Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Images Festival 08 Day 6 - Tuesday April 8/08


On Day 6 of the Images Festival, I took in 2 programs: International Shorts Program VI: Blurring the Terrain or Landscape as a Verb and Live Images II: The Conversation, a.k.a. Everything is Everything. I continue to find the artistic level of the works in the festival impressive and Day 6 pushed that even further. The shorts program was fantastic and I have been looking forward to The Conversation, a.k.a. Everything is Everything from the moment I read the description of two artists having a conversation through live video.


First up we have the International Shorts Program VI: Blurring the Terrain or Landscape as a Verb a collection of shorts that present, alter and discuss landscapes. Here are the highlights.

Inger Lise Hansen
4 minutes

Impressions: Beautiful film with a jarring feel as the simple landscapes were flipped and we saw the sky below and land above. I found myself trying to understand what I was seeing but eventually drifted to enjoy the gentle beauty the film created.

nocturne (lampedusa - fort europa)
Pieter Greenen
28 minutes, silent

Impressions: Silent film can be a challenge to watch and I found this one to be very compelling. Opening shot of waves, and continued with shots of lights in the distance in various formations. An infrared camera was used to create this look which appears to the viewer as black and white, and the majority of the screen was black for the majority of the time. Various different landscapes are seen in this style, some easily recognizable like fireworks and a lighthouse and some I'm still pondering what we were seeing. I also loved the nervous giggles at one point where the direction of the light from there screen was so pinpointed on the audiences that it was as if we were the ones being watched. Fascinating and meditative exploration.

A note on silent film, I understand it can be a challenge for the audience. All of a sudden you notice how noisy the chairs can be as you hear every squeak and shift. Then, when the audience settled, then you could hear people outside the theatre. It isn't for everyone but I found this piece compelling.

(Rubin Guzman - filmmaker: City of Blind Alchemsts, Pablo de Ocampo - Images Artistic Director)

City of Blind Alchemists
Rubin Guzman
12 minutes

Impressions: Neglected and barren landscapes are shown as we are informed via voice over facts concerning the production and use of uranium historically as well as in the not so distant past. This informative and important this film challenges you to face the effects of the past and what our future will be like if change is not made.

Q&A Highlights Filmmaker Rubin Guzman was in attendance and provided the audience with insights on the film: The main motivation of the film was in wanting people to see it as it informed them of the content. The use of absence of people was intentional to present the audience witha picture of what it will be like it this doesn't stop.

(set up for The Conversation, a.k.a. Everything is Everything)

The Conversation, a.k.a. Everything is Everything
Tasman Richardson & Kentaro Taki

This was a fantastic experience. Two artists collaborating live through video with side-by-side projected images playing off each other. They informed us that they had a set of protocols on the images they were going to use including: news footage, daytime TV, nighttime TV, colour and then sound alone with the sound projected as video. It was wild to see the difference and similarities from the two sides as the collection of images were from Canada and Japan. It was such a treat to see this kind of experiment live, and a huge feat to do this kind of presentation with the simultaneous yet back and forth nature of the experiment, to see if a new image or theme brought forth would be picked up and used or not. In a lot of ways it reminded me of a MCing contest, but without the contest feel as it was very collaborative. This is a brave and exciting adventure and I am very curious to see where it leads. Kudos to both Tasman Richardson & Kentaro Taki for presenting this work, it has been the highlight of the festival.

Follow the links to find out more about Tasman Richardson or Kentaro Taki

(The artists: Tasman Richardson, Kentaro Taki)

The Images Festival runs from April 3-13/08 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Anonymous said...

I particularly love the setup for The Conversation. Looks almost like our podcasting setup! So many cables!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Cables everywhere! The Conversation was so cool, it sounds like they are going to continue to do that kind of work which is fantastic.

You should post of pic of podcasting set up :)

Suzie Ridler said...

This sounds absolutely fascinating and I love that title "City of Blind Alchemists". I love experimental stuff, this truly sounds very cool Shannon. I'm so glad you write about this kind of film, otherwise I probably would not hear about it at all!

Tasman Richardson said...

I just came across this. thank you so much for your supportive review. I hope you'll come to see the next big experiment I'll be curating in May, 2011 at the Revue cinema. until then, very best wishes!

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