Concentrated Nonsense (cinema edition)

A Postcard from Oberhausen
July 27, 2009, 9:47 pm
Filed under: postcards

May 4, 2009

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook




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Epilogue ’08 / Postcards from Jakarta and Bandung
February 14, 2009, 2:26 am
Filed under: Articles, postcards

Two from Forum Lenteng. Jakarta, July 2008:



Three from Rumah Buku. Bandung, July 2008:




Was invited by HarryTuttle to participate in an e-mail round table discussion together with himself and a few other online writers (Kevin Lee, Andrew Grant, Nitesh Rohit and Edwin Mak) over at The Auteurs Notebook. My two contributions:


In the second I touch on the images featured above, which I took in Indonesia this past July.

Independencia Shooting Day 8 (a film by Raya Martin)
December 18, 2008, 1:35 am
Filed under: philippine cinema, postcards, Updates



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Images from the set of Raya Martin’s Independencia, Monday December 15. Shooting day number 8 of a 15 day straight shooting schedule. While I preserved the color of the images I took, the film is being shot in black and white.

Independencia is the second part of a trilogy that began with Maicling Pelicula Nang Ysang Indio Nacional (O Ang Mahabang Kalungkutan ng Katagalugan) (A Short Film About the Indio Nacional (Or the Prolonged Sorrow of the Filipinos, 2005) and takes place during major periods of struggle in Philippine history. It continues the aesthetic design for the trilogy started by Indio Nacional, which is for each film to mimmick the cinematic style of the era and culture it depicts. For Indio Nacional which took place at the end of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, that meant shooting in the vain of the silent-film, with a static camera, intertitles, and simple animation, for Independencia, set during the American occupation, it means shooting entirely in a studio, utilizing artificial backdrops, and applying heavy make-up on the actors. Seen in the images above is one of painted backdrops for the film. There are between fifteen and twenty of them in all.

Cinematographer for the film, being shot on black and white 35mm stock, is Jeanne Lapoire, who has worked with the likes of Francos Ozon, André Téchiné and Pedro Costa (for the Straub film), among others. Her full credits can be viewed here.

The actors in the images above are Sid Lucero and Alessandra De Rossi.

The film is to be edited by Lav Diaz.

[Update April 26, 2009: Lav Diaz was no longer the final editor of the film. The credit belongs to Jay Halili]

* outtake after the cut

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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.


Postcards from Zagreb (2) / Notes on Zanzibar Films

May 23, 2008

(1: Dusan Makavejev)

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A Postcard from Zagreb (1)
June 6, 2008, 12:01 am
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May 23, 2008

Slavoj Žižek


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A Postcard from Paris
March 23, 2008, 11:59 pm
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Jean-Marie Straub, after the screening of Quei loro incontri (These Encounters of Theirs) at Reflet Médicis on March 11.



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A Postcard from Ljubljana
November 26, 2007, 3:35 am
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James Benning





(3) *

James Benning Book

* wonderful new book on Benning published by the Austrian Film Museum.

More on Benning soon…