Archive for the 'Cinema' Category

Gramophontastic Video Contest

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

  said the gramophone video contest, fan videos

Said the Gramophone has recently concluded their “Wonderful Video Contest In which people make films for their favourite songs”, and there are some great ones in there.

Yet another fine example of what creative people can do with a little encouragement, some basic equipment, and possibly an all-consuming lust for prizes.


Tracey Re-fragmented

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Canadian filmmaker Bruce Mcdonald is doing something unprecedented with his newest film. – He’s letting the public edit it.

Tracey Fragments, which stars Canada’s finest actress Ellen Page, is a borderline avant-garde art film with a highly stylized multi-screen aesthetic. In a recent interview on The Hour, Bruce spoke about how films fall into two categories: those that you should make and those that you shouldn’t. Tracey Fragments is definitely from the latter category. Take a look at the trailer to get a glimpse of the film’s visual insanity.

With so many perspectives and angles on the screen at once, the viewing process become much more involved. As a result of not being able to take in all the perspectives, viewers have to “edit” the film themselves by choosing which screens to watch, and when to watch them. This kind of thing happens on other “normal” films as well, but never to this extent.

But this is not Bruce’s novel idea. His idea is to let the audience literally edit the film. The project is called Tracey Re-fragmented. Through the use of a Creative Commons Licence (brainchild of the brilliant Lawrence Lessig), Bruce has made all the the footage he shot for the film available to the public and is letting them make their own cut. The score for the film, which was written by Broken Social Scene, and the dialogue script, is also available on the official website via Creative Commons. A contest will be held for the best cut. If you don’t have the energy to recut an entire film, you can submit a music video, a trailer, or a short. The winner of the contest will get a prize pack which includes Final Cut Studio 2 and they will have their movie/music video/trailer placed on The Tracey Fragments DVD.

Trent Reznor did a similar thing when he released the Garageband source files for his album With Teeth in 2005 and the subsequent Year Zero. But as far as I know, nobody has dared to try the idea with a feature film.

Bruce’s cut of the film plays in theatres on Nov. 2nd, 2007.

Mono – The Sky Remains The Same As Ever

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Clip: Lost Snow @ Brussels, Belgium.

Given their enthralling live shows, it wouldn’t take much to make a great tour DVD for Japanese post-rock band Mono. All that would be required is a camera, a tripod and the ability to press record. As anyone who’s seen one of their shows can attest, Mono is one of the most dynamic and expressive live acts in rock music today. The band could just compile a bunch of fan made Youtube clips for the DVD and it would still be worthwhile.

But Mono decided to give us something very special instead; a beautifully shot tour documentary called The Sky Remains The Same As Ever, put together by talented music photographer Teppei Kishida. Having followed the band for over two months and coming out with 100 tapes of footage to edit with, Kishida was able to capture the spirit of Mono in its entirety and give us a truly poetic film about the band.

The live performances on the DVD are incredible. The movement of the camera and the close-up framing perfectly mimics the emotional range and intimacy of a Mono show; it’s almost like the camera is engaged in a dance with the music; crashing when it’s loud, soaring and sweeping when it’s soft. Watching this on a large screen and a good sound system is as cathartic as standing 5 feet away from the band during their show.

Kishida has a great eye for detail. He frequently turns the camera to the crowd and observes their reactions. We often see individuals immersing themselves in the music by closing their eyes, couples embracing, intense gazes, tapping of the fingers, headbanging, screaming. These little moments tell you more about the band than any review or bio could possibly accomplish.

Interspersed between the live performances are montages of sightseeing, traveling across the world, interviews and recording. Part of what makes Mono the band that they are, is the underground culture that surrounds them, and these montages do great justice in portraying the spirit of that culture.

The DVD is already released in Japan on Mono’s own label, Human Highway Records, and will be released stateside in 2008 on Temporary Residence. Since the band is perpetually touring the world (currently in the US), you can also buy the DVD at their merchandise table during one of their shows and probably get Tamaki to sign it while she’s selling it to you. Check their myspace for touring dates and to view the trailer for the DVD.