"The Literary and Artistic heritage of humanity should be used for partisan propaganda purposes." - Gil J. Wolman
“A lot of people who call themselves artists now are cultural critics who are using instruments other than just written language or spoken language to communicate their critical perspective.”
Sunday, March 18, 2007
From Russia, Japan and Africa with Love
An offering from the AMSDS filmmakers responsible for many a classic re-cut. Here we have some recycled cinema paying homage to black sunglasses.
For those not familiar, CineFile is a cinema institution in Los Angeles responsible for amazing video sections like "Christ-sploitation," "Horror Franchises" and the wonderful "Shade Tipping" section composed entirely of films with shade tipping on the cover. Beyond lining their shelves at any cost with some of the most rare and important films in the 100 years, they have promoted important filmmakers with their line of Master Filmmaker shirts in Heavy Metal Band fonts.
More importantly, they are now hosting a youtube site with found footage films! Check out Cinefile's video blog for other links and exciting videos.
I have had not one but two wonderful found footage experiences recently:
1) I saw Chris Marker's legendary essay Sans Soliel which moves from Africa to Japan exposing the two "extremes of survival" in the process. I considered writing an essay, but found a good one at here at the Chutry Experiment. Sans Soliel has a remarkable amount of Japanese horror films in it--with some wonderful hypotheses by Marker. He appears to be a believer in the theory that horror films take the pulse of an audiences anxiety.
2) I went to Cinemateque Ontario for a special screening of "Pervye na Lune" or "First on the Moon" directed by Aleksey Fedorchenko. The film is a revisionist history of the Soviet Space Program, positing that the Russians were the first to send a team of men (and one woman) to the moon on a secret mission. It was never revealed to be successful--so it was never declassified. The film mixes incredible soviet space program footage with perfectly rendered "surveillance footage" of the team. The film stock is so perfectly grainy and decomposed that it looks quite authentic when paired with the other archival footage. Aleksandr Gonorovskiy and Ramil Yamaleyev who wrote the screenplay infused it with a wonderful madcap humour which sheds light on the Soviet space program: something most North Americans know very little about.