One of my favorite films this year has been Boyhood. Shot over a period of 12 years, it tells the story of Mason as his life unfolds during a period between the ages of 6 and 18. Before seeing the film I imagined that it must be a wonderful spectacle; that there must be something incredible about watching a person literally come-of-age on screen. In actuality, there is no real spectacle to Boyhood. If anything, that’s the real strength of the film. Real life is made up of small fleeting moments, and Boyhood captures these in a beautifully uncinematic way. In doing so, it captures something even greater than spectacle and in its subtly it reveals something more profound.
All of this is little more than preamble to introduce Ken Murphy’s “A History of the Sky”. This project is similar to Boyhood in that its premise seems suitably epic yet its lasting impression feels more poetic than astounding. A time-lapse film shot over the period of one year, Murphy reduces the ever changing skies of San Francisco into a mere 5 minute film.
“A History of the Sky enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen.” says the self-described programmer, artist, and tinkerer. I think it’s wonderful!
I don’t understand the kind of people who appear in this video, or who appear in Kinfolk, whom the video was shot for, but I’m certainly fascinated by them. They live privileged lives that most of us can never imagine having, and for me personally I love having a voyueristic spotlight into their worlds.
Directed by Chris and Sarah Rhoads, the feature shows the life of a Yippy looking family at their lovely home in Venice Beach, California. It’s a well shot video featuring gliding steadycam shots of beautiful interiors and a charming backyard space that’s so very Venice Beach. Again, I have no idea who these kind of people are, but this gives a good look at life on the West Coast and the types of folks who reside here.
Editor’s Note: I was informed of the couple’s identities so I thought I’d clear up the mystery. The man is John Moore, who helped found the Hollister brand under Abercrombie & Fitch, who also runs The Pop Studio, and designs a fantastic menswear line called M.Nii which just won GQ’s 2014 Best New Menswear Designer of the Year. His partner Hannah Henderson and he run General Store, a fantastic home good shop in Abbott Kinney. Quite a prolific duo!
When visiting an unfamiliar city it’s always fascinating to see it through the eyes of a local. A resident of the city has an ability to show you the special places, avoiding the cliché destinations and nonsense that interests the common tourist. This is the feeling I get when I’m watching this beautifully shot short film, Paris Through Pentax.
Maison Carnot frames the video through the viewfinder of a Pentax 67, an approach that makes for an incredibly different way of looking at things. We’re all so used to taking photos with our phones these days but the viewfinder of the Pentax has such a romantic feeling to it. It’s both active and full of life but antiquated in a lot of ways. I also like that you can see the photographers hands in each shot which gives it a human element. Every now and then you see the hands keeping the focus on the subject. A subtle touch that adds to the feeling of it all.
Take me to Paris.
It’s hard to accurately describe love. It’s messy. It’s confusing. It’s a frenzy of emotions that can wash over you in an instant. Japanese director Masanobu Hiraoka, along with Barcelona based composer Aimar Molero, have together created a short film which captures all of those feelings in an orgy of colors and sexual innuendo. The combination of the frenetic images paired with the serene music is an interesting juxtaposition that feels wet and aqueous. You can’t help but be sucked into this.
Came across this amazing animation by Jim Henson that he made back in 1961 using cut-paper. It was created in his home studio in Bethesda, MD and was one of several experiment shorts inspired by jazz musician Chico Hamilton. I love the build-up of energy that he was able to capture and how he was able to visualize the sounds so perfectly.
Back in October of 2011, a small group of filmmakers, photographers and musicians travelled to the remote countryside of Iceland to document their experience, titling the film Outliers, Vol. I: Iceland. The film features photographers Tim Navis and Kim Holtermand, as well the electronic composer Deru – who composed and curated an original score based on field recordings from the trip. Now you can watch their experience in it’s entirety, which they’ve posted on Vimeo, and which I’ve embedded above.
If you enjoyed the film you should also check out the soundtrack that Deru put together, which features his original compositions as well as music from other great artists like John Talbot, Shigeto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Son Lux, Asura, Heathered Pearls, and lots more. It’s only $9 on Bandcamp, totally worth the price of two fancy coffees.
New York filmmaker Trent Jaklitsch has created a remarkable short film that documents the minutia of painting. Rather than focusing on the canvas the film focuses on the act of art making, the mixing of paint and subtle strokes that go into a larger whole.
The artist being filmed is painter Alyssa Monks who creates really wonderful large scale portraits of people. Her work is quite expressive and loose but filled with nuance and detail. It’s so interesting seeing all the details that are featured in the video and how they transform into one large, cohesive paintings.
Why do birds look the way they do? Its not very often that we question the whys of fundamental things, concepts we take for granted because it’s what we’re accustomed to. The team at Zeitguised have done just that in their playful short video Birds. They ponder if birds were made of soap bubbles, created out of leaves, had bodies made up of egg shells, and perhaps the deepest question of all: What if a bird was made out of birdhouse? Watch these bold ideas below.