Monday, August 31, 2009

response: project 001

Conceptually, I don't think I had any ideas other than making some meaningless but visually appealing stuff. Technically, I wanted to experiment with the scanner, and see how I could incorporate scanned images into the whole photoshop/quick time mix, and I think those parts were pretty successful. I also wanted to think a ton about set design, color schemes, and lighting so that the visuals could be the most effective. My shots are a bit boring, I didn't get too wild with moving the laptop around to create more moving shots. That's something I'd like to focus on for my next assignment, less stationary, eye-level shots and more moving, unique-angled shots. As far as achieving rhythm and pushing the boundaries of the programs goes, I think I did an okay job. I was thinking about adding some animation to the scuba shots, but I ended up wanting to try to create rhythm through the contrasting colors and content, instead of adding something on top of them. One thing I'm still a bit confused/frustrated about is the fps/document length adjustments. I don't understand the relationship between the two. I'm sure it makes tons of logical sense, I just can't remember how it works. That was the main frustration for me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

response: Retour a la Raison

The fragmented nature of this film really kept my attention, it felt like a puzzle of a story, I kept making probably unnecessary associations between images. It seems to almost have a narrative, we are introduced to two characters, a man and a woman, and the camera mostly follows them. Inter-cut with the activities of these two are absolutely absurd images and text that seem to somewhat push the narrative of the man and woman along, but their real function seems to be more to fragment the idea of narration. I think that this is an exciting concept, as memories exist only as fragments, and this film had a memory-haze feel to it.

Walter Benjamin

write about what Benjamin says about the aura:

what is its value? is its withering away good or bad? neither or both?

The value of the aura reflects the degree of uninterrupted originality the people perceive the work to have in relation to the ritualistic view surrounding the work. The idea of an aura of a work is dependent on the how the work existed in history and the condition the work is in as a result of it. Mechanical reproduction interrupts the aura, it allows multiples to exist at the same time, and this causes the aura to wither away. This withering away of the aura provides opportunity for film to be experienced at the same time by a collective of people in different places. This brings new opportunity for critique, and new ways for more audiences to experience the work. I would consider the withering of the aura to be a “good” thing. It questions not only the perceived ideas of value and originality of art, but it also questions the ways in which space and the degree of reproducibility affects the perception of art.

how can today’s films (focus on one) be understood in terms of Benjamin’s ideas about the aura and mechanical reproduction?

Man Ray’s Emak Bakia unconsciously seems to portray the meaningless extravagance that Dada filmmakers embraced in reaction to the film medium. Film cannot be separated from mechanical reproduction, and this film formed associations between nature and the mechanical world. It could be that the “natural” shots (the eye, the flowers, etc) represent the idea of the aura and the withering of it in favor of the mechanically reproducible world (the cars). It seems to be a metaphor for the world that is created (mechanically) inside of a film.

what role does their “readymade” status play in this?

The readymade status of film plays with the way in which the audience participates. The film can exist and be shown in multiple places at once. This status, this freedom of reproducibility allows more and more people to participate in the world created by the film.