Video Art – Thursday @ Emily Carr

January 16, 2009

Labyrinth – Jim Henson

– behind the scenes making of video
– his son Brian is a master puppeteer
– needs a multitude of people to rehearse in order to match the actor, facial features and voice over to synch
– 75 pound costume giant ogre type monster
– large orc costume for Humongous – weighed several tons
– reminds me of Return of the Jedi behind the scenes footage with 3-4 guys in the Jabba the Hut costume/contraption
– there was one midget pulling back and forth on an oar lever for hours and hours on end to move Jabba’s tail

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Tell it to the Fishes – http://www.Futureshorts.com
– Dylan Moran fand the Indian daughter rom Run Fatboy Run
– great short film
http://www.Futureshorts.com

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Arcade Fire – Miroir, Noir, Neon bible Archives – by Vincent Moon

– long continuous shot as they emerge from their dressing room on their way up to the stage
– they pause in the elevator and breakout into the song even though they are squished together
– at the end of the concert, they walk into the crowd itself like a traveling band
– drummer ripping the magazine in place of hitting a snare and he just had enough pages to last till the end of the song = Serendipity
– Montreal based band and large number of members

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Requiem for a Dream – Darren Aronofsky

– JUICE BY TAPPY – JUICE BY TAPPY – JUICE BY TAPPY
– WOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh…
– WE GOT A WINNER – WE GOT A WINNER
– split screen shot showing conflict between mother and son
– keyhole mask shot looking into the other room showing her son’s drug crazed rant
– Requiem for a Dream title dissolves into dust like heroin (will be used for rest of intro credits shortly)
– son walks the gauntlet of the other retired widows in their lawn chairs in front of the apartment building
– used carrot on a stick type camera shot to look back at characters as they walk (reverse shot wobble cam)
– shows the brutality of drug addiction in the full light of day
– opening sequence sets the tone for the rest of the film – sense of desperation – develops character conflicts
– physically painful to watch this film – which is a powerful and tangible reaction to feel
– adds to the theme about the depths that drug addicts will sink to in order to fuel their habits

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HANDMADE ART – Maya Hayuk

– otherwise known as Miss Tint because she would go to the hardware store and purposely pick out the missed tint paint colours that no one wanted
– Big Vagina Clapping Mouth = epic win!
– massive installation mural is shown at the 4:55 mark of the video
– had no pre-conceived plan for the mural, just let inspiration flow out of her
– likes to do a lot of outdoor environmental work – abandoned corrugated metal buildings
– Barnstormers in North Carolina

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Mister Lonely – Harmony Korine

– otherwise disjointed imagery, themes and plot lines that are linked together into a collective piece

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TRANSIT REMIX – MOMENTFACTORY.COM
– upload website for minute long short films
– impressionistic extrapolation of dream state imagery
– again, otherwise disjointed imagery, themes and plot lines that are linked together into a collective piece
– photography/video overlays
http://www.momentfactory.com

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Michel Gondry

– Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet scene on the couch
– row row row your boat, gently down the stream…merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream
– duality between the nursery rhyme and the dream/memory sequence
– Jim Carrey as a 4 year old boy and Kate Winslet as his babysitter (love the knee high go-go boots)
– false perspective used to show height/size differences
– they take on the aspect of their memory characters – Jim starts acting like a 4 year old

Scene 2
– drive-in sequence as they start erasing his memories
– car disappears – then the fence – then the faces of characters

– similar to Let Forever Be – Chemical Brothers video directed by Michel Gondry as well

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Gummo – Harmony Korine

Rabbit Junkyard scene

– IMBREEDERS – po white trash on display
– SMELLS LIKE WET PUSSY…LIKE A WET LIMP DICK!!!

Tap Scene

– kid looks like the imbred boy from Deliverance
– weightlifting with taped up cutlery as dumbbells
– oh god he’s working out to Madonna’s Like a Prayer
– got his balls popped?!?!?
– this kid has the longest skinniest face I’ve ever seen
– his mother is doing the funky kitchen

Gummo & Spaghetti

– OH MY FUCKING GOD – this is sick
– mmmmmm there’s some good eats there
– love the shot of the spiked up shampoo hair slowly dropping to end the scene!
– was this shot scripted? I highly doubt it, which gives it greater value and emotional attachment
– cinema verite structure = this is a snapshot of poor, uneducated america – this stuff probably really does happen

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GRADIUS III – SNES Video Game by Konami

– the 7-11 in Tsawwassen got a $hit load of money out of my pockets due to this arcade game
– clean + simple + effective = my design/artistic philosophy

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INSOMNIA – by Christopher Nolan

– quote from the original article Pacino: The Legend Speaks – “A scene like that shouldn’t be perfect. It should be spontaneous. That’s what it’s about.”
– this scene actually makes the audience hold its collective breath
– the imperfection of the scene adds to its value – the scene should not be staged – instead it should be allowed to unfold as it naturally would
– theme of chance and its role in film is important to consider and how it can affect the plot
– just the general premise of having the typical premise of a cops and robbers chase scene, yet having it situated on rolling logs completely takes it to a new dimension of complexity

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THE TAKE-AWAY SHOWS – WWW.BLOGOTHEQUE.COM
– cinema verite video documentation of major bands doing live musical performances in speak easy type locales

YEASAYER
– guerilla style type musical performance similar to Arcade Fire – Miroir, Noir, Neon bible Archives – by Vincent Moon – as seen above
– using found musical instruments on site and meshing them into the music
– haha the neighbours came up to complain about the noise level – hilarious $hit!
– erosion of the cult of celebrity
http://www.blogotheque.com

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Self Portrait – Jenny Saville

– definitely in your face painting – no stone left unturned as it were
– interesting and dynamic angles and shapes are created by the folds and curves of the muscles limbs
– makes her look intimidating as she looks down – the scale of the painting as well intimidates the audience (7′ x 9′)
– Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible album cover

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_Saville

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The Science of Sleep – Michel Gondry
Dream Sequence

– my classmate isn’t interested in the plot or characters per say but in the costume and set design used for the film
– turns out it was only a dream – windows opening turn out to be his eyes

If you rescue me

– the main character’s brain says, “I’m exhausted…I’m gonna wake up now” – brilliant line!
– recycled material used to create backgrounds and props – just like Urban Source here in Vancouver


Reading the Screen – class notes from last Wednesday

October 2, 2008

The Band Concert  Dir. Walt Disney  USA  1935  8 min.

– William Tell Overture – Mickey is the conductor – all other major characters are in the band
– Donald is selling ice cream and interrupting the music – also playing the flute – shaking his tail feathers
– Mickey breaks his flute – but Donald has many others
– bee flies into the flute and into Donald’s mouth
– ice cream gets thrown from donald to mickey to the band and back at mickey
– tempo raises as mickey tries to kill bee and swings his hands around with the baton
– ruh roh here comes the tornado
– audience and benches go running
– the band gets sucked into the cyclone and then drops back down to the ground when it disipates
– lawl only donald is left in the audience and breaks out his flute again to play out the scene

I Ought To Be In Pictures Dir. Bob Clampett  USA  1939   7 min.


– WB Looney tunes with Porky Pig on opening still
– real life people walking into the film studio – shows animator drawing porky pig
– LUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! animators run to the mess hall
– Daffy Duck starts talking to Porky and tells him to quit his contract
– they walk through the real life studio and knock on the studio head’s door
– Hello, Porky – cmon in – hello Leon Sclesinger
– get out of cartoon contract – get into feature films – they shake hands
– “He’ll be back!”
– Daffy was conspiring to take his place all along
– security guard at the feature film studio tosses porky pig into the street
– he comes onto a live set – QUIET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
– porky sneezes and gets caught – thrown out again – security guard sees him – chase begins again
– “don’t like feature business – wonder if i can get my job back?”
– daffy tries to sell studio head about his acting/singing skills
– studio head ain’t interested – FIGARO!!!!!!!!!!!!
– camera on a rolling car with porky drawn into the scene
– porky comes in to see daffy talking to leon and calls him outside – beats the crap out of him – papers go flying
– porky says april fools – I knew you’d come back – get back to work!
– he jumps back into the paper – daffy is in bandages now
– THAT’S ALL FOLKS!

Duck Amuck  Dir. Chuck Jones   USA  1953   7 min.


– MERRY MELODIES
– Daffy Duck as a musketeer
– he talks to the animator / audience as the scenery disapears and he keeps changing
– farm to igloos – daffy keeps changing characters – now its a beach in hawaii
– white screen – giant pencil starts erasing daffy
– SOUND PLEASE! – guitar sounds like rifle / horn / donkey
– daffy opens his mouth and sounds like a rooster, ape…gets really pissed
– painted daffy as an alien – painted in mirror and he freaks
– THIS IS A CLOSE UP?!?!?!
– DAffy fights the black screen closing and falling on him
– The End…NO NO NO!!!
– it turns out it was Bugs Bunny all along as the animator
– “Ain’t I a stinker?”

Begone Dull Care  Dir. Norman McClaren   CANADA  1949  8 min.


– abstract drawings / patterns / layouts / cutouts
– many different cuts set to the tempo of the music
– many different layers scrolling at different speeds
– different musical tempos differentiate different graphic symbols
– line drawings represent softer tempos

– first song ends – now second one comes on – much slower tempo
– focus on 2 dancing lines across the screen to the sound of a solitary piano
– it feels like a piano playing visually
– rising and dropping cymbals in the background

– new musical piece – much heavier tempo – back to abstract and loud visual graphics
– scrolling upwards – feels like we’re on a train going somewhere
– scrolls through many different END / SALUT…to end the piece

Blinkity Blank Dir. Norman McClaren   CANADA  1952   7 min.


– similar to last piece – with abstract shapes
– he cut and manipulated the individual film strips to create the shapes and text
– very time intensive and consuming process to do
– he also manipulated the sound strips on the film as well
– use of colours and scratches in the film to create shapes

The Street  Dir. Caroline Leaf CANADA  1976  10 min.


– credit text – with sounds of kids playing overtop
– breathing – hands – face – snoring
– watercolour painting – maybe charcoal?
– grandmother dying – her last summer
– narrator telling the story – it’s a man reminiscing about his childhood
– boys peak up the nurse’s dress everytime she  she came
– boy tries to peak in and enter his old room – to give her a kiss every morning
– the sounds and voices are so rich in texture, yet the drawings are not
– mother brings the grandmother back to the house after her illness
– interesting segueway sequence from scene to scene – smoke/cloud like effect

Neighbours  Dir. Norman McClaren   CANADA  1952   7 min.


– frame by frame action – to show movement
– two men sitting on lawn chairs lighting pipes
– electronic music soundscape
– a flower grows in the middle of the lawn between their properties
– man smells flower and falls backwards – frame by frame movement again – shows them jumping – caught in mid air
– they both want the flower so now they are trying to build a fence between them
– back and forth the fence goes between properties
– now they start fencing with one another
– face painting to show them slowly degenerate to their primitive selves
– kicks their wives and babies – kills them
– in the process they kill themselves and the flower dies
– the fences are built around their graves and the flower splits into 2 and grows on their tombs
– LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR
The Hand   Dir. Jiri Trnka.  CZECHOSLOVAKIA. 1965.  18 Min.


– stop motion animation – like aardman/chicken run – uses puppets and real objects
– in comes a giant gloved hand through the window and breaks a potted plant
– plays with the pottery wheel and creates a hand out of the bowl the puppet had made
– knock knock knock – he moves the plant  and grabs his broom to swat at the hand
– ring ring ring – puppet looks for the phone
– has receiver to his ear but we see visual representation of the conversation over puppet’s head
– hand brings a tv out of a box on the floor
– standoff between the puppet and the scene on the tv with a hand and shows various close ups of different hands (images…)
– puppet tries to smash fingers of the hand with a mace
– newspaper comes under the door – has a hand inside of it and the giant hand appears out of it
– burlesque hand now appears and dances for the puppet – beckoning him to come forward
– nooses appear from the fingers – they are actually strings to control the puppet
– he is now in a cage and is chiseling a hand out of stone at the direction of the giant hand
– burning the midnight oil in order to finish off the hand statue
– puppet is awarded with medals for completing the hand
– he topples over the hand statue to break out of the cage and escape – begins chase sequence with giant hand trying to catch him
– puppet makes it back to his home and slams door shut behind him / barricades himself inside
– glove on the giant hand is now black as the puppet had killed himself trying to close the closet and the potted plant fell on his head
– funeral scene ow as the puppet is laid to rest inside the closet

The Man Who Planted Trees  Dir. Frederick Back   CANADA  1987   30 min


part 1/4
– narrator Christopher Plummer
– beautifully drawn scenes and animations
– abstract yet engaging at the same time
– animated scrolling scenes showcase the houses and windows
– barren landscapes – sound of howling winds overheard – sets the tone/scene of the piece
– flowing cloak of the shepherd – bahhhhhhhhhhh bahhhhhhh
– flowing line drawing to show the tide coming in at the ocean shore
– the flowing/howling winds are represented within the flowing drawings
– always the ever present wind
– illumination from the candle was shown effectively in the lighting of the drawing
– 10,000 oak trees in this desolate land where before there was…nothing
– the land was dying from lack of trees
– WWI starts and scene changes to the trenches of France – explosions – bayonets – desolation
– once the war was over – the narrator went back to the barren lands to smell fresh air
– now the old man is a bee keeper – given up his sheep because they threatened his trees
– oaks of 1910 were now 10 years old and taller then the narrator – 3 sections 10 km x 11km
– one man with no mechanization had done this
– as for providence, she would need a cyclone to destroy this stretch of trees
– creation had just followed in a natural sequence – streams flowing with water where before they had been dry
– delegation came to observe the “natural growing forest” – was placed under government protection
– he knows more about this than anyone in the world
– WWII – shows warplanes in the sky – sounds of them as well
– complete a task worthy of God