Concentrated Nonsense (cinema edition)

A Postcard from June (in Manila)
September 15, 2008, 9:57 pm
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John Gianvito, enduring a George Bush speech in Philippine Congress while in search of material for Vapor Trail (tentative title), on June 11 in a Philippine television archive.


– “From Yesterday until Tomorrow” (Danièle Huillet tribute) by John Gianvito.

Collage piece by Gianvito for Rouge’s image issue.

Michael Sicinsky Interview with Gianvito on “Profit motive and the whispering wind” for Cinema Scope.

A portion of an exchange on a “A Committed Cinema” previously available online at this address. It appears to not be online anymore.

On the concept of “audience”
Gianvito: Personally, I always say that there is no such thing as an audience. For me it’s an abstraction. It always comes down to a room full of people with their individual likes and dislikes. And the moment filmmakers make a move in the direction of an imagined audience response, they misstep, and are apt to get lost. I believe the only reliable guide is to attempt to make the kind of film that you yourself would like to sit down and view. And the very nature of that process demands that you “speak” in a way that is natural to you alone. Robert Bresson could no more frame like Glauber Rocha than James Joyce could pen a phrase like Lou Reed.

One is given a voice. One can modulate it. If one chooses, one can coach aspects of its effectiveness. It remains one’s voice. One might pitch it differently to one’s friends, an audience, a constituency. The grain and character of the voice cannot be escaped. One can, however, lose–sometimes even consciously choose to lose–the connection between the sound that speaks and one’s proper self. Regardless, whether disembodied or soulful, calculating or inchoate, there are severe limits on one’s capacity to control how one’s voice is received. It would appear that no one has the power to reach everyone. In the pursuit of making a difference it seems to me that one’s best and only hope is to encourage the continual discovering/uncovering of each unique and solitary voice, allowing them to be the conductors of all that must out. I’m convinced most listeners can hear the difference.


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I am very much excited for Vapor Trail; Gianvito’s Profit motive and the whispering wind is surely one of the great meditations on America and oppression [I wrote about it here].

Comment by Dave

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