmakers in the past who married these two in their own way, yes, but there is a technology thing going on here too. Telling a story through film, video, basically whatever you can grab at the moment and going with it to its logical end, a manner of working that includes spontaneity — this I can understand completely, as it is very much like my own manner of creating. There’s a spirit here that’s being declared, a decision to work in a certain way and express in a certain way and yes, strongly state that THIS TOO, is a way of using film and being a filmmaker. I look at this movement as an inclusive thing, not a negating thing. Post-modernism to me almost killed all the visual qualities of art with an emphasis on the concept behind what you were actually looking at. It was an intellectual movement. This movement brings the visual back, asserts that YES, it is important, it IS what you are looking at. There’s an engaging of the emotions and the spirit and not just the head. Post-modernism was all about THE HEAD.
So in this sense YES, I do think #1 and 2 are relevant, #1 because Remodernism engages the viewer very differently than post-modernism, and #2 because of the way that the remodernists work with the medium, film and video, 8 or 16 mm projector, DSLR, iPhone, whatever you have at hand, and NOT having a statement in mind that the viewer needs to figure out, a puzzle of references as the post-modernists did.
You can quibble with the manifesto, but if after stating it the remodernists themselves throw it out the door, then the viewer should too. Then, you go see the films.
Anyway I don’t know if I’m expressing myself clearly but as time goes on and I see more of this work, I think I’ll be able to express myself with more precision.
Where are you getting this thing that Remodernism is centered around self-angst?
Where are you getting this thing that Remodernism is centered around self-angst?
Reading the stuckism wiki
Peter summed it up in his post with MY films; MY MIND.
I had the opportunity to write a manifesto for my group, but I declined. What I was really interested in was community, not waging war on the past. Yeah, we were older and uh, wiser? Our mantra was: the group is about the group. i.e. we are, what we do together.
But Stuckism is not Remodernism, right?
Hmm ok, so the manifesto is the sticking point.
So… you would feel more comfortable with a group defining who they are without reference to the past? Do you think that the manifesto spends more time talking about what remodernists are not rather than what they are? And, if it were worded differently, would you feel more supportive of the main ideas?
I have to admit that I am not big on manifestos, but somewhere I don’t think it’s a bad idea for a group to take the opportunity to talk about who they are in their own words — before someone else not involved with the group beats them to the punch and mischaracterizes them.
Beyond that, it’s the work that interests me, not the words, or rather, the words only lead me to the work. And the thing about remodernist work, what I have seen of it so far, is that in contrast to the manifesto (which states certain things definitively), it does not impose an interpretation on the viewer. There is a POV from the artist for sure, but there is the opportunity for the viewer to participate in that with their own imagination/interpretation. There is an open-endedness to the work that is really nice, another path, if you will. It’s not the ONLY path, but it’s an alternative.
Who can argue with the availability of alternatives in any art form? I mean, it isn’t fun to always have potatoes for dinner.
My understanding is that there is Remodernism and a wiki for Remodernism-film, which was derived from the stuckism.
To define something necessitates excluding something else. I went through the problematic nature of the manifesto in a post above. In terms of art, why would I want to exclude any possibilities?
The other side of the coin is that a group would lack definition if it didn’t exclude something, but that is about market branding, not art.
I think the point Peter made was that it is motivational and whatever works for personal motivation is fine.
But articulated as a movement, something open for discussion, it leaves much to be desired.
There are great films being made now. Kirin Albou is making some wonderful films – highly personal and expressive, yet socio-political at the same time. Do I really need to relate to her work as part of a movement?
I see what you are saying. I will let Peter and Jesse and Heidi respond.
This is all worthy of discussion and I’m really glad these questions are being brought up. Really interesting to think and talk about.
Having just read the Manifesto, It seems to me that Remodernism is essentially concerned with meaning, regardless of how the filmmaker arrives at this from a technical point of view. Thus, the label “Remodernism” seems to be redundant.
Sorry if I’m misreading Remodernism, and I encourage anyone to correct me if I’m being ignorant, but I here are some of my impressions:
The claim Remodernism is the rebirth of spiritual art is a bold one, I must say! Where is the context? How can somebody create a revolutionary ideology and immediately claim it as being this or that without any historical/cultural context to frame it in? To do so is folly, and is counterproductive.
Any attempt to write a technical Method or Manifesto on how to create (or why it’s so important to create) “great” or “spiritual” (i.e. insert any value judgement here) art will be extremely naive, as any kind of revolutionary ideology will be in a general sense. That is, the “how” or “why” of creating “spiritual” art is going to be somewhat mysterious in its technical and motivational methods, simply because any attempt to reproduce the technical or motivational methods of an artist whom one finds to be “spiritual” will not necessarily result in one’s own artwork being “spiritual” itself… I can see that this is partly the whole point of the Remodernist Manifesto, but to frame this general idea of Remodernism being the rebirth of spiritual art within a Manifesto (“inclusive” or otherwise) is counterintuitive and redundant, as is the label “Remodernism” itself.
As Robert says, Kirin Albou is making some wonderful films … Do I really need to relate to her work as part of a movement? No, Robert, you don’t.
That is, as far as I can see it, the Remodernist Manifesto – and the label “Remodernism” – will only appeal to individuals who are interested in finding personal meaning in their lives – and in their artworks – by way of feeling a sense of belonging to a wider idealogy, thus giving them a sense of power (whether “true” or “false”) over their destiny.
I don’t think that anybody should claim with a straight face that they know what the “truth” is, and so Remodernism’s declaration of intent to face the truth. Truth is what it is, regardless of what we want it to be is another incredibly bold claim. I’d say that Billy Childish’s ideal of “truth” as being truth is what is is actually highly contentious and unnecessarily vague, thus negating his ideal of “truth” altogether. It’s paradoxical and oxymoronic, much like revolutionary ideology itself from the point of view of individuals (such as Childish) making a series of ill-defined and subjective value judgements which are impossible to consistently codify (whilst noting that Remodernism is supposedly “inclusive rather than exclusive”), thus rendering their values being catalogued into a Manifesto of subjective “spiritual” ideals as being a somewhat redundant practice, which was supposedly the entire purpose of Remodernism in the first place.
I am very interested to see the films, and I will do at some point, but NOT because they are labelled as being “Remodernist”. That is, I can see no clear reason as to why I – or anyone else – ought to label a film as being “Remodernist”.
Wow, I have to say, it’s really amazing how people are reacting to a manifesto. Or a movement. Or rather, I’m
Would the same thing have happened, did it happen, with for example, The Blaue Reiter Group? Or, Die Brucke?
Why is this bothering everyone so much? No one except people who decide to follow this is being forced to believe in it. So what does it really matter? Isn’t it the work that counts in the end? I mean, this isn’t some evil “kill everyone who doesn’t subscribe to this religion” kind of deal. Why not let people have manifestos, who are they hurting by following something that hurts no one?
I was referring to logical inconsistencies within the Remodernist Manifesto specifically (whilst making some other generalisations, I’ll admit); I’ve not read much about Der Blaue Reiter (apparently they lacked a central manifesto), though I’ve read Kandinsky’s On the Spiritual in Art which I’d recommend to anyone, as it has much practical and technical theories of painting which I find to be reasonably compelling.
Yeah I don’t know… I guess ultimately for this discussion to have any real “teeth” we’ve got to all have seen some of these films.
Keeping my fingers crossed that In Passing, at the very least, becomes available outside of the theaters sooner than later…
Yes, and I’ll admit that I ought to see some of these films before I comment any further (my comments thus far are based upon what is written in the Manifesto), and I am of course interested in doing so.
^ Good good. Really some beautiful stuff, I can assure you! :)
The problem with manifestos is they are trying to bring order to chaos. The inherent flaw is that chaos is part of the order of things – thus, manifestos are tomes of hypocrisy.
14. Remodernist film should be a stripped down, minimal, lyrical, punk kind of filmmaking, and is a close relative to the No-Wave Cinema that came out of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1970’s.
It is ironic that minimal is mentioned in the remodernist film Manifesto. Minimalism was a ‘pure idea’ and one of the dead-ends of Modernism. Thus, we have an idea (minimal) that purports to be an ideal in a manifesto, which represents an ideology.
3. Cinema could be one of the perfect methods of creative expression,
Uh, perfect? But not perfect like Kubrick?
8. Any product or result of human creativity is inherently subjective, due to the beliefs, biases and knowledge of the person creating the work. Work that attempts to be objective will always be subjective, only instead it will be subjective in a dishonest way. Objective films are inherently dishonest. Stanley Kubrick, who desperately and pathetically tried to make objective films, instead made dishonest and boring films.
As the fox says in The Antichrist: “Chaos reigns!”
From the link on p. 1 of this thread, Remodernist Shorts Cinekinosis.
The child-like joy and freshness of this film is something that struck me as a recurrent feature in this series of shorts. Could it be a direct consequence of the remodernist motivation to watch the world with new eyes and leave space for authenticity, inspiration and enthusiasm (qualities found in children) rather than artificiality, commercialism and cynicism (unfortunately associated with adulthood)?
Child-like is the new punk?
I love aesthetic manifestos, they’re full of passion and fun to read.
But Robert — those are the reviewer’s words.
This is what he says about punk:
The “punk” DIY attitude mentioned in the Manifesto was particularly apparent in Jesse’s “So Tell Me Again”, in Peter Rinaldi’s “Self Portrait” and in Roy Rezaäli’s “Tulp/tulip” (see below) through a certain rawness in sound and/or images.
I love aesthetic manifestos, they’re full of passion and fun to read.
Girlfriend, fun and passion — that’s how I think of them too, even if I don’t agree with everything they say. It’s putting your neck on the line to come out with statements like that. I mean why not? It’s art.
Yes, exactly. The idea is to create new space. and fly.
In the 90’s one couldn’t walk into a gallery without being handed the artist’s manifesto.
Geez, if I have to read a 5-page analysis to get what I am looking at,
All manifestos are not created equal, Robert. That would be obvious to anyone.
You’re stretching it. Why are you being so difficult?
Difficult is his middle name. He just spells it with a W. You know. To be difficult.
Ha ha ha! But I have a warm spot in my heart for Robert despite the wifficulty. :D
Honestly if I look at anything written about a work, I usually look at it with a grain of salt and also, after I’ve seen the work, and often, only if I have the need to do analysis.
I have to stress that the work I’ve seen of the Remodernists is excellent and takes you, ironically, away from things that are written. To that end, I almost think of their manifesto the way a Buddhist thinks of rules — you learn them, you follow them, then you break them when you know why you have to. I’ll have to go back to my class texts from my undergrad years to back what I just said about Buddhism up here… unless anyone else familiar with that subject wants to find some quotes/text on that subject before I get to it, welcome!
Why are you being so difficult?
practice, practice, practice
Thank you Odilonvert for trying to get this conversation to be about the films themselves, but it seems like even this would be futile. No matter what the films are like AT ALL, if the maker says it is a ‘remodernist film’ or simply inspired by the remodernist film manifesto, some of the folks on this thread (and therefore many others out there) would only place the film up against what is written in that document. Robert kept writing about the angst in the document and you chimed in saying “Robert, having seen In Passing, I don’t think that Remodernism is about angst at all” and, as a reaction to that Robert cites the document. Then you show what someone else wrote who saw other remodernist films, saying that they were filled with “child-like joy and freshness”. Robert responds, again, by going back to the document “Child-like is the new punk?” So, essentially, what is occurring is exactly what Jesse didn’t want to have happen, a checklist is being brought out, the films (still predominately unseen) and the document are scrutinized against each other. Point #1 of the manifesto is being ignored.
1. Art manifestos, despite the good intentions of the writer should always “be taken with a grain of salt” as the cliché goes, because they are subject to the ego, pretensions, and plain old ignorance and stupidity of their authors. This goes all the way back to the Die Brücke manifesto of 1906, and continues through time to this one that youʼre reading now. A healthy wariness of manifestos is understood and encouraged. However, the ideas put forth here are meant sincerely and with the hope of bringing inspiration and change to others, as well as to myself.
There’s a reason why that is the FIRST point. It is, quite literally, the most important one. And, it seems like all of the remodernist filmmakers understand this. They would not come on here defending this document, because, like a Buddhist would say ‘there is nothing to defend. literally no-thing". They took what came next ’with a grain of salt’ and a ‘healthy wariness’. But some here aren’t.
Jesse would be the first to say that he doesn’t want to talk about this anymore, (which is probably why he isn’t chiming in here) he wants the work to speak for itself. But my point is, if people get hung up on the manifesto, and what the movement is saying through that, then the films might ‘speak for themselves’ but what is said will be laid side by side with the manifesto and words like “This is a great film but it is not remodernist because it is not ‘punk’” [whatever that means] and “Loved it, but where’s the Wabi Sabi?” and “that can’t be a remodernist film, it has a story” and other such silliness will ring out.
The bottom line is that this thing was written for filmMAKERS, not film lovers or film theorists or film historians. The films themselves are for everyone. But if you lay them next to this thing that was written for the filmmaker as a call to action, it is going to get messy, contradictory and counter productive. My hope is that these films can be judged for what they are themselves and (sure) what commonalities they have with each other. That is interesting. But not the commonalities they have with the manifesto. It is not meant for that kind of comparison. But, if what is happening in this thread is an indication, this is going to be hard.
^ Don’t worry, Peter. This is just a healthy discussion. :)
It’s ok if people question, but most of all, it’s important that these wonderful films are accessible so that we can really talk about them with a sense of grounding.
It WILL happen. Right here on this thread.
I want people to talk about these films. They need to be discussed. They need to be seen. They need to be absorbed and considered.
My hope is that these films can be judged for what they are themselves … But not the commonalities they have with the manifesto
Agreed. As it ought to be with any artwork. Hence my bafflement at the existence of the Manifesto.
Also, I just realised that I read Billy Childish’s Manifesto when there is a seperate Manifesto written by Jesse Richards.
Stanley Kubrick, who desperately and pathetically tried to make objective films, instead made dishonest and boring films.
Okay, I can see that you don’t want people to get hung up on the Manifesto, but I believe that this is an interesting line which merits a thoughtful and critical discussion.
First of all, how can we seperate the notion of a “subjective” expression and an “objective” expression? One interesting way was suggested by Leonard Bernstein, who noted that the Schoenberg vs Stravinsky chasm in music represented a kind of split between a) the Romantic ideal of “self-expression” (i.e. Schoenberg), and b) the more Primitive notion of expressing (in one’s own style) something outside of one’s own personal experiences (à la Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps)… thus, Stravinsky was attacked from some perspectives as being a “trickster” for his lack of “self-expression” in his art.
Is this what is meant by Jesse Richards when he says that Kubrick tried to make “objective” films? That Kubrick wasn’t attempting to express himself in an “honest” and “genuine” manner, and thus he was a “trickster” whose films had little “spiritual” depth? I.e. Work that attempts to be objective will always be subjective, only instead it will be subjective in a dishonest way. Objective films are inherently dishonest.
The thing is, what we are looking at here are extrinsic elements of art, rather than the intrinsic formal properties of artworks. If, hypothetically, both Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps and Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron were anonymous compositions from times and places somewhat contentious, then we would not be armed with the distinction between “subjective” and “objective”, “honest” and “dishonest” expression i.e. we would be forced to strip away the extrinsic – and thus the highly subjective and contentious – elements of the artworks, namely the motivations of the composers, etc. They would no longer exist.
If, instead, we were to focus purely upon the music itself, which exists no matter what, then, as far as I can tell, the Remodernist notion of “spirituality” is essentially shot to pieces. In other words, I can only conclude (at this point) that the Remodernist ideal of “spirituality” is actually tied to extrinsic fanciful notions of “intent” and “motivation” – i.e. Mistakes and failures make your work honest and human, and … to find the honesty, beauty and humanity in failure – rather than to the artworks in-themselves. This is okay if it’s how you want it to be. Live and let live, I say; different strokes for different folks. But to me personally, this perspective of “spirituality” is highly disingenuous.
(Please correct me if I’m misinterpreting your ideas; I’m not making a ruckus just for the hell of it, heh)
Clearly all notions of “honesty”, “genuineness” and “spirituality” in art depend upon perspectives. Kubrick is seen as disingenuous by the Remodernists only from a single perspective, and this perspective is, imo, narrow-minded and immature.
Perhaps the Remodernists would think that my own perspective of spirituality and honesty (focusing more upon the intrinsic properties of the artwork i.e. what these properties impress upon me and how/why) is narrow-minded and immature. And so hopefully we can develop some interesting and respectful discussions on this theme in this thread, because I believe it to be highly relevant.