Over Christmas ::: http://vimeo.com/39613317
I took a little road trip to Vermont, to my friend Tennessee Watson and her father Bill.
Their beautiful house on the creek, a “hotbed for radical feminism” was once owned by Aunt Lou,
a jailbird Suffragette, who fought for women’s right to vote in Vermont. Here’s her-story.
I’ve been quite busy developing my next project, feature documentary which I am shooting this summer in Cyprus…loosely based on an interview i did with Simon Khan. In thinking about the structure of the film, I’m exploring non traditional documentary forms, others ways of expressing and telling a story and so I have been researching such works.
I picked out a few highlights from experimental filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha’s book Woman, Native, Other - to stay on the topic of feminism. Her writing is abstract, involved and provoking, as are her films, here are some of her thoughts :
"In this unwonted spectacle made of reality and fiction, where redoubled images form and reform, neither I nor you come first. No primary core of irradiation can be caught hold of, no hierarchical first, second, or third exists except as mere illusion. All is empty when one is plural. Yet how difficult is it to keep our mirrors clean…Theory oppresses, when it wills or perpetuates existing power relations, when it presents itself as a means to exert authority - the Voice of Knowledge…And theory as a tool of survival needs to be rethought in relation to gender in discursive practice… He who represents his own discourse on myths as a myth is acutely aware of the illusion of all reference to a subject as absolute center. The packaging of myths must somehow bear the form of that which it attempts to enclose, if it wishes to come closest to its subject. One cannot seize without smothering,for the will to freeze (capture) brings about a frozen (emptied) object.”
I also recently read an interesting interview with Armenian filmmaker Artavazd Peleshian in which he talks about his “distance montage” method which “creates a magnetic field around the film…it allows you to defeat time…when you reach the end, you’re also back at the beginning…And the effect is that the film revolves; it is “revolution” in a new sense…Orbits are created. Sound and image cross each other, intersect each other, switch, change territories. The sound enters the territory of the picture and the image enters the territory of the sound. You start to see the sound, and you hear the picture”.
He closes his the interview with a thought that deeply resonates with me personally when talking about film and ones work:
"I’ve tried to simplify things to get ideas across. But my films are precisely not about language, about verbal communications. The difficulty is that one cannot express with words what one finds in my films. If it were possible to say it with words, the films would be useless. Words cannot express it. One should not talk about films, one should watch them. This is why I have always been against interviews."
In terms of films to watch, I also checked out a screening of Yugoslavian Experimental Films this past week at Anthology Archives.
Two that stuck out the most are Zelimir Zilnik’s Inventory and Ivica Matic’s Classifieds. They are probably hard to find, but worth noting.