WHICH MOVIE IS NOW ON THE SCREEN?

Silent Paper Movie II (Geronimo Elortegui, 2011)

Classical Hollywood gets the silent paper treatment.  I have watched this short film half a dozen times now and still have no idea who speaks when, to whom, etc.  Silent Paper plays with the problems that language and translation pose to the image, particularly in the silent era.

CONTEMPORARY SILENT CINEMAS

Sent from someone’s iPhone (30 May 2011)

A couple of days ago, my colleague Paul Flaig brought a fascinating trend to my attention.  In the wake of Hugo and The Artist, a wave of new media applications have emerged that transform (ho-hum) full color and sound video into hi-def mimics of the silent era.   See here, here, and here.  The “Silent Film Director” app reached a startling 300,000 uploads in April of this year.  As Paul pointed out, the reviews and comments on these applications are perhaps strangest of all (esp. for those who have spent years trying to get students excited about silent cinema).  Just one example here.  “The effects are really cool.  You have black and white…”

SUMMERTIME IN SCOTLAND

July was a month of endless rain, many deadlines, and one fantastic screening of early film fragments at the Woodend Barn in Banchory.  The highlight of the evening was Melancholia, a rescoring and reimagining of a film from the Miles Brothers by Ross Whyte (electronics) and Richard Craig (contrabass flute).   The film captures a trolley ride through Main Street, San Francisco, just days before the 1906 earthquake.  It is filled with remarkable (audio and visual) moments.  Keep yours eyes peeled for the child in the back of a horse-drawn carriage who pulls back the curtain and magically appears.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/46316708  w=575&h=400]

DIGITS AND HANDS

Lose a few hours of your life exploring Gregory Zinman’s excellent digital archive of handmade cinema.  The project was born out of his 2011 dissertation, Handmade: The Moving Image in the Digital Mode (NYU).  It is at once an expansive, annotated guide to some of the most fascinating moving-image experimenters of the 20th and 21st centuries and an experiment unto itself in digital taxonomy.