Experimental Narratives: Lecture 3

I learnt a lot more about what our final piece will be this week. We were looking at a range of unconventional videos that have a huge impact on the audience without using fancy trickery.

We looked at how art movements strongly influence going against the cliche and present new revolutionary ideas. These are some of the movements and the videos we looked at in relations to them.

Surrealism

Surrealists had a tendency to forcefully put themselves into a state of mind where the access the irrational. Drug induced paintings, forceful writing, and self harming are methods that Surrealist allegedly used to put themselves in a uneasy state of mind.

Bunuel’s – Un Chein Andalou

Once you get past the initial shock of this video you …..

A more modern surrealism piece, William Kentridge’s – Five Themes animation is a different way to present an unusual narrative.

All William Kentridge’s animations are filmed with an SLR camera, and on one giant piece of paper, instead of starting a fresh for each frame, kentridge rubs out parts of his charcoal drawing and applies more. I find this fascinating, his physical end piece is a journey of his art. In a way this appeals to me more then the animation does. The story left on the paper and the traces are fascinating. Also the fact that other then the images he takes and the traces left on the paper, the frames only exist for him, in his studio for a few minutes. In case you have no idea what i’m going on about, or you want to know more, here is a video of Kentridge making his animations.

From one extreme to the other, Jan Svankmajer, created a film called ‘Little Otik’, the story is based around a fairytale in which an infertile mother falls in love with a wooden baby her husband carved for her. Her love animated the child, but it has horrible consequences. This is a trailer, that taps into how surreal and unconventional the movie is, which is unusual of a film which follows a fairytale story, well actually it probably follows the original story rather then the Disney-fied sensored version.

….

Moving on from surrealism to the more contemporary videos now.

Contemporary

Derek Jarman’s video – Blue is a simple yet emotional video. Usually if you told me I was about to watch a really famous video which consists only of a blue screen I would switch myself off. But the story behind this video gives it so much emotion and passion.

Derek Jarman was dying of aids when he made this video, and this video expresses how his sense of hearing became vital when he started to loose his sight. As you can imagine being a video maker with no sight is not the ideal situation. I think i relate with this video because as a photographer who was born with cataracts I live my life never knowing if/when I will start to loose my sight. My story is not quite as serious as Derek Jarman’s but its something that plays on the back of my mind and it’s a relief to know that after losing sight a visual artist can still create.

Moving on to a beautiful technique, rotoscoping, I can’t escape it this week, in a another module we looked at the work of Richard Linklater, his adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s book, ‘A Scanner Darkly’. The film is done through rotoscoping, I have yet to watch it all but this clip shows the beauty of rotoscoping.

The rotoscoped video we looked at in lectures today was ‘Waltz with Bashir’, a documentary style film which is rotoscoped.

And finally the last video we looked at is a documentary which as won numerous awards and was edited on imovie. It’s an exploration of the self, and the creator Jonathan Caouette’s coming to terms with his childhood and growing up with a schizophrenic mother. Again I haven’t seen the film, I will ASAP and post about it but this is a trailer.

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