2011 Presentation at The 2nd Festival at MILLENNIUM FILM WORKSHOP
THANK YOU, Keara Castaldo, for making this transcription !
THANK YOU, P & V Enterprises for recording the panel !
This panel is FREE, open to the public, and everyone is welcome!
Experimental film–what does it mean and to whom?
We will include the audience in exploring each artist’s work and questioning why have a “women’s” film festival?
A conversation with international filmmakers was expanded from 5 local filmmakers to 8 participants, led by AXWFF Director, Lili White
FILMMAKERS (from left to right): Angela Ferraiolo, Rachael Guma, Alice Cohen, Cinzia Sarto (traveled from Italy), Rebecca Tiernan (traveled from England), Kelly Oliver (traveled from upstate NY), Courtney Krantz, Noe Kidder, Lili White.
A panel discussion, moderated by curator Lili White, presented on November 5 , 2011 at MILLENNIUM FILM WORKSHOP included 8 international participating filmmakers, giving them an opportunity to be seen and heard by the public; presenting their own ideas about their work.
AXWFF features work that is simply “the best of recent moving image work made by a woman” — not necessarily institutionally sanctioned or based or feminist theory. The films were assessed on a piece by piece basis. The curator sought a raw power rigorously expressing the ecstatic, the personal mind and/or story that was often based on the artists’ lived experience, and sometimes formed from their own “mission statement.” Some work, may never have been seen in a public forum, but acted as a motion picture diary— obviously made to share with an audience.
AXWFF asks: why is our society missing these voices? Don’t we care to see a different perception that rolls against the tide of what is often programmed? All these filmmakers investigate life on their own terms, and experiment with the medium.
PANEL DISCUSSION moderated by curator Lili White
Transcription completed by Keara Castaldo
with filmmakers: Noe Kidder, Courtney Krantz, Kelly Oliver, Rebecca Tiernan, Alice Cohen, Rachel Guma, Cinzia Sarto, Angela Ferraiolo
Lili White: I guess if everyone could talk about what we saw and what we’re going to see this evening, and say whatever you’d like to about it and we’ll just go down the line.
Noe Kidder: I made the short film, MY FATHER WAS A GANGSTER with the black and white 16MM with the floating frame. I started out reading LEAVES of GRASS and I started out wanting to make a portrait of New York City and then moved forward — I was thinking a lot about film and September 11th and how pictures of the different missing persons throughout the city and I thought it would be interesting to make a portrait of a missing person but also sort of a portrait of myself in that way too, imagining myself in that situation… and I also had this weird title in my head: “My Father Was A Gangster”— and I don’t know where it came from. So told my friend, Tin and she said, “My father was a gangster.” and told me the story that I made into voiceover in the film. I was shooting a lot around New York sometimes with her, sometimes with other performers. The film is structured around this soundtrack.
Courtney Krantz: DROP STILL is a study in montage and the moving body. I was interested in the transference of body movement to camera movement and vice versa. Essentially, it is a type of duet between camera and body.
Kelly Oliver: THE BOROUGH has nighttime shots with rain. It’s kind of about “Parenthood” in the sense that I was feeling very protective of my daughter and I wanted to make a piece that spoke a little bit about that. So I shot a lot of the footage around the borough that I live in at night; and I also had images of my daughter when she was catching fireflies. The soundtrack is a phrase that I took from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which was “There are a lot of ugly things in this world that I wish I could protect you from them, that’s never possible.” In my daughter’s voiceover she says sort of part of it, but she couldn’t get the whole thing out, (she’s around 3 years old). So I used some audio from some other sources as well. I was a exploring the ideas behind the phrase. Nothing actually “happens” in the film but there is potential for something to happen in terms of the moving-ness of it and sort of what you are seeing in exterior shots.
Rebecca Tiernan: I did ONE MISSISSIPPI with the girls in the field playing skipping rhymes. The point I really wanted to illuminate was how film itself is a belief system and how it’s a passive activity and I think that’s essentially what I was trying to say.
Cinzia Sarto: UNA SPORCA VACANZA (THE DIRTY VACATION) was my first piece in 2005 I was trying to understand what experimental film means. “Experimental” comes from “experience” to live in the moment and being the moment. This work was a series of documentary images that I was taking and that I wove into a kind of tapestry that made it a singular piece. It actually was a combination of different situations or places that were coming together using computer editing tools. It’s a piece about looking for one’s own voice, in fact at the end the audio, the voice you hear is the letter “Aah” which in Italian means “A” which is the beginning of the alphabet, so it’s a film about getting rid of the garbage and understanding the garbage surrounding us and being able to digest that to continue your path. To find some kind of voice in the mystery.
Alice Cohen: I made the soundtrack of TRANCE ACTIONS with a synthesizer. The visual uses some live footage that’s mixed in, however it’s mostly animation made out of cut-out paper images that I find. I used a lot of “new age” imagery, like dolphins and meditative things, chakras — and it’s a little tongue in cheek but it’s also about layers of consciousness and using such imagery to achieve different layers of consciousness. For me, when I animate, I go into a sort of trance and meditation; so it’s playing with the imagery but also commenting on the state of mind that I get into when I work And the music is part of it too.
Rachel Guma: My work is called 18FPS/45RPM/3SPI. The 18 FPS is going to be projected on Super 8, the 45 RPM is the sound of a record player, and the 3 SPI is stitches per inch. It uses the image of the apparatus of a sewing machine, so the needle going up and down, and I took that Super 8, blew it up onto 16MM, hand processed that, then I took mono filament which is like fishing wire, and I sewed on the 16MM film, and then I projected it back and I shot it back on Super 8 and then I hand-processed that and that’s what you’ll see tonight.
Angela Ferraiolo: I have the installation YOU! THE LAST FOUR SECONDS. I’ve been working with processing digital images abstractly. When you start working with images digitally, you can think of some very abstract idea and say, I wonder what that looks like? A common exploit is to make a softer mirror where you stand in front of a camera see yourself going through some sort of image process. In this piece, you can see yourself in the present time and what you looked like just a few seconds ago. And that’s what’s great about digital processing is you can ask “what would it be like if I took the structure of the snap equation or this natural process and showed it to you in video sequence?” Sometimes you get awful stuff, but sometimes you get spectacular stuff that you’ve never really seen before. So I’m having a really good time with it. But of course I love film and I love that image also, so I think that’s what inspires all of us working digitally.
LW: Angela, you invented that algorithm is that correct, is that the right term?
Angela: Yeah, exactly. If you watch montage, whoever cut that film together has an algorithm running in their head, whether they call it that or not they’re following some principle. And this is just more formalized and reading the computer programming. I’ve formalized that process into a structure that relates to another system of knowledge but it’s not any different than what everyone does intuitively in the editing room.
LW: And you also have taken some of this material and formed individual movies out of it?
Angela: Yeah, totally. Algorithms have personalities, visually, to me.
LW: So not everything you do is interactive?
Angela: No. But it’s all still in the camera. You know, when you go out and use your camera, that’s really the beginning of it. Even if you’re doing something that sounds like its from the other side of the aisle-like from a math department— you still have to have the image in your camera, as all of you making films know…
LW: Alice, you are a musician. When you make your pieces, do you do the sound first and then manipulate the image into place?
Alice Cohen: I started animating and then made music videos and in between I make my own pieces. Sometimes I make music videos for myself, but when I do a piece that’s not a music video, I tend to put the music in afterwards. And for some reason since both rhythms are coming out of me, they tend to work together, both the visual rhythm and the musical rhythm. I do somehow tend to fit the music in, unless it’s a music video then it’s the other way around. I think they bounce back and forth all the time, off of each other.
LW: Rachel, Your piece deals with sewing. So do you want to say anything about why you’re doing a piece like that, which is really a performance piece? And you’re using Super 8 which as we know there’s all these issues about the death of film right now.
Rachel Guma: Well, I’m very fascinated by outdated technologies you know, like Super 8, analog sound, … And I heard that someone sewed on film before; so I did that too and then I found out all these things like how the needle in the sewing machine is similar to like the apparatus in a film projector: the down pause up, the up pause, and then the around kind of thing both the sewing machine and the projector use. Also: women were the first editors in film because they could sew and they thought women sewing is similar to women editing, the cutting and splicing and things like that — I found out about these these connections after I made this piece.
And it builds and grows. When doing live sound or projecting film, each performance is always a different experience every time. Who knows if that needle is going to slip on the record player and then it makes a whole completely different sound and a whole completely different thing and that’s what fascinates me about it.
LW: Kelly your piece is very colorful and you mentioned the lightning bugs- why did you pick those images like the Christmas lights…?
Kelly Oliver: They have an association with childhood, and that was sort of my main motivation with it and it was really just kind of gathering footage of my neighbor’s decorations that they put up. There’s another scene looking through my neighbor’s window and I just wanted to continue that but then sort of adding the Christmas lights to it tones down that voyeurism sort of thing but they mesh together towards the end of the piece along with the child’s voice that is talking about colors.
LW: Courtney, you worked with a dancer in this piece, and in other pieces that you’ve made. Can you tell us a little bit about your procedure, how you work with them?
Courtney Krantz: I’ve developed the material and then I’ve transferred the information to the performer during the process. It might be more information or less information depending on where the process takes us. I have my set score and then we go from there.
LW: So it’s kind of like a storyboard, the score?
Courtney: Yeah, yeah it’s a storyboard.
LW: And you want them to move through space in this certain way?
Courtney Krantz:: Right.
LW: And you use a Bolex?
Courtney Krantz: Yeah.
LW: Which you have to hand-crank?
Courtney Krantz: Yeah and that’s another limitation put on what the film will actually be. So for me it inevitably turned DROPSTILL into a montage-based piece just because of the stipulation in time and where that would go. Working with the Bolex definitely delegates how you use time, and therefore shoot.
LW: Cinzia, was that an actual beach in Italy ?
Cinzia Sarto: It was an actual beach but it was not in the same place where those cement cubes are.
LW: And what are those cement cubes?
Cinzia Sarto: They’re actually made to stop the waves on the shore and they were left abandoned on the shore.
LW: And the dead animals, they were there?
Cinzia Sarto: Yeah, and then towards my filming I kept coming across them, and so they became part.
LW: You studied architecture. Do you think that has influenced the way you forged ahead with your films?
Cinzia Sarto: Yes I think I would stop thinking the same way. What interests me is the relationship between the body and the space they inhabit, so I just am much more free to experiment in this medium than I was in architecture because there are so many constraints and there are so many economics and it becomes much more difficult to work as much.
LW: How did you decide you were going to make a film?
Cinzia Sarto:: I just knew I wanted to make a piece I just didn’t know what I was doing. So I was very quiet and didn’t tell anything to anybody. I had a very good friend who is English; and just waited for months for me to do what I had to do and just took me around. Then I started weaving this world that is a kind of translation of the real world that I was seeing and what was most interesting was how as you (Sarto points to another filmmaker) said before: you start with an intuition and if you let yourself go with that things start coming towards you and you get to a point in which you are surprised by what we generally call “coincidence”. But I think it’s a kind of openness that you can make for yourself and it’s a very exciting way of living; because all of a sudden, what you are making and what you are seeing is in flux, is together.
LW: And Rebecca, your title ONE MISSISSIPPI?
Rebecca Tiernan: The reason it’s called ONE MISSISSIPPI is because of the climax of the film. The women play hide and seek in a field, and they must count down to the number one. In playing this game, they give themselves there to the scarecrow; and they give themselves to “this God”; and they gives themselves to the power of belief in the film. So that’s why it’s called ONE MISSISSIPPI — it’s the pinnacle of the film.
LW: And how did this film arise? What did you do first and what happened in the making of it?
Rebecca Tiernan: I’ve always been a bit obsessed with Southern Gothic books and films and Southern music and a lot of previous films I’ve made have had connotations of that and I wanted to manifest them into something else. I don’t really know how it came about it was just an idea that popped in and again as Cinzia was saying you just kind of get in to the flow of things and it just kind of manifests into something else.
LW: And how did you discover the music you used?
Rebecca Tiernan: I wanted to use music that I could use publicly and so I started looking at film music archive places and I went to the Florida Film and Archive and started listening to old work songs and this one seemed to work best I like the rhythm of it, the beats of it, the pauses. And so I chose that one.
LW: Noe, a lot of your past work you’ve used puppets, like painted material, like literally painted in a studio, so this piece seems a little bit different because of what the images are. Do you want to say anything about that?
Noe Kidder: I’ve only started to recently work with actors. We do project a lot onto actors, and even if they have a strong character we still project onto them. I have been criticized about using my actors, so they seem like puppets. I think it’s both a strength and a weakness, but it plays and I let it play with that a little. I don’t know for sure if that’s what’s going on in this particular piece, but certainly the figures in the film take on different meanings like puppets. I don’t think they necessarily have one specific meaning.
LW: I like to ask everyone; How has your background influenced your work? Or places you’ve been?, the landscape?, and anyone can just chime in if you have any thoughts about that.
Alice Cohen: I was thinking about that earlier because I’m sort of a child of the sixties, and I feel like I’m super interested now in finding old things from that past psychedelic era and I feel like that’s all coming out now. I did collages and things when I was young, but now that I’m older, it’s all sort of exploding— all this stuff that I had seen as a child and all these images I was sort of paying attention to I’m just sort of scavenging and finding and pulling and collecting and throwing out there again, through my lens. The more I make stuff and look at the work, the more I’m looking around me, and I feel like my eyes are going to pop out of my head, just from all the things I have seen and things I want to make out of that. It’s very reflexive.
LW: All of you entered this film festival that accepted only work by women. Do you think that being a woman has influenced a work? Do you think a woman makes work differently than a man? Do you have any thoughts about that? And/or why should we have a women’s film festival at this points in our life? Or I should say, at this point? Feminism started in the seventies, is this something that a necessary? Are you comfortable with this? Do you feel like you have to defend it?
Cinzia Sarto: I don’t have to defend it. I think if we look back we can see that in the past history of film there were few women that were able to make their work and I can name a few which have been great inspirations to me. I am curious to know what women think and how they imagine, and that’s why I want to be in a situation like this, just because it’s not that often that it happens that you can come in contact with that, and of course we make different things, we are different. We are women. That doesn’t make use any better or worse than men. We just have a different perception and that makes me curious. Also I think somehow restriction can create certain energies that can generate very interesting perception. And because somehow women’s working is more restricted sometimes it’s more interesting, any kind of minority that is producing something is more interesting to me, because it comes from a place of un-comfortableness. But I think that being uncomfortable sometimes, especially seeing in the view of today where we are too comfortable, can open up different motivations and so I think it is interesting to look at that aspect of this.
LW: So why do you make your work? How did you get started? Why do you continue to do that? Has anyone ever thought about this at all?
Cinzia Sarto: It’s an illness. It’s a disease (everyone laughs) No— it’s a cure for the disease! This is what we do to cure ourselves. Otherwise we all kill ourselves.
Angela Ferraiolo: It’s more an image for me, like an image that I see in the world or one that I see in my imagination that I feel like I can produce. But it’s always an image, it’s never…—would you say the same?
Noe Kidder: Yeah, when I need something to say it could be totally visual
Angela Ferraiolo: Yeah exactly, there’s something you see, and you need to capture it.
Rebecca Tiernan: In some ways it kind of articulates something that can’t be said. If it’s a visual medium that you want to express it’s the only way you can do it.
Cinzia Sarto: Also we are talking about something specific, which is experimental film, and I think that it’s a very different place to produce from, because experimental to me means to be without expectation, which is very different than doing in a commercial film, and films that have been ordered, and any thing else, because you have to place yourself in that position of nothing in expectation, and that gives you a lot of fear but a lot of freedom to go in different directions so it’s also a way of understanding that could lead into anything. So it’s a way of being I think, besides a way of working and accompanying.
LW: Do any of your care about an audience? I mean you must want people to see this if you put it into a film festival. What if there were no film festivals? What would we do then? What do you think of YOUTUBE and putting your work on there?
Angela Ferraiolo: It’s good if the festivals would not care, then it would be fine.
Alice Cohen: They don’t all care because I’ve gotten into a lot of film festivals from people seeing my work online.
Angela Ferraiolo: but, a lot of time they really do care though.
Alice Cohen: It’s just your stuff looks different on the internet, I get a lot of exposure with my music videos say, which are like little films to me, they’re not just music videos they are my films, my work, and but I get a lot of exposure that way to the point where I almost don’t think about film festivals as much because I feel like that’s a way that lots of people see them, but I think I would make it work anyway because I just can’t stop, this is something I have to do, and it’s nice to get feedback and it’s nice to share but I almost get so in my bubble when I’m working on stuff that it’s not a concern. Just the next step after you finish—you want to share it.
LW: And what about when you work absolutely needs to be seen live?
Rachael Guma: This is the perfect opportunity to show my work, to share it with other people and to share that possibility that something might happen wrong or the film might burn — catastrophes that could be something really great, like happy accidents or something. I love that and I love the people around to experience that at the same time. I also work with a film group and it’s great because you just have all of these people doing these live things together and then you work off each other you feed off each other so I actually am the opposite I don’t put anything on YOUTUBE, all of my films remain on film, just because that’s how I feel about it.
Noe Kidder: I feel like the audience is actually part of the work, not even in the screening; but in the making of it, and sometimes quite literally— it could be the people you are working with on the project. But somehow other artists are your audience too. From the very beginning, they’re there, and not necessarily someone to receive what you’re thinking or what you’re doing but they’re the inspiration. They’re there from the very start.
LW: So other artists
Noe Kidder: are the world…
LW: …the audience for this kind of filmmaking?
Noe Kidder: Well not exactly— I think anyone could be the audience— but sort of that, that world that the audience lives in is at the very beginning of the work and almost the reason to make the work.
From a Member of the Audience: sometimes they feed back into your work…
Noe Kidder: Well not so much in this piece but I feel like the audience can be a central player in the work, and it could be this audience, or it could just be “an idea” of an audience.
LW: And the film you’re working on now, very much has that at it’s core.
LW: What about spaces like the Millenium Film Workshop?- this has been around for years but with all the internet access and with people not living in certain neighborhoods smaller film houses are going under because of all the financial burdens. Do you have any thoughts about that? What is it like in Europe? Are there places like this in Europe that you screen in?
Cinzia Sarto: Italy is a little bit of a desert right now.
LW: Because of the financial crisis?
Cinsia Sarto: Because of the financial crisis, because of some kind of lost direction of the culture.
LW: So it’s not just a money thing, you feel.
Cinsia Sarto: No. But of course the money is taken away from these sorts of things, from the arts, from film industry if you analyse that, but I think it is also kind of a general confusion in the culture.
Noe Kidder: Is that about identity?
Cinsia Sarto: Yes.
LW: Do we think this is a global issue?
Other filmmakers: Yeah, yeah.
LW: Rebecca how about in England? You’re based in England now, right? Are there little screening houses like this?
Rebecca Tiernan: I mean, not particularly, if anyone is doing it it’s just a group of friends with a projector and a white wall, which is nice, it’s great, and you have Screen on the Green Fun meets where it’s a nice sunny day, some people put on a screening on a field. But something as intimate as this, as the people who make their own work putting it on, I don’t think so.
LW: Would anyone from the audience like to ask anything?
From a Member of the Audience: For pieces that you that you had a very particular message that you wanted to convey in it, have you ever felt like you’ve had to compromise the media or the creativity of the piece in order to express that message?
Or, do you feel as though creativity and the media that you use traditionally in your work or dream up as a creator comes first? and is never compromised by trying to express that message?
LW: I’ll answer that. My piece was the kind of the verbal assault piece about food, about agriculture, and I’ve shown that piece to quite a few people and they tell me I can’t make a film this way. But I really wanted to make it relentless like that because I feel like we’re constantly bombarded with images and sounds, and the way the news media is deliberately presenting events in asensationalist manner; and really all kind of things are constantly pulling at us like the internet, e-mail… and yet, at the same time, I feel that we’re not really communicating with each other. A lot of people will not get on the phone and talk to each other, or talk to each other face to face. One reason why I wanted to make this festival was so something like that would have to happen. I decided to do it with women because I’m a woman. And so, I got a lot of flack about THE KITCHEN SINK, but I didn’t really care.
Noe Kidder: I didn’t really understand the last part of your question. You’re saying, “does your media compromise your creativity, or do feel like you’re just holding on to the idea and you don’t..”— is that what you’re talking about?
The Member of the Audience: Um, well I guess part of the beauty and the nature of experimental film or experimental art in general is that the creator generally believes that there’s no other way to communicate this particular message without the exact combination of images or sounds that they use no matter how un-conventional they are, and I was wondering if you ever felt that you had a message, a particular image or feeling or statement you wanted to make, like you were saying with the food, that perhaps it was more important to you that that message be conveyed, even if you took more of a traditional approach to it — maybe you had to compromise using your own experimental style because you felt it was necessary to communicate what you are saying more easily to the viewer…
Alice Cohen: I feel like compromise should never be part of your art if you can help it. I mean if someone’s paying you to do a job and it’s something like that, then maybe you would have to compromise but with your own work I feel like there should be no compromise. Compromise should never even really come up, in your thinking process. Because then you’re kind of doubting your work in some way and not being true to yourself and your message should be no compromise, your message should be getting our your expression and not compromising that in any way, so I feel like compromises aren’t really something that for me ever comes up, I try to do the opposite. Whatever the opposite of compromise is! That’s what I try to do, just sort of pure…
Noe Kidder: But there sometimes are accidents, or problems you might encounter— I think your reaction to that is some kind of
Alice Cohen: Problem solving
Noe Kidder: Yes, not part of the experiment.
from a Member of the Audience: Do experimental films always have to have a message?
Noe Kidder: I don’t think so
Cinzia Sarto: You need to communicate; which is different from having a message.
LW: With the work that has been submitted, I’ve seen a lot of work that it does seem like there’s some underlying message or a bigger issue. There is purely abstract work base on light or a certain rhythm or with a limited number of images but I don’t know if I think that that’s primarily coming out of women filmmakers or not but I have noticed that. And maybe that’s just what’s getting sent to me.
Noe Kidder: Depends if you mean that that’s a message or not, or if it’s a formal message of just light or form, color, or shape….
From a Member of the Audience: I think there’s a difference between film signifying or perusing meaning in a viewer and the filmmaker’s intent. It may be that when one makes a film its that the process is what’s important. It sounds like in your film that the process is very important.
And that may not have to do too specifically with a particular message, it might just be about that the materials are sensuous and interesting to you and significant, what with sewing and film cameras and projectors, and those devices. It might just be an exploration and in your point, sometimes when we do experiments and most of the time when we do experiments, we don’t actually know the outcome is going to be and as such, we just allow the process to take its course and then what happens is what happens.
Noe Kidder: It’s an experiment
from a Member of the Audience: I think then maybe there’s less of a….— your film can still have a message, can still sort of read it that way, but there may not have been any intended message. That’s not a question, just a thought…
LW: Are there any other questions?
from a Member of the Audience: This question is specifically for Angela, I’m curious if you come from a film/video background where you screened your work in a separate theatrical setting. Do you see this kind of installation work as an evolution or as a really different exploration of the different forms of media. And, do you show the work that is produced from the installation as a film in and of itself?
Angela Ferraiolo: I do see this work as an evolution of sequential image I just begin making films at a point in time when technology has moved past celluloid- for me- and so I began making films on the computer and I was also around a lot of computeres, it was also very affordable to do it, and so that can be debated. I would love to see more experimentation with image process of all kinds— what medical image is doing with image processing right now is phenomenal. I would love to see the film committee open to that. Not everyon is , the ball’s in your court. There are people that come up to me, and we’ll be having a normal conversation and when they find out that because a lot of my images are “written”, like, I do write out a color filter for a movie, that I can write them out to make the filters exactly as I like them, that we’re having a great conversation and as soon asthey find out it wasn’t made on film, they say, “Oh, excuse me”, and they just walk away. And I think that that is a common feeling among digital filmmakers. The second question, has this work been showing as a tradition piece or why do I make it as a movie, it’s the same reason anyone makes a movie, this is an interactive piece, if you really want the audience to play it
A Member of the Audience: Actually no I didn’t mean “why do you make it as a movie”, I meant “HOW you make it as a movie.”
Angela Ferraiolo: Well this (installation) piece is interactive so it has to have an inter-actor. A movie that’s made whereby it is generatee algorithmically, you write an algorithm, you spend a while getting it to make a movie that you like, and then you just run the computer many times and have it print out the frames in the sequence that the algorithm prints them out. And then you save that chain of image sequence, which is how special effects filmmakers work, they work with image sequences, because the computer’s rendering process is so complex. And you can bring that back into an editing program and make a movie with it. You can get an especially nice print of your algorithm.
Noe Kidder: are you using the camera to shoot…?
Angela Ferraiolo: you shoot with a digital camera, and then burn it to the computer, but I work frame by frame — it’s like animation.
From A Member of the Audience: Do you see the installation in more of the gallery setting and then what frame by frame film you produce after is that more of a theater setting? What’s the context?
Angela Ferraiolo: Yeah I think this is more of a gallery piece, it can be, you’re sort of dealing with the way venues see themselves more than how you see things. At a film festival people don’t really want your Macintosh computer showing up at the film festival, they would much rather have a DVD or a digital file, that’s what they’re set up to screen. And this installation can live anywhere, and it really changes: in a gallery it has one personality, at a party it has another personality, it’s an interactive piece it really becomes part of where you show it. So it’s pretty flexible.
From A Member of the Audience: I think a lot about the death of film and I was just reading an article in NY Magazine last week, about Tacita Dean (sorry, I’m a painter) but she has a big installation in the tape, and she only works in 16MM, and when she read to do this installation the last lab that processed 16 went under in London. And I have this conversation very often with my friends that work in 16, and it kind of goes back to an earlier question that Lili posed but only one person answered, and that is: do people think 8 or 16 mm film is more of a tactile medium, that projects more resonance, and so thinking about yourself as women, where sort of the medium is the message and you feel like, many people work from their body, and it’s sort of messier and diaristic (I’m thinking about Schneeman) , do you think that the death of film as a medium is going to impact women adversely? Or are you content to work with digital, I don’t know how many people were working with it.
Alice Cohen: I think it’s what you do with whatever you’re using. And I think that although it’s dwindling it’s not dead and it’s probably not going to be dead, just like vinyl records are having a resurgence, and CDs still outsell vinyl but vinyl has had a huge resurgence and people said that was dead, so I think the things that are tactile and that peopl love will continue even if it’s a small group and you know it’s not going to die out. There is a richness to film that is not there in video but there are other things that are there in video sometimes that are not there in film, it’s what you do, to make it look rich and to have depth, unless you want a cold thing and that’s something else. It’s choices, it’s choices that people make and I don’t think one is more feminine or not feminine or anything like that. I think it’s what you do with it.
Kelly Oliver: I don’t actually even always think about 16mm as being tactile because when I use it myself I immediately transfer it to video and it’s more about the way it looks for me as opposed to physically running it through a projector. I agree it’s one of those things where people who have cameras are going to continue to use them, but it’s a small number of people, they’re not actively producing the cameras on a large scale anymore so it’s rests more on if you can find it and be able to use it.
LW: Any of you who shoot on film- are you horrified that its being shown on DVD? How do you feel about that?
Noe Kidder: I think its fine, that how I edit it. I think it all depends on the kind of projection that you’re doing, and it makes it easier to have a festival…
Courtney Krantz: I also edit on Final Cut but each venue has a different capacity and its not always an option. For me shooting on film, I have certain considerations. Coming from a photographic background, film is about working with light, but is accessible to have something on a tape or DVD.
LW: Is it more important to have something seen or not seen? DVD makes it cost effective and easy to mail out…
Angela Ferraiolo: Its a strange medium cause you have that choice. With painting, you go see the painting, its not a choice. And the same with film, you need to see that film. But this is a weird “in-between” in this technology right now and I don’t know if its really a choice.
From A Member of the Audience: The key thing is that it is not mechanically reproducible
Angela Ferraiolo: That’s exactly what I’m saying
Noe Kidder: How much of a mass media is it is relative…
From A Member of the Audience: As a painter, I went to get my work photographed last year, and now I can no longer get a 4” x 5” transparency any more. But to reproduce them digitally, I don’t think it has the richness when they are reproduced that way.
Angela Ferraiolo: That’s exactly what I’m saying, but no one seriously goes to a paintings and asks which is better: the photograph of your painting or the reproduction of it…I would never ask this question. But filmmakers are put in this position all the time and of course they would like to see it projected as film. Filmmakers are in a difficult position right now…
the Member of the Audience: to continue: how all these different mediums and economics right now and different version of many different lengths of one’s piece. I wonder if one has a different attitude towards what their film is: is it a precise of precise length or do you have a more flexible attitude about what your actual piece is…?
Noe Kidder: I thought about this because of a longer piece: Because of how we make DVDs with chapters and how it would be received if I broke it down into chapters, how it could be read different way in a longer format work. Its something to think about but I don’t know what direction that will go in yet, but I wouldn’t be thinking about that without that possibility existing now…
Lili White: I think editing in a “collage” fashion using Final Cut gives you a lot of leeway and you do get different ideas when you are examining what you do. Since it is so fluid, if you work on a consistent basis, you can have something like 10 different movies all made with the same collage pieces. Something made using Final Cut lends itself to that— you can change it in one little way like invert the color to come up with a whole other version of it.
Another Experiment by Women Film Festival promotes and screens moving images in any media, made by women, that encourage critical thinking and dialogue.
News & Screenings:
- Berger Nissen (Expanded Cinema Performance) June 13
- Olivia Ciummo & Tara Merenda Nelson in PSYCHIC PANIC
- underground film journal (dot) com
- Issue #2 NON/FICTIONS ISSUE of CANYON CINEMAGAZINE, featurCANYON CINEMAGAZINE’s article on AXW Panel Discussion by COURTNEY FELLON
- CLAUDIA SIEFEN’s film – BEEN WAITING FOR YOU SO LONG- at M°BA CENTRAAL from June 9 – July 21, 2013
- 12/7/12 – AMERICAN DREAMS / NIGHTMARES curated by Noe Kidder
- 12/ 8 /12- JOEY HUERTAS AKA JANE PUBLIC AND SUZANA STANKOVIC at Mono No Aware
- 12/13, 14,15 – Lynne Sachs’ “Your Day is My Night”