I V A A S K S

Documenting The Masses

— @IvaRad on Twitter.

Just got back…from travels around Europe…specifically the Berlinale Talent Campus.

A really unique experience that I highly recommend…a week of film film film, workshops, meeting and mingling with incredibly talented people from every place imaginable. Inspiring, energizing, educational and super fun. While there I was contacted by Christoph from RADIUS Magazine, a new online publication to produce a short film for them. It features a wonderful Persian dancer Modjgan Hashemian from Berlin. The encounter added a special sweetness to my whole experience…you might enjoy it.

Otherwise, I was a bit disenchanted with the films at the Berlin film festival, in general from the films I saw the quality was poor…however, I did catch a gem, Death For Sale by Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaidiwho is also a character in the film. An intense complex plot with brilliant cinematography, engaging acting and beautiful tunes.

One of the most intriguing workshops was a discussion with Nuri Bilge Ceylan in who (i’m paraphrasing) makes films so as to solve his life situation, to understand something through film, by making a film that relates to something that’s important to him at that moment.

Feb 27

On Martin Luther King’s Day, a special treat… http://vimeo.com/35467813

With the elections at hand…and many people dreading the Republican wrath, I was reminded of Angela Davis’ talk at OWS last year (it’s already last year!). Here’s a little something on the Third Party System and OWS.

I’ll also include here a quote I enjoyed from the”Pedagogy Of The Oppressed”:

"The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion."
Paulo Freire

On the film from, I just recently watched “I Am Cuba/Soy Cuba" a 1964 film by Mikhail Kalatozov… a brilliant resistance film but also visually the most compelling camera work and the increadible tracking shots, check out this funeral scene. It’s a beauty.

A few months ago, Scott Macaulay of Filmmaker Magazine recommended another must see, Gary Tarn's “Black Sun”. A brilliantly crafted documentary that’s a little reminiscent of Sans Soleil, not only is it artfully executed, Hugues de Montalembert (the storyteller) takes us into realms we forget to explore.

Jan 16
On Martin Luther King’s Day, a special treat… http://vimeo.com/35467813
With the elections at hand…and many people dreading the Republican wrath, I was reminded of Angela Davis’ talk at OWS last year (it’s already last year!). Here’s a little something on the Third Party System and OWS.
I’ll also include here a quote I enjoyed from the”Pedagogy Of The Oppressed”:
"The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion."- Paulo Freire
On the film from, I just recently watched “I Am Cuba/Soy Cuba" a 1964 film by Mikhail Kalatozov… a brilliant resistance film but also visually the most compelling camera work and the increadible tracking shots, check out this funeral scene. It’s a beauty.
A few months ago, Scott Macaulay of Filmmaker Magazine recommended another must see, Gary Tarn's “Black Sun”. A brilliantly crafted documentary that’s a little reminiscent of Sans Soleil, not only is it artfully executed, Hugues de Montalembert (the storyteller) takes us into realms we forget to explore.

November was a dance month,

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/34694148

I saw a beautiful performance piece put together by some friends :::
A brilliant composer (and my collaborator) Alexander Berne whose music transforms, Karolien Soete a talented artist and the Stefanie Nelson Dance Group.
I was touched…here’s a little extract of it.

On the topic of dance…PINA in 3D! Yes!
Probably the first film I really enjoyed watching in 3D. Though I found some of the cuts between interviews and performances a bit awkward, the film is beautiful.
Pina's quotes are inspiring as is Wenders' imaginative direction…and the dancers leave you breathless. To paraphrase Pina's words, “sometimes you're left speechless, when words fail to evoke…then there is dance.” Indeed, watching it I remembered how to feel.

I also recently saw Bombay Beach by Alma Har’el.
Though beautifully shot, dreamy and poetic, the film left no mark. I was struggling to find any transformative purpose to the film.
It portrays impoverished America, romanticizes it and brings it to a theater near you, to watch and feel better about not being an inhabitant of Bombay Beach. The protagonist (a tough old man) opens the film to offer some “wise” insights into life but also happens to be racist.
Is there something romantic about poverty? I saw some pretty pictures but learnt nothing new.

Read "What’s Wrong With The Liberal Documentary" by Jill Godmilow to get a better sense of what we should strive for in documentary films.

Dec 26
November was a dance month,
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/34694148
I saw a beautiful performance piece put together by some friends :::A brilliant composer (and my collaborator) Alexander Berne whose music transforms, Karolien Soete a talented artist and the Stefanie Nelson Dance Group.I was touched…here’s a little extract of it.
On the topic of dance…PINA in 3D! Yes!Probably the first film I really enjoyed watching in 3D. Though I found some of the cuts between interviews and performances a bit awkward, the film is beautiful.Pina's quotes are inspiring as is Wenders' imaginative direction…and the dancers leave you breathless. To paraphrase Pina's words, “sometimes you're left speechless, when words fail to evoke…then there is dance.” Indeed, watching it I remembered how to feel.
I also recently saw Bombay Beach by Alma Har’el.Though beautifully shot, dreamy and poetic, the film left no mark. I was struggling to find any transformative purpose to the film.It portrays impoverished America, romanticizes it and brings it to a theater near you, to watch and feel better about not being an inhabitant of Bombay Beach. The protagonist (a tough old man) opens the film to offer some “wise” insights into life but also happens to be racist.Is there something romantic about poverty? I saw some pretty pictures but learnt nothing new.
Read "What’s Wrong With The Liberal Documentary" by Jill Godmilow to get a better sense of what we should strive for in documentary films.

It took a while to post this… http://vimeo.com/34008180

In Amsterdam I met Anita, from Hungary.
We had a long chat in her red room in the Red Light district.
While would have loved to show you how it all went down, she asked me to only use her voice.
My intention to show the two pieces together, i.e. “Gawking Red” as my interpretation and then the interview with Anita as an alternate perspective.
Alas, you’ll never know how pretty she is.
Here’s a taste of the work.

Now, yes it’s an old film and I just recently watched it.
Paris Is Burning is brilliant. It’s not just visually intoxicating but it also captures a indescribable moment in time, a subculture, a mode of survival, extraordinary creativity.
The whole film is available on youtube, here.
Watch it, it’s masterful.
(and not without controversy)

I also got a chance to check out A Brighter Summer Day by Edward Yang. A stunning four hour film, which flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed. An illuminating injection into Taiwanese culture. The cinematography is captivating, inspirational. NY Times article will tell you more.

Otherwise, Rooftop Films held a few screening of Occupy Wall Street films, two of our films screened this past week. You can watch some of the other pieces as well on their site.

Enjoy.

Dec 19
It took a while to post this… http://vimeo.com/34008180
In Amsterdam I met Anita, from Hungary.We had a long chat in her red room in the Red Light district.While would have loved to show you how it all went down, she asked me to only use her voice.My intention to show the two pieces together, i.e. “Gawking Red” as my interpretation and then the interview with Anita as an alternate perspective.Alas, you’ll never know how pretty she is.Here’s a taste of the work.
Now, yes it’s an old film and I just recently watched it.Paris Is Burning is brilliant. It’s not just visually intoxicating but it also captures a indescribable moment in time, a subculture, a mode of survival, extraordinary creativity.The whole film is available on youtube, here.Watch it, it’s masterful.(and not without controversy)
I also got a chance to check out A Brighter Summer Day by Edward Yang. A stunning four hour film, which flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed. An illuminating injection into Taiwanese culture. The cinematography is captivating, inspirational. NY Times article will tell you more.
Otherwise, Rooftop Films held a few screening of Occupy Wall Street films, two of our films screened this past week. You can watch some of the other pieces as well on their site.
Enjoy.

On a lighter note,

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32553320

Every summer steel drum orchestras gather in panyards across Brooklyn to gear up for the annual Steel Band Panorama Competition. The Despers come together every night throughout the summer. The sound is captivating, indeed trance-like. We, my brilliant film partner Sarah and I, left each time elevated. I was in cinematic heaven.

And speaking of cinematic heaven, this past week I checked out a few “ethnographic” oldies.
Film Forum ran a retrospective of Robert Gardner’s films and Margaret Mead Film Festival did the same for Jean Rouch.

I checked out Gardner’s Dead Birds and Forest Of Bliss. Both are cinematically brilliant, absolutely gorgeous. He carefully chooses his compositions, constructs his shots mysteriously, slowly revealing. He pays attention to details such as plants, insects and the silence of the atmosphere. The viewer enters the film, engrossed. He also uses the voice of god type of narration to inform the viewer about the Dani culture and the two main characters. He goes so far to tell us their thoughts, disappointments and exaggerations and I can’t help but wonder how he has come up with them?
It’s staged to a point (so are Flaherty and Rouch’s films) and somewhat problematic in the sense of exotic othering (he doesn’t mention his intent to the Dani people) but I find myself unable to dismiss its value. It’s fascinating. Here’s a tough and interesting critique of the film by Jay Ruby.

Forest of Bliss is equally as beautiful, though here Gardner looses his voiceover and also refrains from subtitles. We watch and interpret for ourselves. The films circles, repeating images and enclosing the viewer in what seems a small radius on the Ganges…death is theme but so is life…and life is struggle in this film.

Jean Rouch’s Jaguar is funny, entertaining and a sort of docu-fiction.
In constructing the story, he stages and directs the actions of his characters. He also uses his friends in the films and as crew members.
After some criticisms of his early films, he here gives the voice back to the people filmed by having them watch themselves and come up with their own narration to the film. They themselves comment on life in Accra, Africa, culture etc. (they make fun of different tribes and their nudity and gestures)..the exchanges are humorous and at times tiring, there is no natural sound of the filmed scenes and so the viewer is not really entering their world.

The people of colonized countries are or perhaps were somewhat subservient toward the colonizers and I wonder to what extent the narration is constructed to “please” Rouch. There is also a part in the film where one of the characters, upon arriving to Accra finds himself in a managerial position and treats his workers unkindly - this part immediately linked me back to a clip of Rouch I had watched prior to Jaguar.

Not an easy task, documenting, representing, respecting the theme, people and the message.
Let’s keep questioning ourselves, reflecting back to ourselves.

And in closing, here are the two men together, The Screening Room chat between Gardner and Rouch

Nov 21
On a lighter note,
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32553320
Every summer steel drum orchestras gather in panyards across Brooklyn to gear up for the annual Steel Band Panorama Competition. The Despers come together every night throughout the summer. The sound is captivating, indeed trance-like. We, my brilliant film partner Sarah and I, left each time elevated. I was in cinematic heaven.
And speaking of cinematic heaven, this past week I checked out a few “ethnographic” oldies.Film Forum ran a retrospective of Robert Gardner’s films and Margaret Mead Film Festival did the same for Jean Rouch.
I checked out Gardner’s Dead Birds and Forest Of Bliss. Both are cinematically brilliant, absolutely gorgeous. He carefully chooses his compositions, constructs his shots mysteriously, slowly revealing. He pays attention to details such as plants, insects and the silence of the atmosphere. The viewer enters the film, engrossed. He also uses the voice of god type of narration to inform the viewer about the Dani culture and the two main characters. He goes so far to tell us their thoughts, disappointments and exaggerations and I can’t help but wonder how he has come up with them?It’s staged to a point (so are Flaherty and Rouch’s films) and somewhat problematic in the sense of exotic othering (he doesn’t mention his intent to the Dani people) but I find myself unable to dismiss its value. It’s fascinating. Here’s a tough and interesting critique of the film by Jay Ruby.
Forest of Bliss is equally as beautiful, though here Gardner looses his voiceover and also refrains from subtitles. We watch and interpret for ourselves. The films circles, repeating images and enclosing the viewer in what seems a small radius on the Ganges…death is theme but so is life…and life is struggle in this film.
Jean Rouch’s Jaguar is funny, entertaining and a sort of docu-fiction.In constructing the story, he stages and directs the actions of his characters. He also uses his friends in the films and as crew members.After some criticisms of his early films, he here gives the voice back to the people filmed by having them watch themselves and come up with their own narration to the film. They themselves comment on life in Accra, Africa, culture etc. (they make fun of different tribes and their nudity and gestures)..the exchanges are humorous and at times tiring, there is no natural sound of the filmed scenes and so the viewer is not really entering their world.
The people of colonized countries are or perhaps were somewhat subservient toward the colonizers and I wonder to what extent the narration is constructed to “please” Rouch. There is also a part in the film where one of the characters, upon arriving to Accra finds himself in a managerial position and treats his workers unkindly - this part immediately linked me back to a clip of Rouch I had watched prior to Jaguar.
Not an easy task, documenting, representing, respecting the theme, people and the message.Let’s keep questioning ourselves, reflecting back to ourselves.
And in closing, here are the two men together, The Screening Room chat between Gardner and Rouch

In September, I was in Amsterdam for a couple of weeks and had some observations. 

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32831374

Amsterdam has a bad rep ::: coffee shops, red lights and canals. And, for my first ten days here I experienced none of it…successfully and without trying i avoid the trap/crap…what a beautiful and romantic place…It’s the last day of my trip and i purposely engage in the tourist game of red lights…before i describe my first encounter, i’ll name a few fantastic things about this magical place.

The light ::: the most incredible light that illuminates colors and reflects everything brighter, cleaner and more intensely. At every moment, every light change, I’m amazed… (not because i’m high!)…The bicycle ::: in an effort to promote being green, even the prime minister bikes to work. It’s the ultimate way to experience the town…

The air ::: you breathe, deeper, louder, happier … there is a crispness…it’s September, the leaves have started a paced descend…the rain is gentle, frequent and short, welcoming and we accept it…a perfect introduction to fall. I could go on…but… let me make some observations.

The inspiration for this one came from Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil.
Perhaps most obvious here the female voiceover in English (by the brilliant Sarah Enid Hagey)- usually my disguises are foreign in which the melody of the language attempts to suit the images. There is so much to be said about Sans Soleil but one thing I really connected to is something Marker mentioned in an interview which very much reflects what happens during an artistic creation…That is, Marker confirms what most of us find to be true (at least I do) when filming : “I photograph a story I didn’t quite understand. It was in the editing that the pieces of the puzzle came together, and it wasn’t me who designed the puzzle. I’d have a hard time taking credit for it. It just happened, that’s all.”

Reminds me of The Song of Ceylon where Basil Wright just shoots on instinct not knowing why…but somehow magically these unconscious decisions manifest into a message through the work.

San Soleil is political, it’s personal, a stream of consciousness, observational commentary, a diary, an intellectual provocation and a historical document, a reminder to be all at once. The narration of film itself if full on brilliant comments, one among many that I relate to : “I wonder how people remember who don’t film, don’t photograph, don’t tape…(images) have substituted themselves for my memory. They are my memory.”

P.s. Fantastic sounds by Stian Westerhus

Nov 14
In September, I was in Amsterdam for a couple of weeks and had some observations. 
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32831374
Amsterdam has a bad rep ::: coffee shops, red lights and canals. And, for my first ten days here I experienced none of it…successfully and without trying i avoid the trap/crap…what a beautiful and romantic place…It’s the last day of my trip and i purposely engage in the tourist game of red lights…before i describe my first encounter, i’ll name a few fantastic things about this magical place.
The light ::: the most incredible light that illuminates colors and reflects everything brighter, cleaner and more intensely. At every moment, every light change, I’m amazed… (not because i’m high!)…The bicycle ::: in an effort to promote being green, even the prime minister bikes to work. It’s the ultimate way to experience the town…
The air ::: you breathe, deeper, louder, happier … there is a crispness…it’s September, the leaves have started a paced descend…the rain is gentle, frequent and short, welcoming and we accept it…a perfect introduction to fall. I could go on…but… let me make some observations.
The inspiration for this one came from Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil.Perhaps most obvious here the female voiceover in English (by the brilliant Sarah Enid Hagey)- usually my disguises are foreign in which the melody of the language attempts to suit the images. There is so much to be said about Sans Soleil but one thing I really connected to is something Marker mentioned in an interview which very much reflects what happens during an artistic creation…That is, Marker confirms what most of us find to be true (at least I do) when filming : “I photograph a story I didn’t quite understand. It was in the editing that the pieces of the puzzle came together, and it wasn’t me who designed the puzzle. I’d have a hard time taking credit for it. It just happened, that’s all.”
Reminds me of The Song of Ceylon where Basil Wright just shoots on instinct not knowing why…but somehow magically these unconscious decisions manifest into a message through the work.
San Soleil is political, it’s personal, a stream of consciousness, observational commentary, a diary, an intellectual provocation and a historical document, a reminder to be all at once. The narration of film itself if full on brilliant comments, one among many that I relate to : “I wonder how people remember who don’t film, don’t photograph, don’t tape…(images) have substituted themselves for my memory. They are my memory.”
P.s. Fantastic sounds by Stian Westerhus

"In 1969, a group of black and Puerto Rican students occupied City College demanding the integration of CUNY, which at the time had an overwhelmingly white student body. The occupation spread to other CUNY campuses, forcing the Board of Trustees to implement a ground-breaking new admissions policy."

http://vimeo.com/31285186

Such occupations also occurred in the 1980s and 2000s.
It’s that time again.

As Graduate Film students at Hunter College in New York, we’re very excited to see how the spreading Occupy Wall Street movement is giving new momentum to the militant protest culture of Cuny (City University, NYC).

We filmed the second General Assembly at Hunter College, and the first “Occupy Cuny” teach-in at Washington Square Park on October 21st, 2011. During the last weeks, we learned how quickly small protest gatherings can turn into new social movements. This is a document about the struggle of students and adjunct faculty at Cuny. This local struggle is part of an international student movement against neoliberal dictatorship.
This is only the beginning. The time for action is now.

Find out how to support, participate, take action:
cunygeneralassembly.wordpress.com
studentsunitedforafreecuny.wordpress.com
resistandmultiply.wordpress.com (at Hunter College)
cunyadjunctproject.org
nycga.net (Occupy Wall Street)
occupywallst.org

Being in the midst of events, as they are manifesting is exciting. I was recently reminded of some brilliant films like Harlan County and Primary,
there is something very special in capturing moments that are of historical significance, even more so participating in them.

And the latest inspiration is Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's experiment Chronique d’un été (Chronicle of A Summer). One of first introductions to Cinéma Vérité, it illustrates the problems of film reality, how it’s depicted, portrayed and relayed to the audience. The film poses questions “Are you happy?” and “How do you live?” in an attempt to comment on the state of affairs in 1960 Paris. What I was most impressed by is the concept itself; the idea of approaching a theme/situation/topic from the point of view of social engagement and conversation, a study, a research in real time “authenticity of life as it is lived”. The film’s outcome was not what the parties had anticipated but rather it was a revelation of the many layers of representation…the subjects assuming a role on the camera, their awareness of assuming the role, the creation of a “socio-drama to permit each person to play out his life role before the camera.”

(read : “Chronicle of a Film,” by Edgar Morin in Ciné-Ethnography: Jean Rouch ed. by Steven Feld)

Oct 26
"In 1969, a group of black and Puerto Rican students occupied City College demanding the integration of CUNY, which at the time had an overwhelmingly white student body. The occupation spread to other CUNY campuses, forcing the Board of Trustees to implement a ground-breaking new admissions policy."
http://vimeo.com/31285186
Such occupations also occurred in the 1980s and 2000s.It’s that time again.
As Graduate Film students at Hunter College in New York, we’re very excited to see how the spreading Occupy Wall Street movement is giving new momentum to the militant protest culture of Cuny (City University, NYC).
We filmed the second General Assembly at Hunter College, and the first “Occupy Cuny” teach-in at Washington Square Park on October 21st, 2011. During the last weeks, we learned how quickly small protest gatherings can turn into new social movements. This is a document about the struggle of students and adjunct faculty at Cuny. This local struggle is part of an international student movement against neoliberal dictatorship.This is only the beginning. The time for action is now.
Find out how to support, participate, take action:cunygeneralassembly.wordpress.comstudentsunitedforafreecuny.wordpress.comresistandmultiply.wordpress.com (at Hunter College)cunyadjunctproject.orgnycga.net (Occupy Wall Street)occupywallst.org
Being in the midst of events, as they are manifesting is exciting. I was recently reminded of some brilliant films like Harlan County and Primary,there is something very special in capturing moments that are of historical significance, even more so participating in them.
And the latest inspiration is Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's experiment Chronique d’un été (Chronicle of A Summer). One of first introductions to Cinéma Vérité, it illustrates the problems of film reality, how it’s depicted, portrayed and relayed to the audience. The film poses questions “Are you happy?” and “How do you live?” in an attempt to comment on the state of affairs in 1960 Paris. What I was most impressed by is the concept itself; the idea of approaching a theme/situation/topic from the point of view of social engagement and conversation, a study, a research in real time “authenticity of life as it is lived”. The film’s outcome was not what the parties had anticipated but rather it was a revelation of the many layers of representation…the subjects assuming a role on the camera, their awareness of assuming the role, the creation of a “socio-drama to permit each person to play out his life role before the camera.”
(read : “Chronicle of a Film,” by Edgar Morin in Ciné-Ethnography: Jean Rouch ed. by Steven Feld)

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/31009308

It’s been over a month now since the Occupation of Wall Street.
And the movement is spreading like wild fire.
We’re working on our third film which should be up in a few days.
In the meantime, here’s a tiny clip from October 15th rally to Times Square.

In the film world, be sure to check out Kieslowski’s The Decalogue,
10 short films based on the principals of the 10 commandments…an incredible cinematic treat.
Brilliant compositions, color palette and light (or lack there of)…awe inspiring, i was moved.

And for finally, I leave you with an even more inspiring clip from the Chilean student uprising,
as a prelude to our next film.

Oct 17
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/31009308
It’s been over a month now since the Occupation of Wall Street.And the movement is spreading like wild fire.We’re working on our third film which should be up in a few days.In the meantime, here’s a tiny clip from October 15th rally to Times Square.
In the film world, be sure to check out Kieslowski’s The Decalogue,10 short films based on the principals of the 10 commandments…an incredible cinematic treat.Brilliant compositions, color palette and light (or lack there of)…awe inspiring, i was moved.
And for finally, I leave you with an even more inspiring clip from the Chilean student uprising,as a prelude to our next film.

We the people have found our voice.
(NYC General Assembly, September 27, 2011)

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/30241489

If it’s our sharing that makes us powerful, why return to normal?
This life is more worth living than the one we left behind.
(Leaflet, Solidarity March with Occupy Wall Street, October 5, 2011)

How do our voices of dissent encounter each other?
Do we really want to merge our raging cacophony into a unified political agenda?
What if the voice of the people is always in a mode of becoming?
Welcome to the hidden track of Occupy Wall Street:
We are discovering new ways in which our desires can resonate together.
This space is our sonogram of potential.

Find the latest news, learn how to participate, and support:
occupywallst.org

I was reading a fantastic article on Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog "Documenting the Ineffable" by Sandy Flitterman-Lewis…i very much recommend it…the closing paragraph included a quote from theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel:::

"be sure that every little deed counts, that very word has power, and that we can, everyone, do our share to redeem the world…build a life as if it was a work of art…and remember that life is a celebration.”

…beautiful.

Oct 08
We the people have found our voice.(NYC General Assembly, September 27, 2011)
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/30241489
If it’s our sharing that makes us powerful, why return to normal?This life is more worth living than the one we left behind.(Leaflet, Solidarity March with Occupy Wall Street, October 5, 2011)
How do our voices of dissent encounter each other?Do we really want to merge our raging cacophony into a unified political agenda?What if the voice of the people is always in a mode of becoming?Welcome to the hidden track of Occupy Wall Street:We are discovering new ways in which our desires can resonate together.This space is our sonogram of potential.
Find the latest news, learn how to participate, and support:occupywallst.org
I was reading a fantastic article on Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog "Documenting the Ineffable" by Sandy Flitterman-Lewis…i very much recommend it…the closing paragraph included a quote from theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel:::
"be sure that every little deed counts, that very word has power, and that we can, everyone, do our share to redeem the world…build a life as if it was a work of art…and remember that life is a celebration.”
…beautiful.

Last Friday, I directed (shot and edited) this PSA with Nene Ali for Gems against teenage prostitution. It was a short shoot up in the Bronx and a lot of fun. It’s still being pitched and so it’s private - for you,

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/28390654 PASSWORD ::: girls.

Otherwise, I’m working on an exciting project with Sarah Hagey that involves 40 steel drummers, beautiful…and coming soon! I’m off to Amsterdam and will be posting from there as well.

I’ve been watching a lot of beautiful films, i’ll list some of them here, they are worth checking out.
The Scent Of Green Papaya by Anh Hung Tran
My country My Country by Laura Poitras
Wings Of Desire by Wim Wenders

Enjoy!

Aug 29
Last Friday, I directed (shot and edited) this PSA with Nene Ali for Gems against teenage prostitution. It was a short shoot up in the Bronx and a lot of fun. It’s still being pitched and so it’s private - for you,
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/28390654 PASSWORD ::: girls.
Otherwise, I’m working on an exciting project with Sarah Hagey that involves 40 steel drummers, beautiful…and coming soon! I’m off to Amsterdam and will be posting from there as well.
I’ve been watching a lot of beautiful films, i’ll list some of them here, they are worth checking out.The Scent Of Green Papaya by Anh Hung TranMy country My Country by Laura PoitrasWings Of Desire by Wim Wenders
Enjoy!

Back in April, like every year, we took a little trip through the desert… we ran into a small town of Nipton, 30 people in total

WATCH HERE ::: http://vimeo.com/26620918

Otherwise : Summer in New York is a beautiful time…I’m gearing up all my energies toward editing my current project, a 20min documentary “Ben”, more details on that soon and perhaps a little preview.

Moma is screening a beautiful Italian film “The Mouth of The Wolf”.
After suggesting, Flonia and I went to check it out…an interesting hybrid of documentary and fiction, found footage, poetry and dramatic love story. An Interesting collage of things. Read the NY Times Review here.

Aug 01
Back in April, like every year, we took a little trip through the desert… we ran into a small town of Nipton, 30 people in total
WATCH HERE ::: http://vimeo.com/26620918
Otherwise : Summer in New York is a beautiful time…I’m gearing up all my energies toward editing my current project, a 20min documentary “Ben”, more details on that soon and perhaps a little preview.
Moma is screening a beautiful Italian film “The Mouth of The Wolf”.After suggesting, Flonia and I went to check it out…an interesting hybrid of documentary and fiction, found footage, poetry and dramatic love story. An Interesting collage of things. Read the NY Times Review here.

I took a short break, to catch my breath…
here’s how it went down : http://vimeo.com/27081511

Last week I went down to IFC for the screening of TabloidErrol Morris’ new film. It’s a fascinating and entertaining story, well structured. What I enjoyed most was the conversation with Errol after the screening, it was the most entertaining Q & A in which he actually questioned the audience about the film and lead a funny and engaging discussion.
He referred to the interview as a relationship and the purpose of the documentary film as a means to present the complexity of the situation or a story not so much to offer closure or a resolve.
I loved that.

Later, in a conversation with my friend Alex Mallis, we both concluded we are quite jealous of Mr. Morris capacity and depth of research.

Otherwise, make sure to check out ITVS 20 year celebration, they are screening 20 documentary films free online until the end of September.

Enjoy

Jul 25
I took a short break, to catch my breath…here’s how it went down : http://vimeo.com/27081511
Last week I went down to IFC for the screening of Tabloid, Errol Morris’ new film. It’s a fascinating and entertaining story, well structured. What I enjoyed most was the conversation with Errol after the screening, it was the most entertaining Q & A in which he actually questioned the audience about the film and lead a funny and engaging discussion.He referred to the interview as a relationship and the purpose of the documentary film as a means to present the complexity of the situation or a story not so much to offer closure or a resolve.I loved that.
Later, in a conversation with my friend Alex Mallis, we both concluded we are quite jealous of Mr. Morris capacity and depth of research.
Otherwise, make sure to check out ITVS 20 year celebration, they are screening 20 documentary films free online until the end of September.
Enjoy

This July… http://vimeo.com/26492633

I found myself in Foligno, a beautiful small town 2 hours north of Rome, where you can easily fall in love. There I ran into Felix and his friends, Nigerian immigrants in Italy…here’s what they had to say.

Otherwise, I also found myself at Dancity festival where I made many new fantastic friends. Most impressive performance was by Stian Westerhus, brilliant performance…for the most part i just really enjoyed getting lost amid the crowd in an unknown place, such fun.

On a film note:
Got to check out Clare Denis’ 35 Rhums. She is a master indeed, an incredible filmic crafts woman. This film is simply gorgeous.

More from Italy (with happier thoughts) and desert lands soon.

Jul 04
This July… http://vimeo.com/26492633
I found myself in Foligno, a beautiful small town 2 hours north of Rome, where you can easily fall in love. There I ran into Felix and his friends, Nigerian immigrants in Italy…here’s what they had to say.
Otherwise, I also found myself at Dancity festival where I made many new fantastic friends. Most impressive performance was by Stian Westerhus, brilliant performance…for the most part i just really enjoyed getting lost amid the crowd in an unknown place, such fun.
On a film note:Got to check out Clare Denis’ 35 Rhums. She is a master indeed, an incredible filmic crafts woman. This film is simply gorgeous.
More from Italy (with happier thoughts) and desert lands soon.

About a month ago, my friend Tara and I ventured off to the Morning Mist Farm. There we met Mary Loudin who lives on 24 acres of forest, meadow and swamp land. She prolongs lives of chickens and has a pet vulture. Her place is a little paradise.

Check it out ::: http://vimeo.com/25868681

Otherwise, I recently read an article by Roger Ebert about film projections in theaters.
It talked about the use of 3D projectors to screen 2D films - the problem being that 3D projection uses polarizers which absorb 50% of the light, resulting in a drastically darker image on screen. And this is most theaters! Since reading the article I’ve been paying close attention and have noticed the difference.
Read the article, it’s insightful.

On films:
I saw Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life. There are definitely parts of the film that are challenging to engage with, i.e. what seemed like a 20min sequence of planets, cosmos, cells etc.
Perhaps it was challenging to me, not because of the content (I rather enjoy watching depictions of the universe) but more because the representations weren’t so spectacular. Now, of course visually this film is absolutely stunning…as if shot is just perfect. I’m not a fan of Brad Pitt or his acting skills but I found the boys were so wonderful I could watch them forever. What I loved most about the film is it’s non linear nature, it’s non conformity to conventional narrative structure.
Malick is daring, allowing the story to fluctuate and be told in an unconstrained manner. I enjoyed being lost and having to find my way through the film.
The audiences have been conditioned to a certain type story structure and pace that caters to the MTV inspired 30sec attention span, which is a real problem. I give full support to filmmakers who attempt to break that mold and cross the boundaries and Tree of Life does just that.
I’ll go see it again.

Jun 27
About a month ago, my friend Tara and I ventured off to the Morning Mist Farm. There we met Mary Loudin who lives on 24 acres of forest, meadow and swamp land. She prolongs lives of chickens and has a pet vulture. Her place is a little paradise. 
Check it out ::: http://vimeo.com/25868681
Otherwise, I recently read an article by Roger Ebert about film projections in theaters.It talked about the use of 3D projectors to screen 2D films - the problem being that 3D projection uses polarizers which absorb 50% of the light, resulting in a drastically darker image on screen. And this is most theaters! Since reading the article I’ve been paying close attention and have noticed the difference.Read the article, it’s insightful.
On films:I saw Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life. There are definitely parts of the film that are challenging to engage with, i.e. what seemed like a 20min sequence of planets, cosmos, cells etc.Perhaps it was challenging to me, not because of the content (I rather enjoy watching depictions of the universe) but more because the representations weren’t so spectacular. Now, of course visually this film is absolutely stunning…as if shot is just perfect. I’m not a fan of Brad Pitt or his acting skills but I found the boys were so wonderful I could watch them forever. What I loved most about the film is it’s non linear nature, it’s non conformity to conventional narrative structure.Malick is daring, allowing the story to fluctuate and be told in an unconstrained manner. I enjoyed being lost and having to find my way through the film.The audiences have been conditioned to a certain type story structure and pace that caters to the MTV inspired 30sec attention span, which is a real problem. I give full support to filmmakers who attempt to break that mold and cross the boundaries and Tree of Life does just that.I’ll go see it again.

I V A A S K S

Posted on Monday February 27th 2012 at 12:00am. Its tags are listed below.

Just got back…from travels around Europe…specifically the Berlinale Talent Campus.

A really unique experience that I highly recommend…a week of film film film, workshops, meeting and mingling with incredibly talented people from every place imaginable. Inspiring, energizing, educational and super fun. While there I was contacted by Christoph from RADIUS Magazine, a new online publication to produce a short film for them. It features a wonderful Persian dancer Modjgan Hashemian from Berlin. The encounter added a special sweetness to my whole experience…you might enjoy it.

Otherwise, I was a bit disenchanted with the films at the Berlin film festival, in general from the films I saw the quality was poor…however, I did catch a gem, Death For Sale by Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaidiwho is also a character in the film. An intense complex plot with brilliant cinematography, engaging acting and beautiful tunes.

One of the most intriguing workshops was a discussion with Nuri Bilge Ceylan in who (i’m paraphrasing) makes films so as to solve his life situation, to understand something through film, by making a film that relates to something that’s important to him at that moment.

On Martin Luther King’s Day, a special treat… http://vimeo.com/35467813
With the elections at hand…and many people dreading the Republican wrath, I was reminded of Angela Davis’ talk at OWS last year (it’s already last year!). Here’s a little something on the Third Party System and OWS.
I’ll also include here a quote I enjoyed from the”Pedagogy Of The Oppressed”:
"The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion."- Paulo Freire
On the film from, I just recently watched “I Am Cuba/Soy Cuba" a 1964 film by Mikhail Kalatozov… a brilliant resistance film but also visually the most compelling camera work and the increadible tracking shots, check out this funeral scene. It’s a beauty.
A few months ago, Scott Macaulay of Filmmaker Magazine recommended another must see, Gary Tarn's “Black Sun”. A brilliantly crafted documentary that’s a little reminiscent of Sans Soleil, not only is it artfully executed, Hugues de Montalembert (the storyteller) takes us into realms we forget to explore.
On Martin Luther King’s Day, a special treat… http://vimeo.com/35467813
With the elections at hand…and many people dreading the Republican wrath, I was reminded of Angela Davis’ talk at OWS last year (it’s already last year!). Here’s a little something on the Third Party System and OWS.
I’ll also include here a quote I enjoyed from the”Pedagogy Of The Oppressed”:
"The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion."- Paulo Freire
On the film from, I just recently watched “I Am Cuba/Soy Cuba" a 1964 film by Mikhail Kalatozov… a brilliant resistance film but also visually the most compelling camera work and the increadible tracking shots, check out this funeral scene. It’s a beauty.
A few months ago, Scott Macaulay of Filmmaker Magazine recommended another must see, Gary Tarn's “Black Sun”. A brilliantly crafted documentary that’s a little reminiscent of Sans Soleil, not only is it artfully executed, Hugues de Montalembert (the storyteller) takes us into realms we forget to explore.

On Martin Luther King’s Day, a special treat… http://vimeo.com/35467813

With the elections at hand…and many people dreading the Republican wrath, I was reminded of Angela Davis’ talk at OWS last year (it’s already last year!). Here’s a little something on the Third Party System and OWS.

I’ll also include here a quote I enjoyed from the”Pedagogy Of The Oppressed”:

"The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion."
Paulo Freire

On the film from, I just recently watched “I Am Cuba/Soy Cuba" a 1964 film by Mikhail Kalatozov… a brilliant resistance film but also visually the most compelling camera work and the increadible tracking shots, check out this funeral scene. It’s a beauty.

A few months ago, Scott Macaulay of Filmmaker Magazine recommended another must see, Gary Tarn's “Black Sun”. A brilliantly crafted documentary that’s a little reminiscent of Sans Soleil, not only is it artfully executed, Hugues de Montalembert (the storyteller) takes us into realms we forget to explore.

November was a dance month,
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/34694148
I saw a beautiful performance piece put together by some friends :::A brilliant composer (and my collaborator) Alexander Berne whose music transforms, Karolien Soete a talented artist and the Stefanie Nelson Dance Group.I was touched…here’s a little extract of it.
On the topic of dance…PINA in 3D! Yes!Probably the first film I really enjoyed watching in 3D. Though I found some of the cuts between interviews and performances a bit awkward, the film is beautiful.Pina's quotes are inspiring as is Wenders' imaginative direction…and the dancers leave you breathless. To paraphrase Pina's words, “sometimes you're left speechless, when words fail to evoke…then there is dance.” Indeed, watching it I remembered how to feel.
I also recently saw Bombay Beach by Alma Har’el.Though beautifully shot, dreamy and poetic, the film left no mark. I was struggling to find any transformative purpose to the film.It portrays impoverished America, romanticizes it and brings it to a theater near you, to watch and feel better about not being an inhabitant of Bombay Beach. The protagonist (a tough old man) opens the film to offer some “wise” insights into life but also happens to be racist.Is there something romantic about poverty? I saw some pretty pictures but learnt nothing new.
Read "What’s Wrong With The Liberal Documentary" by Jill Godmilow to get a better sense of what we should strive for in documentary films.
November was a dance month,
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/34694148
I saw a beautiful performance piece put together by some friends :::A brilliant composer (and my collaborator) Alexander Berne whose music transforms, Karolien Soete a talented artist and the Stefanie Nelson Dance Group.I was touched…here’s a little extract of it.
On the topic of dance…PINA in 3D! Yes!Probably the first film I really enjoyed watching in 3D. Though I found some of the cuts between interviews and performances a bit awkward, the film is beautiful.Pina's quotes are inspiring as is Wenders' imaginative direction…and the dancers leave you breathless. To paraphrase Pina's words, “sometimes you're left speechless, when words fail to evoke…then there is dance.” Indeed, watching it I remembered how to feel.
I also recently saw Bombay Beach by Alma Har’el.Though beautifully shot, dreamy and poetic, the film left no mark. I was struggling to find any transformative purpose to the film.It portrays impoverished America, romanticizes it and brings it to a theater near you, to watch and feel better about not being an inhabitant of Bombay Beach. The protagonist (a tough old man) opens the film to offer some “wise” insights into life but also happens to be racist.Is there something romantic about poverty? I saw some pretty pictures but learnt nothing new.
Read "What’s Wrong With The Liberal Documentary" by Jill Godmilow to get a better sense of what we should strive for in documentary films.

November was a dance month,

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/34694148

I saw a beautiful performance piece put together by some friends :::
A brilliant composer (and my collaborator) Alexander Berne whose music transforms, Karolien Soete a talented artist and the Stefanie Nelson Dance Group.
I was touched…here’s a little extract of it.

On the topic of dance…PINA in 3D! Yes!
Probably the first film I really enjoyed watching in 3D. Though I found some of the cuts between interviews and performances a bit awkward, the film is beautiful.
Pina's quotes are inspiring as is Wenders' imaginative direction…and the dancers leave you breathless. To paraphrase Pina's words, “sometimes you're left speechless, when words fail to evoke…then there is dance.” Indeed, watching it I remembered how to feel.

I also recently saw Bombay Beach by Alma Har’el.
Though beautifully shot, dreamy and poetic, the film left no mark. I was struggling to find any transformative purpose to the film.
It portrays impoverished America, romanticizes it and brings it to a theater near you, to watch and feel better about not being an inhabitant of Bombay Beach. The protagonist (a tough old man) opens the film to offer some “wise” insights into life but also happens to be racist.
Is there something romantic about poverty? I saw some pretty pictures but learnt nothing new.

Read "What’s Wrong With The Liberal Documentary" by Jill Godmilow to get a better sense of what we should strive for in documentary films.

It took a while to post this… http://vimeo.com/34008180
In Amsterdam I met Anita, from Hungary.We had a long chat in her red room in the Red Light district.While would have loved to show you how it all went down, she asked me to only use her voice.My intention to show the two pieces together, i.e. “Gawking Red” as my interpretation and then the interview with Anita as an alternate perspective.Alas, you’ll never know how pretty she is.Here’s a taste of the work.
Now, yes it’s an old film and I just recently watched it.Paris Is Burning is brilliant. It’s not just visually intoxicating but it also captures a indescribable moment in time, a subculture, a mode of survival, extraordinary creativity.The whole film is available on youtube, here.Watch it, it’s masterful.(and not without controversy)
I also got a chance to check out A Brighter Summer Day by Edward Yang. A stunning four hour film, which flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed. An illuminating injection into Taiwanese culture. The cinematography is captivating, inspirational. NY Times article will tell you more.
Otherwise, Rooftop Films held a few screening of Occupy Wall Street films, two of our films screened this past week. You can watch some of the other pieces as well on their site.
Enjoy.
It took a while to post this… http://vimeo.com/34008180
In Amsterdam I met Anita, from Hungary.We had a long chat in her red room in the Red Light district.While would have loved to show you how it all went down, she asked me to only use her voice.My intention to show the two pieces together, i.e. “Gawking Red” as my interpretation and then the interview with Anita as an alternate perspective.Alas, you’ll never know how pretty she is.Here’s a taste of the work.
Now, yes it’s an old film and I just recently watched it.Paris Is Burning is brilliant. It’s not just visually intoxicating but it also captures a indescribable moment in time, a subculture, a mode of survival, extraordinary creativity.The whole film is available on youtube, here.Watch it, it’s masterful.(and not without controversy)
I also got a chance to check out A Brighter Summer Day by Edward Yang. A stunning four hour film, which flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed. An illuminating injection into Taiwanese culture. The cinematography is captivating, inspirational. NY Times article will tell you more.
Otherwise, Rooftop Films held a few screening of Occupy Wall Street films, two of our films screened this past week. You can watch some of the other pieces as well on their site.
Enjoy.

It took a while to post this… http://vimeo.com/34008180

In Amsterdam I met Anita, from Hungary.
We had a long chat in her red room in the Red Light district.
While would have loved to show you how it all went down, she asked me to only use her voice.
My intention to show the two pieces together, i.e. “Gawking Red” as my interpretation and then the interview with Anita as an alternate perspective.
Alas, you’ll never know how pretty she is.
Here’s a taste of the work.

Now, yes it’s an old film and I just recently watched it.
Paris Is Burning is brilliant. It’s not just visually intoxicating but it also captures a indescribable moment in time, a subculture, a mode of survival, extraordinary creativity.
The whole film is available on youtube, here.
Watch it, it’s masterful.
(and not without controversy)

I also got a chance to check out A Brighter Summer Day by Edward Yang. A stunning four hour film, which flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed. An illuminating injection into Taiwanese culture. The cinematography is captivating, inspirational. NY Times article will tell you more.

Otherwise, Rooftop Films held a few screening of Occupy Wall Street films, two of our films screened this past week. You can watch some of the other pieces as well on their site.

Enjoy.

On a lighter note,
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32553320
Every summer steel drum orchestras gather in panyards across Brooklyn to gear up for the annual Steel Band Panorama Competition. The Despers come together every night throughout the summer. The sound is captivating, indeed trance-like. We, my brilliant film partner Sarah and I, left each time elevated. I was in cinematic heaven.
And speaking of cinematic heaven, this past week I checked out a few “ethnographic” oldies.Film Forum ran a retrospective of Robert Gardner’s films and Margaret Mead Film Festival did the same for Jean Rouch.
I checked out Gardner’s Dead Birds and Forest Of Bliss. Both are cinematically brilliant, absolutely gorgeous. He carefully chooses his compositions, constructs his shots mysteriously, slowly revealing. He pays attention to details such as plants, insects and the silence of the atmosphere. The viewer enters the film, engrossed. He also uses the voice of god type of narration to inform the viewer about the Dani culture and the two main characters. He goes so far to tell us their thoughts, disappointments and exaggerations and I can’t help but wonder how he has come up with them?It’s staged to a point (so are Flaherty and Rouch’s films) and somewhat problematic in the sense of exotic othering (he doesn’t mention his intent to the Dani people) but I find myself unable to dismiss its value. It’s fascinating. Here’s a tough and interesting critique of the film by Jay Ruby.
Forest of Bliss is equally as beautiful, though here Gardner looses his voiceover and also refrains from subtitles. We watch and interpret for ourselves. The films circles, repeating images and enclosing the viewer in what seems a small radius on the Ganges…death is theme but so is life…and life is struggle in this film.
Jean Rouch’s Jaguar is funny, entertaining and a sort of docu-fiction.In constructing the story, he stages and directs the actions of his characters. He also uses his friends in the films and as crew members.After some criticisms of his early films, he here gives the voice back to the people filmed by having them watch themselves and come up with their own narration to the film. They themselves comment on life in Accra, Africa, culture etc. (they make fun of different tribes and their nudity and gestures)..the exchanges are humorous and at times tiring, there is no natural sound of the filmed scenes and so the viewer is not really entering their world.
The people of colonized countries are or perhaps were somewhat subservient toward the colonizers and I wonder to what extent the narration is constructed to “please” Rouch. There is also a part in the film where one of the characters, upon arriving to Accra finds himself in a managerial position and treats his workers unkindly - this part immediately linked me back to a clip of Rouch I had watched prior to Jaguar.
Not an easy task, documenting, representing, respecting the theme, people and the message.Let’s keep questioning ourselves, reflecting back to ourselves.
And in closing, here are the two men together, The Screening Room chat between Gardner and Rouch
On a lighter note,
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32553320
Every summer steel drum orchestras gather in panyards across Brooklyn to gear up for the annual Steel Band Panorama Competition. The Despers come together every night throughout the summer. The sound is captivating, indeed trance-like. We, my brilliant film partner Sarah and I, left each time elevated. I was in cinematic heaven.
And speaking of cinematic heaven, this past week I checked out a few “ethnographic” oldies.Film Forum ran a retrospective of Robert Gardner’s films and Margaret Mead Film Festival did the same for Jean Rouch.
I checked out Gardner’s Dead Birds and Forest Of Bliss. Both are cinematically brilliant, absolutely gorgeous. He carefully chooses his compositions, constructs his shots mysteriously, slowly revealing. He pays attention to details such as plants, insects and the silence of the atmosphere. The viewer enters the film, engrossed. He also uses the voice of god type of narration to inform the viewer about the Dani culture and the two main characters. He goes so far to tell us their thoughts, disappointments and exaggerations and I can’t help but wonder how he has come up with them?It’s staged to a point (so are Flaherty and Rouch’s films) and somewhat problematic in the sense of exotic othering (he doesn’t mention his intent to the Dani people) but I find myself unable to dismiss its value. It’s fascinating. Here’s a tough and interesting critique of the film by Jay Ruby.
Forest of Bliss is equally as beautiful, though here Gardner looses his voiceover and also refrains from subtitles. We watch and interpret for ourselves. The films circles, repeating images and enclosing the viewer in what seems a small radius on the Ganges…death is theme but so is life…and life is struggle in this film.
Jean Rouch’s Jaguar is funny, entertaining and a sort of docu-fiction.In constructing the story, he stages and directs the actions of his characters. He also uses his friends in the films and as crew members.After some criticisms of his early films, he here gives the voice back to the people filmed by having them watch themselves and come up with their own narration to the film. They themselves comment on life in Accra, Africa, culture etc. (they make fun of different tribes and their nudity and gestures)..the exchanges are humorous and at times tiring, there is no natural sound of the filmed scenes and so the viewer is not really entering their world.
The people of colonized countries are or perhaps were somewhat subservient toward the colonizers and I wonder to what extent the narration is constructed to “please” Rouch. There is also a part in the film where one of the characters, upon arriving to Accra finds himself in a managerial position and treats his workers unkindly - this part immediately linked me back to a clip of Rouch I had watched prior to Jaguar.
Not an easy task, documenting, representing, respecting the theme, people and the message.Let’s keep questioning ourselves, reflecting back to ourselves.
And in closing, here are the two men together, The Screening Room chat between Gardner and Rouch

On a lighter note,

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32553320

Every summer steel drum orchestras gather in panyards across Brooklyn to gear up for the annual Steel Band Panorama Competition. The Despers come together every night throughout the summer. The sound is captivating, indeed trance-like. We, my brilliant film partner Sarah and I, left each time elevated. I was in cinematic heaven.

And speaking of cinematic heaven, this past week I checked out a few “ethnographic” oldies.
Film Forum ran a retrospective of Robert Gardner’s films and Margaret Mead Film Festival did the same for Jean Rouch.

I checked out Gardner’s Dead Birds and Forest Of Bliss. Both are cinematically brilliant, absolutely gorgeous. He carefully chooses his compositions, constructs his shots mysteriously, slowly revealing. He pays attention to details such as plants, insects and the silence of the atmosphere. The viewer enters the film, engrossed. He also uses the voice of god type of narration to inform the viewer about the Dani culture and the two main characters. He goes so far to tell us their thoughts, disappointments and exaggerations and I can’t help but wonder how he has come up with them?
It’s staged to a point (so are Flaherty and Rouch’s films) and somewhat problematic in the sense of exotic othering (he doesn’t mention his intent to the Dani people) but I find myself unable to dismiss its value. It’s fascinating. Here’s a tough and interesting critique of the film by Jay Ruby.

Forest of Bliss is equally as beautiful, though here Gardner looses his voiceover and also refrains from subtitles. We watch and interpret for ourselves. The films circles, repeating images and enclosing the viewer in what seems a small radius on the Ganges…death is theme but so is life…and life is struggle in this film.

Jean Rouch’s Jaguar is funny, entertaining and a sort of docu-fiction.
In constructing the story, he stages and directs the actions of his characters. He also uses his friends in the films and as crew members.
After some criticisms of his early films, he here gives the voice back to the people filmed by having them watch themselves and come up with their own narration to the film. They themselves comment on life in Accra, Africa, culture etc. (they make fun of different tribes and their nudity and gestures)..the exchanges are humorous and at times tiring, there is no natural sound of the filmed scenes and so the viewer is not really entering their world.

The people of colonized countries are or perhaps were somewhat subservient toward the colonizers and I wonder to what extent the narration is constructed to “please” Rouch. There is also a part in the film where one of the characters, upon arriving to Accra finds himself in a managerial position and treats his workers unkindly - this part immediately linked me back to a clip of Rouch I had watched prior to Jaguar.

Not an easy task, documenting, representing, respecting the theme, people and the message.
Let’s keep questioning ourselves, reflecting back to ourselves.

And in closing, here are the two men together, The Screening Room chat between Gardner and Rouch

In September, I was in Amsterdam for a couple of weeks and had some observations. 
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32831374
Amsterdam has a bad rep ::: coffee shops, red lights and canals. And, for my first ten days here I experienced none of it…successfully and without trying i avoid the trap/crap…what a beautiful and romantic place…It’s the last day of my trip and i purposely engage in the tourist game of red lights…before i describe my first encounter, i’ll name a few fantastic things about this magical place.
The light ::: the most incredible light that illuminates colors and reflects everything brighter, cleaner and more intensely. At every moment, every light change, I’m amazed… (not because i’m high!)…The bicycle ::: in an effort to promote being green, even the prime minister bikes to work. It’s the ultimate way to experience the town…
The air ::: you breathe, deeper, louder, happier … there is a crispness…it’s September, the leaves have started a paced descend…the rain is gentle, frequent and short, welcoming and we accept it…a perfect introduction to fall. I could go on…but… let me make some observations.
The inspiration for this one came from Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil.Perhaps most obvious here the female voiceover in English (by the brilliant Sarah Enid Hagey)- usually my disguises are foreign in which the melody of the language attempts to suit the images. There is so much to be said about Sans Soleil but one thing I really connected to is something Marker mentioned in an interview which very much reflects what happens during an artistic creation…That is, Marker confirms what most of us find to be true (at least I do) when filming : “I photograph a story I didn’t quite understand. It was in the editing that the pieces of the puzzle came together, and it wasn’t me who designed the puzzle. I’d have a hard time taking credit for it. It just happened, that’s all.”
Reminds me of The Song of Ceylon where Basil Wright just shoots on instinct not knowing why…but somehow magically these unconscious decisions manifest into a message through the work.
San Soleil is political, it’s personal, a stream of consciousness, observational commentary, a diary, an intellectual provocation and a historical document, a reminder to be all at once. The narration of film itself if full on brilliant comments, one among many that I relate to : “I wonder how people remember who don’t film, don’t photograph, don’t tape…(images) have substituted themselves for my memory. They are my memory.”
P.s. Fantastic sounds by Stian Westerhus
In September, I was in Amsterdam for a couple of weeks and had some observations. 
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32831374
Amsterdam has a bad rep ::: coffee shops, red lights and canals. And, for my first ten days here I experienced none of it…successfully and without trying i avoid the trap/crap…what a beautiful and romantic place…It’s the last day of my trip and i purposely engage in the tourist game of red lights…before i describe my first encounter, i’ll name a few fantastic things about this magical place.
The light ::: the most incredible light that illuminates colors and reflects everything brighter, cleaner and more intensely. At every moment, every light change, I’m amazed… (not because i’m high!)…The bicycle ::: in an effort to promote being green, even the prime minister bikes to work. It’s the ultimate way to experience the town…
The air ::: you breathe, deeper, louder, happier … there is a crispness…it’s September, the leaves have started a paced descend…the rain is gentle, frequent and short, welcoming and we accept it…a perfect introduction to fall. I could go on…but… let me make some observations.
The inspiration for this one came from Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil.Perhaps most obvious here the female voiceover in English (by the brilliant Sarah Enid Hagey)- usually my disguises are foreign in which the melody of the language attempts to suit the images. There is so much to be said about Sans Soleil but one thing I really connected to is something Marker mentioned in an interview which very much reflects what happens during an artistic creation…That is, Marker confirms what most of us find to be true (at least I do) when filming : “I photograph a story I didn’t quite understand. It was in the editing that the pieces of the puzzle came together, and it wasn’t me who designed the puzzle. I’d have a hard time taking credit for it. It just happened, that’s all.”
Reminds me of The Song of Ceylon where Basil Wright just shoots on instinct not knowing why…but somehow magically these unconscious decisions manifest into a message through the work.
San Soleil is political, it’s personal, a stream of consciousness, observational commentary, a diary, an intellectual provocation and a historical document, a reminder to be all at once. The narration of film itself if full on brilliant comments, one among many that I relate to : “I wonder how people remember who don’t film, don’t photograph, don’t tape…(images) have substituted themselves for my memory. They are my memory.”
P.s. Fantastic sounds by Stian Westerhus

In September, I was in Amsterdam for a couple of weeks and had some observations. 

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32831374

Amsterdam has a bad rep ::: coffee shops, red lights and canals. And, for my first ten days here I experienced none of it…successfully and without trying i avoid the trap/crap…what a beautiful and romantic place…It’s the last day of my trip and i purposely engage in the tourist game of red lights…before i describe my first encounter, i’ll name a few fantastic things about this magical place.

The light ::: the most incredible light that illuminates colors and reflects everything brighter, cleaner and more intensely. At every moment, every light change, I’m amazed… (not because i’m high!)…The bicycle ::: in an effort to promote being green, even the prime minister bikes to work. It’s the ultimate way to experience the town…

The air ::: you breathe, deeper, louder, happier … there is a crispness…it’s September, the leaves have started a paced descend…the rain is gentle, frequent and short, welcoming and we accept it…a perfect introduction to fall. I could go on…but… let me make some observations.

The inspiration for this one came from Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil.
Perhaps most obvious here the female voiceover in English (by the brilliant Sarah Enid Hagey)- usually my disguises are foreign in which the melody of the language attempts to suit the images. There is so much to be said about Sans Soleil but one thing I really connected to is something Marker mentioned in an interview which very much reflects what happens during an artistic creation…That is, Marker confirms what most of us find to be true (at least I do) when filming : “I photograph a story I didn’t quite understand. It was in the editing that the pieces of the puzzle came together, and it wasn’t me who designed the puzzle. I’d have a hard time taking credit for it. It just happened, that’s all.”

Reminds me of The Song of Ceylon where Basil Wright just shoots on instinct not knowing why…but somehow magically these unconscious decisions manifest into a message through the work.

San Soleil is political, it’s personal, a stream of consciousness, observational commentary, a diary, an intellectual provocation and a historical document, a reminder to be all at once. The narration of film itself if full on brilliant comments, one among many that I relate to : “I wonder how people remember who don’t film, don’t photograph, don’t tape…(images) have substituted themselves for my memory. They are my memory.”

P.s. Fantastic sounds by Stian Westerhus

"In 1969, a group of black and Puerto Rican students occupied City College demanding the integration of CUNY, which at the time had an overwhelmingly white student body. The occupation spread to other CUNY campuses, forcing the Board of Trustees to implement a ground-breaking new admissions policy."
http://vimeo.com/31285186
Such occupations also occurred in the 1980s and 2000s.It’s that time again.
As Graduate Film students at Hunter College in New York, we’re very excited to see how the spreading Occupy Wall Street movement is giving new momentum to the militant protest culture of Cuny (City University, NYC).
We filmed the second General Assembly at Hunter College, and the first “Occupy Cuny” teach-in at Washington Square Park on October 21st, 2011. During the last weeks, we learned how quickly small protest gatherings can turn into new social movements. This is a document about the struggle of students and adjunct faculty at Cuny. This local struggle is part of an international student movement against neoliberal dictatorship.This is only the beginning. The time for action is now.
Find out how to support, participate, take action:cunygeneralassembly.wordpress.comstudentsunitedforafreecuny.wordpress.comresistandmultiply.wordpress.com (at Hunter College)cunyadjunctproject.orgnycga.net (Occupy Wall Street)occupywallst.org
Being in the midst of events, as they are manifesting is exciting. I was recently reminded of some brilliant films like Harlan County and Primary,there is something very special in capturing moments that are of historical significance, even more so participating in them.
And the latest inspiration is Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's experiment Chronique d’un été (Chronicle of A Summer). One of first introductions to Cinéma Vérité, it illustrates the problems of film reality, how it’s depicted, portrayed and relayed to the audience. The film poses questions “Are you happy?” and “How do you live?” in an attempt to comment on the state of affairs in 1960 Paris. What I was most impressed by is the concept itself; the idea of approaching a theme/situation/topic from the point of view of social engagement and conversation, a study, a research in real time “authenticity of life as it is lived”. The film’s outcome was not what the parties had anticipated but rather it was a revelation of the many layers of representation…the subjects assuming a role on the camera, their awareness of assuming the role, the creation of a “socio-drama to permit each person to play out his life role before the camera.”
(read : “Chronicle of a Film,” by Edgar Morin in Ciné-Ethnography: Jean Rouch ed. by Steven Feld)
"In 1969, a group of black and Puerto Rican students occupied City College demanding the integration of CUNY, which at the time had an overwhelmingly white student body. The occupation spread to other CUNY campuses, forcing the Board of Trustees to implement a ground-breaking new admissions policy."
http://vimeo.com/31285186
Such occupations also occurred in the 1980s and 2000s.It’s that time again.
As Graduate Film students at Hunter College in New York, we’re very excited to see how the spreading Occupy Wall Street movement is giving new momentum to the militant protest culture of Cuny (City University, NYC).
We filmed the second General Assembly at Hunter College, and the first “Occupy Cuny” teach-in at Washington Square Park on October 21st, 2011. During the last weeks, we learned how quickly small protest gatherings can turn into new social movements. This is a document about the struggle of students and adjunct faculty at Cuny. This local struggle is part of an international student movement against neoliberal dictatorship.This is only the beginning. The time for action is now.
Find out how to support, participate, take action:cunygeneralassembly.wordpress.comstudentsunitedforafreecuny.wordpress.comresistandmultiply.wordpress.com (at Hunter College)cunyadjunctproject.orgnycga.net (Occupy Wall Street)occupywallst.org
Being in the midst of events, as they are manifesting is exciting. I was recently reminded of some brilliant films like Harlan County and Primary,there is something very special in capturing moments that are of historical significance, even more so participating in them.
And the latest inspiration is Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's experiment Chronique d’un été (Chronicle of A Summer). One of first introductions to Cinéma Vérité, it illustrates the problems of film reality, how it’s depicted, portrayed and relayed to the audience. The film poses questions “Are you happy?” and “How do you live?” in an attempt to comment on the state of affairs in 1960 Paris. What I was most impressed by is the concept itself; the idea of approaching a theme/situation/topic from the point of view of social engagement and conversation, a study, a research in real time “authenticity of life as it is lived”. The film’s outcome was not what the parties had anticipated but rather it was a revelation of the many layers of representation…the subjects assuming a role on the camera, their awareness of assuming the role, the creation of a “socio-drama to permit each person to play out his life role before the camera.”
(read : “Chronicle of a Film,” by Edgar Morin in Ciné-Ethnography: Jean Rouch ed. by Steven Feld)

"In 1969, a group of black and Puerto Rican students occupied City College demanding the integration of CUNY, which at the time had an overwhelmingly white student body. The occupation spread to other CUNY campuses, forcing the Board of Trustees to implement a ground-breaking new admissions policy."

http://vimeo.com/31285186

Such occupations also occurred in the 1980s and 2000s.
It’s that time again.

As Graduate Film students at Hunter College in New York, we’re very excited to see how the spreading Occupy Wall Street movement is giving new momentum to the militant protest culture of Cuny (City University, NYC).

We filmed the second General Assembly at Hunter College, and the first “Occupy Cuny” teach-in at Washington Square Park on October 21st, 2011. During the last weeks, we learned how quickly small protest gatherings can turn into new social movements. This is a document about the struggle of students and adjunct faculty at Cuny. This local struggle is part of an international student movement against neoliberal dictatorship.
This is only the beginning. The time for action is now.

Find out how to support, participate, take action:
cunygeneralassembly.wordpress.com
studentsunitedforafreecuny.wordpress.com
resistandmultiply.wordpress.com (at Hunter College)
cunyadjunctproject.org
nycga.net (Occupy Wall Street)
occupywallst.org

Being in the midst of events, as they are manifesting is exciting. I was recently reminded of some brilliant films like Harlan County and Primary,
there is something very special in capturing moments that are of historical significance, even more so participating in them.

And the latest inspiration is Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's experiment Chronique d’un été (Chronicle of A Summer). One of first introductions to Cinéma Vérité, it illustrates the problems of film reality, how it’s depicted, portrayed and relayed to the audience. The film poses questions “Are you happy?” and “How do you live?” in an attempt to comment on the state of affairs in 1960 Paris. What I was most impressed by is the concept itself; the idea of approaching a theme/situation/topic from the point of view of social engagement and conversation, a study, a research in real time “authenticity of life as it is lived”. The film’s outcome was not what the parties had anticipated but rather it was a revelation of the many layers of representation…the subjects assuming a role on the camera, their awareness of assuming the role, the creation of a “socio-drama to permit each person to play out his life role before the camera.”

(read : “Chronicle of a Film,” by Edgar Morin in Ciné-Ethnography: Jean Rouch ed. by Steven Feld)

I V A A S K S

Posted on Monday October 17th 2011 at 01:03am. Its tags are listed below.

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/31009308
It’s been over a month now since the Occupation of Wall Street.And the movement is spreading like wild fire.We’re working on our third film which should be up in a few days.In the meantime, here’s a tiny clip from October 15th rally to Times Square.
In the film world, be sure to check out Kieslowski’s The Decalogue,10 short films based on the principals of the 10 commandments…an incredible cinematic treat.Brilliant compositions, color palette and light (or lack there of)…awe inspiring, i was moved.
And for finally, I leave you with an even more inspiring clip from the Chilean student uprising,as a prelude to our next film.
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/31009308
It’s been over a month now since the Occupation of Wall Street.And the movement is spreading like wild fire.We’re working on our third film which should be up in a few days.In the meantime, here’s a tiny clip from October 15th rally to Times Square.
In the film world, be sure to check out Kieslowski’s The Decalogue,10 short films based on the principals of the 10 commandments…an incredible cinematic treat.Brilliant compositions, color palette and light (or lack there of)…awe inspiring, i was moved.
And for finally, I leave you with an even more inspiring clip from the Chilean student uprising,as a prelude to our next film.

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/31009308

It’s been over a month now since the Occupation of Wall Street.
And the movement is spreading like wild fire.
We’re working on our third film which should be up in a few days.
In the meantime, here’s a tiny clip from October 15th rally to Times Square.

In the film world, be sure to check out Kieslowski’s The Decalogue,
10 short films based on the principals of the 10 commandments…an incredible cinematic treat.
Brilliant compositions, color palette and light (or lack there of)…awe inspiring, i was moved.

And for finally, I leave you with an even more inspiring clip from the Chilean student uprising,
as a prelude to our next film.

We the people have found our voice.(NYC General Assembly, September 27, 2011)
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/30241489
If it’s our sharing that makes us powerful, why return to normal?This life is more worth living than the one we left behind.(Leaflet, Solidarity March with Occupy Wall Street, October 5, 2011)
How do our voices of dissent encounter each other?Do we really want to merge our raging cacophony into a unified political agenda?What if the voice of the people is always in a mode of becoming?Welcome to the hidden track of Occupy Wall Street:We are discovering new ways in which our desires can resonate together.This space is our sonogram of potential.
Find the latest news, learn how to participate, and support:occupywallst.org
I was reading a fantastic article on Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog "Documenting the Ineffable" by Sandy Flitterman-Lewis…i very much recommend it…the closing paragraph included a quote from theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel:::
"be sure that every little deed counts, that very word has power, and that we can, everyone, do our share to redeem the world…build a life as if it was a work of art…and remember that life is a celebration.”
…beautiful.
We the people have found our voice.(NYC General Assembly, September 27, 2011)
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/30241489
If it’s our sharing that makes us powerful, why return to normal?This life is more worth living than the one we left behind.(Leaflet, Solidarity March with Occupy Wall Street, October 5, 2011)
How do our voices of dissent encounter each other?Do we really want to merge our raging cacophony into a unified political agenda?What if the voice of the people is always in a mode of becoming?Welcome to the hidden track of Occupy Wall Street:We are discovering new ways in which our desires can resonate together.This space is our sonogram of potential.
Find the latest news, learn how to participate, and support:occupywallst.org
I was reading a fantastic article on Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog "Documenting the Ineffable" by Sandy Flitterman-Lewis…i very much recommend it…the closing paragraph included a quote from theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel:::
"be sure that every little deed counts, that very word has power, and that we can, everyone, do our share to redeem the world…build a life as if it was a work of art…and remember that life is a celebration.”
…beautiful.

We the people have found our voice.
(NYC General Assembly, September 27, 2011)

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/30241489

If it’s our sharing that makes us powerful, why return to normal?
This life is more worth living than the one we left behind.
(Leaflet, Solidarity March with Occupy Wall Street, October 5, 2011)

How do our voices of dissent encounter each other?
Do we really want to merge our raging cacophony into a unified political agenda?
What if the voice of the people is always in a mode of becoming?
Welcome to the hidden track of Occupy Wall Street:
We are discovering new ways in which our desires can resonate together.
This space is our sonogram of potential.

Find the latest news, learn how to participate, and support:
occupywallst.org

I was reading a fantastic article on Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog "Documenting the Ineffable" by Sandy Flitterman-Lewis…i very much recommend it…the closing paragraph included a quote from theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel:::

"be sure that every little deed counts, that very word has power, and that we can, everyone, do our share to redeem the world…build a life as if it was a work of art…and remember that life is a celebration.”

…beautiful.

Martyna and I hit the Wall Street area on Wednesday and Thursday to document the events of the occupation.
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/29513113
Today is the 7th day of the occupation.The idea to occupy the financial district in New York City was inspired by recent uprisings in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia which most of us were following online. Please forward our video to likeminded people via email, facebook, twitter - and make the voices of dissent circulate.
Find the latest news, learn how to participate and support.Most importantly, spread the word, share this.
Martyna and I hit the Wall Street area on Wednesday and Thursday to document the events of the occupation.
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/29513113
Today is the 7th day of the occupation.The idea to occupy the financial district in New York City was inspired by recent uprisings in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia which most of us were following online. Please forward our video to likeminded people via email, facebook, twitter - and make the voices of dissent circulate.
Find the latest news, learn how to participate and support.Most importantly, spread the word, share this.

Martyna and I hit the Wall Street area on Wednesday and Thursday to document the events of the occupation.

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/29513113

Today is the 7th day of the occupation.
The idea to occupy the financial district in New York City was inspired by recent uprisings in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia which most of us were following online. Please forward our video to likeminded people via email, facebook, twitter - and make the voices of dissent circulate.

Find the latest news, learn how to participate and support.
Most importantly, spread the word, share this.

Last Friday, I directed (shot and edited) this PSA with Nene Ali for Gems against teenage prostitution. It was a short shoot up in the Bronx and a lot of fun. It’s still being pitched and so it’s private - for you,
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/28390654 PASSWORD ::: girls.
Otherwise, I’m working on an exciting project with Sarah Hagey that involves 40 steel drummers, beautiful…and coming soon! I’m off to Amsterdam and will be posting from there as well.
I’ve been watching a lot of beautiful films, i’ll list some of them here, they are worth checking out.The Scent Of Green Papaya by Anh Hung TranMy country My Country by Laura PoitrasWings Of Desire by Wim Wenders
Enjoy!
Last Friday, I directed (shot and edited) this PSA with Nene Ali for Gems against teenage prostitution. It was a short shoot up in the Bronx and a lot of fun. It’s still being pitched and so it’s private - for you,
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/28390654 PASSWORD ::: girls.
Otherwise, I’m working on an exciting project with Sarah Hagey that involves 40 steel drummers, beautiful…and coming soon! I’m off to Amsterdam and will be posting from there as well.
I’ve been watching a lot of beautiful films, i’ll list some of them here, they are worth checking out.The Scent Of Green Papaya by Anh Hung TranMy country My Country by Laura PoitrasWings Of Desire by Wim Wenders
Enjoy!

Last Friday, I directed (shot and edited) this PSA with Nene Ali for Gems against teenage prostitution. It was a short shoot up in the Bronx and a lot of fun. It’s still being pitched and so it’s private - for you,

WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/28390654 PASSWORD ::: girls.

Otherwise, I’m working on an exciting project with Sarah Hagey that involves 40 steel drummers, beautiful…and coming soon! I’m off to Amsterdam and will be posting from there as well.

I’ve been watching a lot of beautiful films, i’ll list some of them here, they are worth checking out.
The Scent Of Green Papaya by Anh Hung Tran
My country My Country by Laura Poitras
Wings Of Desire by Wim Wenders

Enjoy!

Back in April, like every year, we took a little trip through the desert… we ran into a small town of Nipton, 30 people in total
WATCH HERE ::: http://vimeo.com/26620918
Otherwise : Summer in New York is a beautiful time…I’m gearing up all my energies toward editing my current project, a 20min documentary “Ben”, more details on that soon and perhaps a little preview.
Moma is screening a beautiful Italian film “The Mouth of The Wolf”.After suggesting, Flonia and I went to check it out…an interesting hybrid of documentary and fiction, found footage, poetry and dramatic love story. An Interesting collage of things. Read the NY Times Review here.
Back in April, like every year, we took a little trip through the desert… we ran into a small town of Nipton, 30 people in total
WATCH HERE ::: http://vimeo.com/26620918
Otherwise : Summer in New York is a beautiful time…I’m gearing up all my energies toward editing my current project, a 20min documentary “Ben”, more details on that soon and perhaps a little preview.
Moma is screening a beautiful Italian film “The Mouth of The Wolf”.After suggesting, Flonia and I went to check it out…an interesting hybrid of documentary and fiction, found footage, poetry and dramatic love story. An Interesting collage of things. Read the NY Times Review here.

Back in April, like every year, we took a little trip through the desert… we ran into a small town of Nipton, 30 people in total

WATCH HERE ::: http://vimeo.com/26620918

Otherwise : Summer in New York is a beautiful time…I’m gearing up all my energies toward editing my current project, a 20min documentary “Ben”, more details on that soon and perhaps a little preview.

Moma is screening a beautiful Italian film “The Mouth of The Wolf”.
After suggesting, Flonia and I went to check it out…an interesting hybrid of documentary and fiction, found footage, poetry and dramatic love story. An Interesting collage of things. Read the NY Times Review here.

I V A A S K S

Posted on Monday July 25th 2011 at 06:38pm. Its tags are listed below.

I took a short break, to catch my breath…here’s how it went down : http://vimeo.com/27081511
Last week I went down to IFC for the screening of Tabloid, Errol Morris’ new film. It’s a fascinating and entertaining story, well structured. What I enjoyed most was the conversation with Errol after the screening, it was the most entertaining Q & A in which he actually questioned the audience about the film and lead a funny and engaging discussion.He referred to the interview as a relationship and the purpose of the documentary film as a means to present the complexity of the situation or a story not so much to offer closure or a resolve.I loved that.
Later, in a conversation with my friend Alex Mallis, we both concluded we are quite jealous of Mr. Morris capacity and depth of research.
Otherwise, make sure to check out ITVS 20 year celebration, they are screening 20 documentary films free online until the end of September.
Enjoy
I took a short break, to catch my breath…here’s how it went down : http://vimeo.com/27081511
Last week I went down to IFC for the screening of Tabloid, Errol Morris’ new film. It’s a fascinating and entertaining story, well structured. What I enjoyed most was the conversation with Errol after the screening, it was the most entertaining Q & A in which he actually questioned the audience about the film and lead a funny and engaging discussion.He referred to the interview as a relationship and the purpose of the documentary film as a means to present the complexity of the situation or a story not so much to offer closure or a resolve.I loved that.
Later, in a conversation with my friend Alex Mallis, we both concluded we are quite jealous of Mr. Morris capacity and depth of research.
Otherwise, make sure to check out ITVS 20 year celebration, they are screening 20 documentary films free online until the end of September.
Enjoy

I took a short break, to catch my breath…
here’s how it went down : http://vimeo.com/27081511

Last week I went down to IFC for the screening of TabloidErrol Morris’ new film. It’s a fascinating and entertaining story, well structured. What I enjoyed most was the conversation with Errol after the screening, it was the most entertaining Q & A in which he actually questioned the audience about the film and lead a funny and engaging discussion.
He referred to the interview as a relationship and the purpose of the documentary film as a means to present the complexity of the situation or a story not so much to offer closure or a resolve.
I loved that.

Later, in a conversation with my friend Alex Mallis, we both concluded we are quite jealous of Mr. Morris capacity and depth of research.

Otherwise, make sure to check out ITVS 20 year celebration, they are screening 20 documentary films free online until the end of September.

Enjoy

I V A A S K S

Posted on Monday July 4th 2011 at 06:32pm. Its tags are listed below.

This July… http://vimeo.com/26492633
I found myself in Foligno, a beautiful small town 2 hours north of Rome, where you can easily fall in love. There I ran into Felix and his friends, Nigerian immigrants in Italy…here’s what they had to say.
Otherwise, I also found myself at Dancity festival where I made many new fantastic friends. Most impressive performance was by Stian Westerhus, brilliant performance…for the most part i just really enjoyed getting lost amid the crowd in an unknown place, such fun.
On a film note:Got to check out Clare Denis’ 35 Rhums. She is a master indeed, an incredible filmic crafts woman. This film is simply gorgeous.
More from Italy (with happier thoughts) and desert lands soon.
This July… http://vimeo.com/26492633
I found myself in Foligno, a beautiful small town 2 hours north of Rome, where you can easily fall in love. There I ran into Felix and his friends, Nigerian immigrants in Italy…here’s what they had to say.
Otherwise, I also found myself at Dancity festival where I made many new fantastic friends. Most impressive performance was by Stian Westerhus, brilliant performance…for the most part i just really enjoyed getting lost amid the crowd in an unknown place, such fun.
On a film note:Got to check out Clare Denis’ 35 Rhums. She is a master indeed, an incredible filmic crafts woman. This film is simply gorgeous.
More from Italy (with happier thoughts) and desert lands soon.

This July… http://vimeo.com/26492633

I found myself in Foligno, a beautiful small town 2 hours north of Rome, where you can easily fall in love. There I ran into Felix and his friends, Nigerian immigrants in Italy…here’s what they had to say.

Otherwise, I also found myself at Dancity festival where I made many new fantastic friends. Most impressive performance was by Stian Westerhus, brilliant performance…for the most part i just really enjoyed getting lost amid the crowd in an unknown place, such fun.

On a film note:
Got to check out Clare Denis’ 35 Rhums. She is a master indeed, an incredible filmic crafts woman. This film is simply gorgeous.

More from Italy (with happier thoughts) and desert lands soon.

About a month ago, my friend Tara and I ventured off to the Morning Mist Farm. There we met Mary Loudin who lives on 24 acres of forest, meadow and swamp land. She prolongs lives of chickens and has a pet vulture. Her place is a little paradise. 
Check it out ::: http://vimeo.com/25868681
Otherwise, I recently read an article by Roger Ebert about film projections in theaters.It talked about the use of 3D projectors to screen 2D films - the problem being that 3D projection uses polarizers which absorb 50% of the light, resulting in a drastically darker image on screen. And this is most theaters! Since reading the article I’ve been paying close attention and have noticed the difference.Read the article, it’s insightful.
On films:I saw Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life. There are definitely parts of the film that are challenging to engage with, i.e. what seemed like a 20min sequence of planets, cosmos, cells etc.Perhaps it was challenging to me, not because of the content (I rather enjoy watching depictions of the universe) but more because the representations weren’t so spectacular. Now, of course visually this film is absolutely stunning…as if shot is just perfect. I’m not a fan of Brad Pitt or his acting skills but I found the boys were so wonderful I could watch them forever. What I loved most about the film is it’s non linear nature, it’s non conformity to conventional narrative structure.Malick is daring, allowing the story to fluctuate and be told in an unconstrained manner. I enjoyed being lost and having to find my way through the film.The audiences have been conditioned to a certain type story structure and pace that caters to the MTV inspired 30sec attention span, which is a real problem. I give full support to filmmakers who attempt to break that mold and cross the boundaries and Tree of Life does just that.I’ll go see it again.
About a month ago, my friend Tara and I ventured off to the Morning Mist Farm. There we met Mary Loudin who lives on 24 acres of forest, meadow and swamp land. She prolongs lives of chickens and has a pet vulture. Her place is a little paradise. 
Check it out ::: http://vimeo.com/25868681
Otherwise, I recently read an article by Roger Ebert about film projections in theaters.It talked about the use of 3D projectors to screen 2D films - the problem being that 3D projection uses polarizers which absorb 50% of the light, resulting in a drastically darker image on screen. And this is most theaters! Since reading the article I’ve been paying close attention and have noticed the difference.Read the article, it’s insightful.
On films:I saw Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life. There are definitely parts of the film that are challenging to engage with, i.e. what seemed like a 20min sequence of planets, cosmos, cells etc.Perhaps it was challenging to me, not because of the content (I rather enjoy watching depictions of the universe) but more because the representations weren’t so spectacular. Now, of course visually this film is absolutely stunning…as if shot is just perfect. I’m not a fan of Brad Pitt or his acting skills but I found the boys were so wonderful I could watch them forever. What I loved most about the film is it’s non linear nature, it’s non conformity to conventional narrative structure.Malick is daring, allowing the story to fluctuate and be told in an unconstrained manner. I enjoyed being lost and having to find my way through the film.The audiences have been conditioned to a certain type story structure and pace that caters to the MTV inspired 30sec attention span, which is a real problem. I give full support to filmmakers who attempt to break that mold and cross the boundaries and Tree of Life does just that.I’ll go see it again.

About a month ago, my friend Tara and I ventured off to the Morning Mist Farm. There we met Mary Loudin who lives on 24 acres of forest, meadow and swamp land. She prolongs lives of chickens and has a pet vulture. Her place is a little paradise.

Check it out ::: http://vimeo.com/25868681

Otherwise, I recently read an article by Roger Ebert about film projections in theaters.
It talked about the use of 3D projectors to screen 2D films - the problem being that 3D projection uses polarizers which absorb 50% of the light, resulting in a drastically darker image on screen. And this is most theaters! Since reading the article I’ve been paying close attention and have noticed the difference.
Read the article, it’s insightful.

On films:
I saw Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life. There are definitely parts of the film that are challenging to engage with, i.e. what seemed like a 20min sequence of planets, cosmos, cells etc.
Perhaps it was challenging to me, not because of the content (I rather enjoy watching depictions of the universe) but more because the representations weren’t so spectacular. Now, of course visually this film is absolutely stunning…as if shot is just perfect. I’m not a fan of Brad Pitt or his acting skills but I found the boys were so wonderful I could watch them forever. What I loved most about the film is it’s non linear nature, it’s non conformity to conventional narrative structure.
Malick is daring, allowing the story to fluctuate and be told in an unconstrained manner. I enjoyed being lost and having to find my way through the film.
The audiences have been conditioned to a certain type story structure and pace that caters to the MTV inspired 30sec attention span, which is a real problem. I give full support to filmmakers who attempt to break that mold and cross the boundaries and Tree of Life does just that.
I’ll go see it again.