Sunday, September 19, 2010


A short, experimental film exploring/questioning the idea of "reality" as a construct, using repetive motions-both fluid and machine-like as metaphors for this idea.

2 parallel videos running on loop (either on two projectors or split screen)
one video "organic" the other "artificial"

both videos begin with a shot of a black and white cat with 3 balls of yarn
the "organic" video zooms in on the cat, transitioning into a dancer dancing in a forest.
the "artificial" video zooms in on the yarn balls and cuts to a scene where 3 pairs of hands are rolling the yarn back onto the balls and slamming the yarn balls down the line (at the same time) in sort of a machine-belt motion.

as this is going on in the "artifical" video, in the "organic" video, the dancer is dancing to the same rhythm as the hands moving the yarn, but the dancer is alone and her movements are much less rigid than those of the hands.

after a while of establishing the rhythm of the yarn motion, 2 pairs of hands slam the yarn down like usual, but the 3rd pair, the one on the end stops and begins to open up the yarn, discovering fragments of mirrors inside of it.

while this is happening, the dancer (in the "organic" video) stops, and begins to dig in the dirt, eventually discovering the same mirror fragments.

the films both end on the same shot of the cat playing with the yarn. (maybe the yarn is all over/entangling the cat now)


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

suburban lawns

about a week ago, my neighbor mowed our lawn.

thinking it was a random act of kindness, I made plans to bake him cookies.

Later, I found out that our landlord charges us an additional $12.50 every time this neighbor mows our lawn.

I cancel plans to make him cookies.

Our landlord says that this neighbor is permitted to mow our lawn every time he deems it below par of the neighborhood.

A few days later, another neighbor gave us a weed eater; he said he had an extra. Sensing a growing discontent in the neighborhood regarding our lawn, and feeling a bit confused about what the neighborhood lawn expectations are, I set out to find the most perfect lawn in my neighborhood.

As I walk, I'm thinking about the lawn as a sort of transitory space between public and private, sometimes showing a sense of welcome, defensiveness, or indifference.

I begin to get bored with lawns, (they're all starting to look a little the same) and I start to wander.

I haven't seen anyone in a while; only remnants, little displaced ghosts.

Feeling frustrated about my inability to find the perfect lawn, I decide to go home.

On the way home, I think more about transitions, about things that aren't meant to stay static, or even stationary.

I think about how every moment seems to balance on a series of fragile transitory motions, and I'm not sure how comfortable I am with this revelation.

Monday, September 6, 2010

science is fiction/fictions do exist

so, first of all, best night ever ^^^^^
the next screening will be Taste of Cherry + a Kurosawa short at 8 on Sept 11th
The Dairy 2010 Court Street


Up to a Certain Point, Panleve, Alec Soth (Glass Jars), and Superstar are the almost-documentaries that interest me the most (so far). All of these films merge documentary with experimental narrative fiction. As far as an "actual" documentary goes, Hearts and Minds is probably the best one I've seen. It contextualized interview footage with soldiers and civilians from both sides within a larger context of what was going on in pop culture to influence the war.

As far as what I want to make goes, I'm interested in the idea of competition.

some forms of competition I'm thinking of (these could benefit from some specificity):

craigslist singles ads
dating as a competition for romance, for an idealized, marketed "love"
america's obsession with football/sports/celebrities/fights
"reality" shows
make over shows

competition freewrite-
cyclical, marketed, promotes the continuation of capitalism, dating, images of what love should look like, how these images benefit the elite-ex. disney relies on promoting family values, these values produce generations that believe them, and these generations buy/support disney, same theory for how women should appear/behave, football, pageants, american idol, the standards for success, how these standards effect not only america, but all of the countries with american/western influence, women/"others" cast as performers, performers, performers, stages, curtains, desire, projections, the could be should be would be, the subjunctive, the reason reality shows are so popular, this pretend freedom as a form of oppression, how to make this real, not existent only in theory, this is real, the theory comes from the real, this happens to humans, FICTIONS DO EXIST, and they do influence the lives of people who live them, how long can we lie, how long can we perfect lying, how long can we find the lie in someone else, and what "truth" do we have to compare the lie to? how do we find a specific question to ask? commodified identities, how do we even begin to address this?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

blow up, a history of bombing and all that heaven allows



"nothing like a little disaster to sort things out"

The film posed a question of perception, of what "really" happened, and who has the authority and the facts to prove it.
photography's literal role-to become a sort of proof of reality. He discovers the murder by blowing up the picture.
the "explosion" in the film happens when he meets the woman in the park, when she attacks him for the film.
The role of women in this film was very problematic for me. They are portrayed always as objects for a photograph, even when they are not being photographed. Could this be Antonioni's critical commentary on a trend in society? or is he also subscribing to that dehumanizing trend? Women are completely at the mercy of the photographer, he does whatever he wants with them.
The tennis match at the end became sort of a metaphor for the entire film. A group of mimes are miming a game of tennis, while the photographer stands and watches. Maybe this symbolizes the question of how "real" our perceptions are, and how photography mimes this perceived reality.

The structure of the book seemed to aim to mirror the content. While the different sections appear to fragmented, they are connected in a linear sense by the dates, and in a conceptual sense by following the section map along a common string of stories. The book goes between factual history and personal narratives, giving the structure a much more "people's history" approach, rather than a textbook history approach.

The book focuses heavily on the "morale effect" or "terror effect" of bombing, and how this was (and is) a frequently used military tactic. The book also emphasises the two-faced war "rules" of bombing, that if followed at all, were only applicable to "civilized" countries, "savage" or "barbaric" populations did not fall under this protection, and therefore were frequently bombed without a second thought in order to further the European economic agenda.

"We blow it to bits. We civilize with explosions.
Here lie the civilized, in long, quiet rows."

Civilians, especially the working class, were the most common targets for bombs. If one could destroy the moral of a country, one could control the country.

"For the colonial powers the idea was to capture the prey alive and exploit him as labor, but the American strategy lacked all colonial ambition and therefore ought to be aimed at a war of elimination, a task for which bombing from the air was especially suitable."

"People got used to the unthinkable"


Sirk subtly explores the savagely power and money hungry structures of bougeious society through a romance between a gardener and a wealthy widow. The "explosion" in this film happens when Carrie accidentaly breaks a teapot that Ron had recently fixed. From this point, the film spirals into conflicts, eventually becoming paritially resolved when Carrie reunites herself with Ron, despite the unapproval of her children and her friends. Sirk makes use of the cutaway from the melodrama with shots to a deer, to the snow, to the window, etc. Also, the lighting is insane. Completely oversaturated, and in scenes of conflict, one character is darkly lit, and the other is only lit through bands of light. Red and blue seem to be the dominating color scheme. There is an extreme contrast between natural scenes-Ron and Carrie at Ron's house, in Carrie's front yard-and "unnatural" scenes-Ron and Carrie at the cocktail party, Carrie at the club.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

independent study syllabus map

why? why? why?


  • beat language, rhythm,
  • metaphor-political/social context
  • discourse on colonialism, addressing the idea of self, identity, black identity
  • "decolonization of the mind" relationship between the colonizer/colonized
Anne Carson-
  • focus on human problems within the rhetoric
  • storytelling with conscious of the politics created by images
  • feminist
  • uses photography and film metaphor
  • searching for identity-ex. autobiography of red
  • mirror, galaxy metaphors
  • using metaphors on a grand scale (the cosmos) to address something very immediate, very human (like an argument)
  • short, visual imagery driven poems
  • Invisible Cities
  • referencing something without showing it
  • constructing a system
  • rhythm of language
  • notion of travel/exploration in work
  • movement, awareness of the body


  • psychoanalysis in film
  • analyzing politics from a philosophic standpoint
  • constant questioning of what is real/Real
People's History of the US
  • especially the civil rights chapters, the feminism chapter
  • read alongside theory? contextualize the ideas within history
A History of Bombing
  • bombing= destruction of life and all of the things we have constructed
  • understanding a history of how humans can so easily destroy each other, how these developments have affected the way we view/treat ourselves and others
MLK Speeches
  • more understanding of the civil rights struggle, the working class struggle, the vietnam war, how this affects/applies to our present situation

Film Theory

I need more ideas for this category. I've seen/read both of these. but I want to see/read them again. I just need more stuff along these lines.

Pervert's Guide to Cinema-Zizek
  • addresses the metaphor of desire in film and how this relates to psychoanalysis
  • desire is constructed, the film adds another layer of construction
Laura Mulvey
  • Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema
  • "A political use of psychoanalysis"
  • more understanding of psychoanalysis and how it applies to cinema


there are themes of construction/sudden deconstruction (explosion), identity, a concept of "reality", social structures, and forms of control.

there also seems to be an attempt to understand psychoanalysis, to relate it to film, and to better contextualize my work and the work of others within history, especially within a social-political context.