The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (2011)
In Japanese, tsundoku means, “the act of buying books and not reading them, leaving them to pile up.”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.
I acknowledge practicing this but it’s always with a negative connotation. This illustration almost suggests that it’s an aesthetic to be practiced. And what does it do to this practice when you decide to read one of these books from the middle of a stack? These are the thoughts that will occupy my day. Until I start watching Arrested Development.
Comedian Kurt Braunohler raised $6,000 on Kickstarter to “hire a man in a plane to write stupid things in the sky”.
New contender for best enticing cover blurb: “Don’t scare to sit, Don’t scream to see, Don’t shock if it’s……fierce!”
10 New Aesthetic Ideas for Film
1. Put birth and death in a single unbroken take. Use frames within a frame, or have the character exit and re-enter the frame older (possibly a different actor), or something else. Figure it out.
2. Create a film which tells its story by only showing the empty spaces where the story occurred, with appropriate camera movement to track absent characters (who were once there), with only enough narration to explain what once happened there.
3. Put one character’s dialog slightly out of sync. Just one. Don’t explain why.
4. Andre Chocron’s video for My Recurring Dream (above) uses continuous forward tracking through all variety of spaces (and dilations/reversals of temporality) to express the notion of dreaming as an impossible journey. In another video, Havoc, he shoots with a camera with a very shallow depth of field from a fixed angle, slowly pulling and throwing focus to direct viewer attention (with an incredible surprise at the end). Michael Snow famously used zoom and panning in Wavelength and Back and Forth. IF there are any basic formal flourishes left, base a video around them. How about continuous slow canting in a kind of spirograph spiral across a variety of objects, screens, and windows on the face of a large building? (A big enough crane could pull it off, or simply cant the camera on a long arm mounted on the side of a big ferris wheel.) How about a four-minute long trombone shot using the longest zoom lens ever made and a REALLY long and stable track? (If a music video, just stay on the face of the lead singer as the world warps, gathers, and comes into focus and plenitude around him.)
5. Decouple sonic perspective and visual perspective. Have two characters stand at one end of an alleyway in extreme close-up two-shot (just lips, or nearly just). Record sound from the other end of the alley, so it comes across hopelessly muffled. As they walk to the other end of the alleyway, getting farther and farther away from the fixed camera, have their voices get closer and closer to the mic until it’s an unsettlingly close whisper.
6. Take the lens off the camera and see what you get. Also works for still photography.
7. Give several young filmmakers cameras and have them play hide and seek in an urban environment. Whoever can covertly film another filmmaker for the longest without being filmed themselves wins. Display the feeds in real-time on a split screen.
8. Make a documentary on the life and work of the artist Georg Baselitz. Shoot all the interviewees upside down. OR make a documentary on Nam June Paik in which all the interviewees appear on closed-circuit TV screens. Etc.
9. Watch the deleted scenes without ever watching the movie. Construct your own film around the characters and situations you meet in the deleted scenes, making those the most pivotal scenes in the your new film.
10. Create a documentary with Clue-style alternate endings which play differently in different theaters. One ending could be truth, the other a lie, OR they could both be only part of the truth, presented such that without the other part they actually mislead the audience. We’ve already had Rashomon and The Thin Blue Line, in which multiple falsehoods (and perhaps one truth) are presented within the film. Why not extend this idea beyond the end of the film, fracturing multiple aspects of truth into multiple copies of the film?
I want to watch all of these.