Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I liked the longer ones that told a specific story the best.
The one I was most excited to see what the one about the restaurant, because I work at a restaurant, but it turned out to be a lot less exciting then I thought.
One final note about Koyaanisqatsi. I realize most of you hated it and your entitled to you opinions, but I don't feel that the wording of some blogs was quite necessary. I'm sorry but calling it a turd is not a mature critique of art. When researching it online, almost every website praises it and many consider it one of the most important films of our lifetime. In fact the U.S. Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant". I just had to defend it one last time.
By Sarah Richards
"Do you believe that images have lost some of there intended effects due to the desensitization that people have acquired from media and tragedies?"
I do believe this statement is true because people will always look at images through their own life experiences. Artist have always used images with their own visions of what is being said to them, and hope that others will view it in the same way.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Chad Miltenberger asks this question in his reading response to Jerry Mander
Is it really possible to erase images from your memory?
My response....no, okay it is possible if you lose your memory...but without some injury to the brain (mental or physical), I don't believe you can fully erase memories. This question and Mander, got me thinking about memories I have of events I saw on tv as a child, namely the Jonestown massacre-sparked because of the CNN show this past weekend Inside the Jonestown Massacre. This month marks the 30th anniversary (sounds odd, like it is a celebration-which it is not). It's difficult for me to decipher what I thought was real at the time this massacre happened because most of what I recall about the event came from a docu-drama, taken from the real...a simulacrum of sorts. Watching the CNN show allowed me to blur that "fictional" memory I had of Jonestown, but it didn't allow me to fully erase what I believed to be true, because I saw it on tv.
Back in 1978, when Jonestown happened, we didn't have cable, in fact I don't remember watching tv at home on a daily basis, until I was about eleven. We didn't have CNN or other news channels to run 24 hour long coverage of dramatic news events, the only thing close was 60 minutes. My early tv experience mainly happened at my grandparents on their color Zenith console. On the weekends I'd stay the night there-the sleep over usually consisted of some heart stopping delicious meal and television after dinner. Typically my grandparents liked to watch cop dramas like Kojak, Barnaby Jones or Cannon. but they also gravitated towards docu-dramas (since there was no CNN to fill that gap with "real" drama). So a couple of years after the real Jonestown tragedy, this show comes on about Jonestown and I watched it with my grandparents. (You can see this clip, sorry...embedding is disabled.) This is where my memory of what was real, what was a simulation of the real, becomes grey-I cannot tell you what is fact or fiction. I don't know if I originally learned about Jonestown from the news or a tv movie. To this day, if I look at Powers Boothe, I see Jim Jones. Watching a made for tv movie was real to me, if not more, than the actual photographs and footage from the massacre (on tv news and in print).
I'm not a follower of Mander (and I love my tv) but he brings up some ideas that make me question how tv has shaped me over the years. I'd like to think I wasn't a naive television viewer as a kid, my Mom sold television advertising and I often watched the news being broadcast right in the studio. I knew how the magic worked inside that box and what supported it (ads). But I was just a kid and perhaps trying to analyse the horrible events of Jonestown was beyond my capacity..."what we don't know scares us". Here are the facts I know, I don't like Kool-Aid, I have no desire to go to Guyana, I don't care for 'leaders', and I've got issues about the tv movie Helter Skelter-this spooked me too, it took a long time for me to realize that Charles Manson was in prison and not living in my town.
Maybe in the long run, CNN has made us more sophisticated as viewers. We don't have to rely on those two hour tv movies-a dramatization of what may have happened. We can watch an event take place immediately and continue watching the talking heads analyze the event for weeks (or years) to come. Perhaps it is not sophistication, maybe sophistication is just a replacement for desensitization?
Monday, November 17, 2008
I also thought the political use of youtube was the way to go this year. I wasn't alway able to catch all the Presidential speeches when they ran on TV but was able to catch up using YouTube. I found President Barack Obama's acceptance speech inspirational and find it amazing that through the power of YouTube anyone in the world can watch it at anytime.
At the NW Film Festival I went to see Politics of Sand. It was a film based on Oregon's beaches. It was interesting to learn about Oregon's shoreline and also learning that Oregon is the only state in the US that has all public owned beaches. Every other state has some privately owned shorelines where the public cannot access the beaches. This was a huge war in 1967 to decide who owned what and government ultimately took shore property from private owners for all to access.
P.S. Koyannisqatsi Kicks Ass. Philip Glass is brilliant in his composition. Perhaps comparing him to Mandy Moore creates a clear gap in musical prowess... I just personally find him to be on the preferential side of said gap. ;-)
After waiting in the rain for 15 minutes for the museum to open exactly at 6:00, the film about the Blazers titled Mania was anything but manic. Once inside the auditorium, I was able to people watch before the film started which actually turned out to be helpfull seeing as many of the people from the film were sitting around me. It was a neat addition to the film to see the featured, local celebrities interacting with each other live and in person.... The film on the other hand was dull and did not fulfill its high volume title. The interviews were long winded, the same photos of the crowd were shown multiple times, and the weird chime-based soundtrack did not fit the content of the film. Defiantly not worth the seven bucks.
This video was created by some friends of mine a couple years back and I find it to be absolutely hilarious every time I view it.
Here's the link, I'm having trouble posting the vid sorry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlIih_0afnA
On the evening of November 12th I attended Portland’s Northwest Film and Video Festival. Since I had work at four in the morning the next day I stayed for only two films. Skeptical of independent films I attended with high expectations.
The first work I saw that evening was Christopher Tenzis 10 minute short entitled
‘Tis The Season. The story was about a pink haired, internet sensation named Skye. It was filmed during the winter time in downtown Portland. The narrative was simple; Skye held out a sign which said “free hugs” and waited in downtown for people to give her a hug.
Tenzis, who before the film claimed to be a “purist” in the realm of film, shot the entire piece in 8mm film and set the music to John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things”. These two elements bring back an aesthetic that reminded me of my childhood days watching Sesame Street who’s creators also used Jazz influences and 8mm film.
The way the film is edited draws pulls a great emotional response from the audience. Skye is dressed in warm clothing and is shown in various places in the downtown portland area and for the first five minutes of the film, she doesn’t receive a single hug. She is shown at train stations, in a park, in front of the Portland Art Museum, and other various populated areas. My favorite scene in the first half is a moment of irony when she sees a bunch of animal rights protestors with signs and she tries to fit in with her sign that doesn’t match. In the second half of the film, the tone changes. All of a sudden, one person gives her a hug. Then there are more and more hugs edited closer and closer together.
This film generated a large emotional response from myself and from the other viewers around me. For the first half of the film, there was a great amount of tension because it seemed like no one was going to hug her. The audience could connect with this as it is a universal feeling to want to be loved. The second half was a gigantic release as there was a bombardment of hugs from many different people of all different classes and professions. As the film keeps progressing, the hugs become more frequent and more animated. Though it is a happy ending, getting to the positive outcome is interesting for it is about a person who puts themselves out into the middle of the population and makes an effort to connect with people in a culture that looks down upon making a connection to other people. Our culture preaches fear in the news, in the paper, and in our television shows. This piece brings about a happy ending through rebelling against what is comfortable and what is acceptable.
The other film I watched that evening was an autobiographical documentary on a transexual who changed his sex to female entitled She’s a Boy I Knew by Gwen Haworth. The 70 minute documentary shot in digital video, while well made and spliced with an occasional animation to bring more life to the work, I couldn’t shake the feeling of narcissism Haworth displays as she looks back on her life and how her sex change effected the other people in her life. The film was much too long and brought many details of her family’s life into the picture giving it a very thorough picture of the situation, yet this may have put a damper on the watchability of the work. There was no real climax to the piece and it eventually ended after the sex change. The film did use graphic pictures highlighting his/her transformation which was intriguing yet quite disturbing. The film is a brave move in understanding a different idea of sex, however it does lack in the case of engaging an audience.
This last opp is a continuation of the Video Trifecta at Quality Pictures located at 916 NW Hoyt in Portland's Pearl district. This month the show is Video and Vodkas, which is available for purchase as a dvd released by J&L Books. J&L is a small independent press that publishes artists books and videos. Jason Fulford is one of the founders of J&L and he's built up a solid reputation in the art world, especially in "photo land". If you're interested in artist books and small publications, take a look at what they've done.
You are required to turn in your one page review no later than December 1st. Please attach some form of proof that you attended the show (gallery card, cell phone pics, a note from your mother, etc.)
- Meet with your group during class time today. Use this time to organize and narrow down the details of your group presentation. On Wednesday, you'll have about thirty minutes to meet with you group, so try to get as much done today as possible. Wednesday you will have to confirm with me your chosen group project topic and we will also determine which day your group presents. How? A member from each group will draw dates from a hat (no peeking)....the dates to pick from will be December 1, December 3, or December 8. If your group has any questions, I will be available via email and phone during class time, feel free to contact me and I will respond quickly. Home phone # (503) 735-4642.
- Remember to submit your Power of YouTube post on the blog today. We'll take a look at some of those posts on Wednesday.
- Turn in your reading response (written) and your NW Film Festival (written) response on Wednesday.
- Answer on the blog by Wednesday, as a comment, one of the posts that has in the title line: Question for the class. These questions have been taken from student's reading responses and date back through most of the readings. Pick one to respond to, it doesn't have to be long....a few sentences is fine. You are welcome to respond to another student's comment in response to a question as well....helping to create an online conversation about the original question. To get credit for this blog log, you must make a comment (either directly to the question or to comments made regarding the question).
- Extra credit for the DTC artist talk at Northbank Gallery is due on Wednesday, it is worth 2.5 points. You can also pick up 2.5 extra credit points if you turn your final paper in on Wednesday as well.
- Last, there are many of you that are missing reading log/blog log responses. I have a pile of stickies to give students regarding what I am missing (responses due this week are not included). Since I am not there, I cannot give these to you in class today, so instead I will send emails to students this morning stating who is missing what. Check your email today. If my graded information is incorrect, please let me know. If you do not receive an email from me, you've turned everything in and are a-okay. Please note, there are several of you that are missing so many responses I am not sure how you will pass the class. Please refer to the section below cut and pasted from the assignment sheet, which was given to you on the first day of class. If you have questions about this, email me or call me as soon as possible. READING/BLOG LOGS, 40% of final grade…..You will receive either a check or a minus for your logs. To receive a check mark you should turn it in on time, and demonstrate that you have taken your time to respond rather than hastily “right before class”. The log is due the following week after you receive the assigned reading, usually on a Monday. To receive full credit for all the logs, you must receive mo more than one minus mark and turn in all reading/blog logs. If you fail to meet this requirement, your grade will drop 5% (two minus marks), 10% (three minus marks), 15% (four minus marks), etc. depending on how many minuses you received. For each log you do not turn in, 5% will be deducted from your final grade. You may turn in logs late, but they will be counted as “minus” rather than a “check” grade. Reading logs that are more than a week late will not be accepted
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Youtube for many is a learning tool. Personally, as a student of music, I have found youtube to be an invaluable resource. You can teach yourself to play certain pieces just by watching others play. i learned much of my turntablism through youtube.
Also, musicians can be turned on to new technologies to help them advance their compositions. This is one of my favorite videos of the mpc with producer T-styles.
Start the video around 2:23 to experience trueform hiphop production.
It is also great to see non-professional musicians play amazing works. I love the Villa-Lobos guitar preludes! (especially the first one ;) ......)
What constitutes mass media? The individuals that makeup the antithesis of mass media, also create their own system or group. By definition is this group not part of the mass media? Who decides and defines who and what the mass media is?
My question is, do you believe that images have lost some of there intended effect due to the desensitization that people have acquired from media and tragedies?
Have we surpassed the idea of 'technology-as-art' and gone into the realm of 'art-using-technology'?
Do movies that are treated like a product really qualify as fine art?
....how do you think art will continue to change by embracing new technologies such as digital photography, art installations, and the internet?
YouTube is a blessing and a disguise. We can watch, post, and learn great things about others, at the same time there are evil and, sometimes, very disturbing images that shouldn't ever be burned in our brains, let alone have them become famous for it. But if you want to become publicly humiliated by it, so be it, I will still laugh. But where does the line cross? People who have a half a brain shouldn't put posts up of beatings because they find it humorous. I wouldn't want to be part of that thinking process.
“Water Paper Time” was one that wasn’t my favorite but at the same time, I was not catching any “Z’s” during the movie either. It showed a woman who hand made her own paper. I never really thought about this as being art. In the beginning it seemed like it was a PBS special. But then I started to really study how the Filmmaker was showing how simplistic and complex paper really is. Paper has a way of being very strong and weak at the same time. The point where I noticed this was when the paper was floating down a creek and it never really collapsed. I thought when paper hit the water it would kind of just denigrated. This film was a good interlude to the next movie.
The main attraction “On Paper Wings” was a great movie. That is as simple as I can put it. It was just a fantastic film. This is a true story from WWII, about the balloon bombs, which only a few people have heard about, that went from Japan to Bly, Oregon; they detonated and killed 6 people. They traveled through the Jet Stream releasing sand bags from the base of the balloon when it released too much air when it expanded. The most amazing part about these balloons was that they were made of paper. So when the bombs were supposed to detonate they wouldn’t leave behind any evidence. All of them didn’t detonate so they left behind clues from where they came from.
The most amazing part was the series of events that happened because of this. The women, who made these balloons when they were small children, grew up and found out from a gentleman who was in the internment camp that was 30 miles south of Bly. This gentleman didn’t hear about the balloons for almost 40 years when he knew about it he informed the women from Japan. When the women who made these balloons found out about the people’s identities from Bly, they felt that they needed to do something to show peace and sorrow for what they did. They made 1000 cranes made in origami to signify peace. The women from Japan ended up bringing it to them in Bly and it changed both of their lives.
When I chose this movie it just seemed to work with my schedule more than anything else. I decided to ask my friend Alison who is half Japanese and trying to understand her culture much more, to come with me. She and I didn’t know the impact that it would have on us. For her, she got to see what had happened to just a few people and how much this war impacted their lives. Alison ended up buying the movie. Now she wants to buy a few more for her friends and family. For me, it showed that no matter how long something happened, there is still a time that needs to heal, and that history is so scary especially if you forget about it. So for now to signify peace and history I will remember 1000 paper cranes, and honor that.
What kind of strange events will occur from this war that is going on? And will it be up on Youtube faster than this movie?
I was really surprised to see Will Patton in the movie sense I've seen him previously in blockbuster films. I had some issues with the character Wendy and some of the choices she made while being homeless but over all it was an alright movie.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
The highlight of the shorts may have been what the guy behind me said after the conclusion of one, "Are you kidding me?" My sentiments exactly.
Highlight of my evening was crashing the Selfless After-party to see Storm Large. The snacks were nummy and even though it was a no-host bar, I did manage to get some pretentious film student to buy me a couple of vodka martini's.
Hurray for heels in Portland!
But having been a fan of Storm's for a couple of years, I was willing to smile and nod at the jerk of a film student.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Also, and perhaps the most 'special' element of YouTube, is its ability to make available that which would otherwise wallow in obscurity. I'm sure many of you have never heard of the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth, or of the man being interviewed, Gaahl; but here it is---I'm showing it to you.
Gaahl is very peculiar man. If you watch the entire documentary you learn some rather insightful things about the life of this Satanic hermit. "You don't perform black metal if you're not a warrior. Black metal is a war against... what everyone knows." Hahaha, great stuff!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I do view it as art because video editing can be very artistic. In addition, Fred Astaire was an artist himself. So how is that for a double whammy?
If you want, make sure to watch the entire video.
This young man set up the balancing stones and shot all the footage in such a way that , when played in reverse, it appears that the stones are balancing themselves. I thought it was pretty awesome.
Mania was interesting but I think I could of done a better job. (or maybe I'm just a hard critic) Lighting was poor in an interview with Clyde Drexler who was placed in front of a ugly white wall which made him appear really dark. The music in the background was too dramatic for my taste, but the film got more interesting when the writer gets you excited about the future of the team. Go Blazers!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
ONE NOTE.....I did say that you will only be allowed a total of 5 extra credit points, this applies to visual events you attend. If you chose to turn in your final paper before Thanksgiving break (Nov 19), you will be eligible for an additional 2.5 points extra credit, which means you essentially can rack up 7.5 points toward your final grade.
Info on where, when and what: The 2008 Digital Technology and Culture Artists in Resident, Julie Andreyev and Simon Mills Overstall, will talk about "VJ Fleet," their upcoming collaboration with DTC students in FA 435 Interactive Media. The talk takes place on Thursday, November 13, at Northbank Artists Gallery, 6:30 pm. 1005 Main St., Vancouver, WA. The event is free and open to the public.
“VJ Fleet” is an interactive sound and video performance-installation that “explores the city as mobile tableaux in order to link up and investigate public space. . . . Serving as hybrid forms, a fleet of customized cars equipped with interactive, audio-video technologies cruise the city seeking engagement as urban performance. During a performance, video of the host city and audio aspects of the engine and passenger areas are manipulated by interactions between the car and driver to create a new, live cinematic display.” This project has been performed in Basel, Switzerland; Boston, MA; and Vancouver, BC.
My favorite part of the film was when it showed all those people getting off the train and onto the escalators. Its crazy to see that many people get on an escalator and leave a train station all at once. I've been in a few of those crowds before, but to see it is a whole different story.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I attended the showing of A Sentence For Two on Monday November 10th, 2008. The film was about pregnant women who enter the jail system, focusing on the women at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Oregon. I thought it was pretty sad how these women, will full mental capabilities, were able to push aside the feelings and well being of their families in order to satisfy their own selfish wants and needs. I was happy to see how one of the women's story ended, she found a great couple who was able to adopt her newborn. It's good to know that the future of that baby boy was going to be a good one. The film was directed by Randi Jacobs from Eugene, Oregon. The cinematographer shared with the audience that the crew involved in making the film were all women except for him. He also shared that it was difficult for them to shoot everything they wanted because the jail staff was very restrictive.
I found this video titled, Glide. It kind of reminded me of the Koyaanisqatsi film, especially day one of the film since everything seemed to move slowly through the landscapes and the music that accompanied had such a deep tone. I think this video is relevant to what we have seen in the course as it displays the use of technology, specifically video to exhibit the artist's work. I also thought it was interesting how the artist used smoke to really make the viewer sense a gliding movement throughout.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I also found Philip Glass's work in the composition to be very powerful. The whole concept of composing the music first and then making the video match the score is great! Taking a backwards approach to traditional methods has the rare potential to create something new and of unmatched quality, in my opinion Koyannisqatsi is one of those rare moments.
Now, before I go on, I would like to say that Philip Glass is one of my personal favorite composers, and I'd love to see more movies with his music as a soundtrack. That being said, I'd love to see more movies that strive to entertain, while simultaneously making a point, which is what, I am assuming, was the purpose of Koyaanisqatsi. It's nice to make a point, but the ability of a filmmaker to summarize their point and mix in a bit of old-fashioned entertainment is what makes a lot of movies great.
Basically, the same point could have been made, and to a larger audience, in much less time than it took. Today's society is impatient, and only the people who already suspect the world is imbalanced would be privy to sit through and re-realize the point of the film. But who am I to say what purpose the film has? It is, after all, up to the filmmaker, and he may have succeeded at whatever it is he was trying to do. So good for him. :)
Just because I didn't enjoy it doesn't mean it's not a good movie.
I had mixed feelings about this film. I have some friends who are quite into this series of films, but I'm not sure if it really does anything for me. For one, I don't really like Philip Glass. His minimalist composing sounds a bit cheesy and not-so-atmospheric to me. I'd rather listen to Burzum or Ildjarn, or other minimalist ambient sans the cheesy effects....
Second, the video itself sort of put me to sleep. During the first viewing session I didn't get it---meaning there seemed to be no point to this collection of video for me. What helped cast light on the story being told was the viewing of chapters on the second day. That little bit of word-based narration helped me to grasp the story much better. Either that, or the images shown during the second day were much more compelling---meaning much more disturbing.
To conclude, I recognize the significance of these series of movies; in fact, I can see their influence in video art all around me. The basic ideas expressed herein are quite interesting---a story told completely in images.
I really enjoyed the music that was composed by Philip Glass. I found the chanting a soothing respite from the images that I was forced to watch on the screen. Particularly what I thought was the Challenger exploding. (Come to find out it was the Atlas from the 1960s.)
There were moments in the film that reminded me of Madonna's "Ray of Light" video. The variation of speed was very important to me since I believe that life goes by too fast and we need to pay more attention to what goes on around us. My favorite part of the film was the images of hot dogs on conveyor belt and then the people on the escalators. To me it signified that people, like hot dogs, seem to be the leftovers of the earth.
I really don't care if anyone else likes it or not, but I for one really enjoy Koyaanisqatsi. When I manage to scrape together a few extra bucks, I'm buying the entire series.
Something about the way the movie was put together, and blended with Philip Glass's score, just makes it a very peaceful, relaxing (and great to fall asleep to at home), movie to watch.
Given the era in which he made it, I'd say the movie was ahead of it's time. Only in the past year or so have other companies started doing really big things with slow motion / high speed cinematography. Godfrey Reggio was really thinking when he did this.
Whenever I watch the movie (about 6 times so far), I always find something else that I didn't think of before. But I like to think that he was showing us how we've taken a once beautiful & calm environment, and transformed it into a massive chaotic ant-farm.
We're going in so many directions at once, that like the rocket at the end, we're just going to self destruct.
But at the same time, this crazy life has inspired artists and architects to think of new directions in their work.. and the result is stunning, like the new Dubai towers design in the works. (( see photo above ))
So where will our the mad-mad rush of our existence take us next? Will we colonize the surface of the moon, and cover it's dusty surface with gleaming monoliths that sparkle like diamonds when the sun dances merrily across it's surface?
In reading most of the blog entries, I guess I'm a little different than some in that I thouroughly enjoyed this film. So much so that I went home the night after we watched the first half in class and watched the rest online with my roommate who showed me some clips from Baraka, another Ron Fricke film that is very similar to Koyaanisqatsi. With some help from IMDb and Wikipedia (yeah thats right) I learned that the imploding building sequence (which was one of my favorite scenes) was done near St. Louis. It was a housing project called Pruitt-Igoe built in 1951. The filming was done during it's demolition only 25 years later, which occured due to high crime rates, poverty, and issues with segregation (the projects were racially divided).
"The high-profile failure of Pruitt-Igoe has become an emblematic icon often evoked by by all sides in public housing policy debate..."
That's a quote from Wikipedia (again, yeah...i know...). But regardless of my sources, I think the immense scale of the failure of this project - its demolition only 25 years after being built, the negative effects it had those who lived there, the fact that it did little to help anyone - and the fact that humans were (and ARE) able to build/cause such things says a lot. So this is certainly an important part of this film. And to play off of what Matthew talked about below, this scene has strong visual correlations to other scenes in the movie aside from what I just mentioned. To me, the buildings somewhat resembled the huge rock walls and canyons seen early on the film. Obviously the common theme here is that no matter what it is or how natural or man-made it may be, we have the ability to destroy it.
Of course this opens up an entirely new debate: are we destroying or creating? Well I'm sure no one is reading this by now, so I won't get in to it. This is just a part of the film I thought to be very interesting and meaningful. But then again, the whole thing was great.
This film was seriously amazing and inspiring to me. it portrayed exactly the issues that we need to be looking at today and in a way that plainly and directly illustrates the effects we have on our planet and ourselves as a species. Pretty crazy stuff. And far, far more exciting than Al Gore standing in front of a giant Powerpoint presentation.
Look for Samsara, due out in 2009. Another one from Fricke, filmed in the Middle East this time, supposedly will have a lot of time-lapse and be based on the same concept as the previous films.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
As expected, and yet to my disappointment, many of my classmates disliked the film because it was "too slow" and/or "boring." This is understandable as the majority of viewers have been subjected to the 30 minute to 60 minute phrasing of marketing trash that plagues our big brother televisions and modern movie assembly lines. Others find this film makes the audience uncomfortable as they find their uniqueness as a person is removed from seeing thousands of faceless people crossing their eyes going about their lives in lines, eating, and coming and going nowhere.
Personally, in the upwards of 700 films i have seen, Koyaanisqatsi ranks among the top rivaling narratives like Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. When people are speed up to the degree that is portrayed in Koyaanisqatsi, they move the way ants do. It gives me a feeling of insignificance. This time around, I thought about time lapse as being a window into witnessing human geology.
Some of Koyaanisqatsi's ideas ask very difficult and moving questions. For example, the movement of traffic always reminds me of blood cells moving through the veins of all of us. This poetically begs the question, "are we all just specks working together for something bigger?"
The moonrise into frame and vertical moonset behind the building within 30 seconds asks "as humans, how much of nature do we wish block from our lives?"
One of the classic views upon Koyaanisqatsi which I share with others, is that through viewing human traffic we are able to see how our lazy, sedimentary distopia has spawned the cities we have constructed. There are still many mysteries to the film which still elude me. For instance, the collapsing of the buildings has a significance that I have yet to discover.
My favorite moment in the film is the metaphor drawn between the hot dogs on the conveyor belt followed by a shot of people ascending on the escalators (which resemble the hot dog conveyor belt.) To me it says, "consumers are mass produced, artificial products, just like processed foods." Let's face it, you are what you eat, right?
(PS: Don't let the label that says "organic" fool you. You are not eating straight from a garden.)
After reading the last couple of blog entries it seems that a general consesus would be that of boredome and dislike to the movie. I guess I'll come right out and say it, I loved this movie. Although the beginning was a little slow, it was not boring and was infact crucial to the movie. Right away the viewer is forced to make a decision. Either that you realize something is happening and you want to find out, or you give up and say it's boring and stupid. The key here is that you have to want to see, enjoy, and understand this film. For those who don't like it, it's their loss. This movie is speaking to all of us. We are the masses that build, consume, alter, and destroy. For those who say that they "feel sorry and confused" for those of us who like it, I challenge you to step out of your self involved world and look at what's around you and what your a part of. This movie was brilliantly executed with a score that made a huge impact. I also realized how people can look at things so differently. Where I see art others see crap. While watching I was disgusted with what we've done to the Earth, but the truth hurts. We can't just turn a blind eye, and ignore it. I'm really surprised that everything just hasn't collapsed or imploded. To me, the light at the end of the tunnel is that even though things are ten times worse then what we saw in the movie, society has become aware of it and we are attempting to do something. It's all about making a major change in our way of living. Ironically everybody is inundated every day with thousands of sounds, and images that are bland. People however don't form an opinion until they are faced with these images in the film. I loved this movie so much that I am doing my final paper on it, and have already received a copy of it via Netflix, and yes I've watched it again. In a way, this is a moving painting that shows the beauty and horror of mankind and Earth.
by Sarah Richards
I thought this movie was absolutely horrible and was I bored to death while watching it. Nature is beautiful in its own way and doesn't need to have every millisecond analyzed. Many parts of the film made my very nauseated and annoyed. While watching this video, it made me really question art. This video did a great job of degrading our world by showing every little detail. I made the shocking discovery that at the end of the film, the name Koyaanisqatsi was being sung throughout the movie. Thankfully, I didn't realize this tell the end or hearing this over and over again would have been too much to handle. Its true that some people really enjoyed this film. I feel sorry yet confused for these people. This isn't art and provided a huge waste of time in my opinion.My question for the class is: Where do we draw the line of what actual art is?
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Oh Koyaanisqatsi, where to begin? This movie is put together artistically, I will say that much. Koyaanisqatsi obviously had a message but I think some people get it and some people don't. I unfortunately do not get the vision and this movie hurt my head many times. The first half was torture, the music made it hard for me to get involved in the movie. The second half, although the music was still the same, was a tad bit more interesting. Watching people has always been amusing to me and I like how Koyaanisqatsi watched ordinary humans doing everyday things. It wasn't until the end of the movie when I was informed that the name of the movie was being sung. I am glad I didn't catch that until the end because that was the fatal blow for me, I know that I could have not watched the whole movie through knowing the same word was being sung over and over again.
This film is very intriguing how it was made in the 197os but foreshadowed to the life we live today, though today it is at a much larger scale. The growth of technology and the industrialization of the world that we live in has had drastic impacts in our environment. Irreversible damage had occurred because the growth of the world and industrialization there are very few scenic and untouched places in the world. Koyaanizqasti did a great job at getting there messages across without the use of words; this allows viewers to take from the film what they wish to, they come up with their own conclusions which shows that the film doesn't push reasoning or information upon the viewer. Do you believe that the creators of the film didn't push information on the viewers and left them to interpret the film on their own?
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I had never seen the film, Koyaanisqatsi, before this class. To be honest, I didn't enjoy watching it. I understood the message that technology is harmful to the environment and culture, but that doesn't mean that I was attracted to that message. I thought that the nature scenes were too long, but I liked seeing them. They were very calming and seeing the scenes of pollution and factories were very depressing in contrast. I found the music in the film to be the most frustrating and made it difficult to focus despite the long sequences. I also didn't enjoy a lot of the city scenes because they made me dizzy to watch.
I didn't know what Koyaanisqatsi was let alone it was a time lapsed movie. When I heard that we were going to watch this I thought it was going to be a documentary on a person who is named this. How little do I know?!?! On top of that, I didn't realize how much Godfrey Reggio, the man who directed all of this, would show how normal life goes in just little over an hour.
I watched the video and I was almost hypnotized by the different sights, and with the sounds that went along with it to intensify the situation, it was all a total mind museum. While watching it, I also enjoyed the sights of San Francisco because I was just there recently. To recognize it on film almost felt like a home movie. At the same time, I realized, of course, I wasn't the only one who ever been there, I just had a different experience than what was shown.
I put up the picture of the ladies on the Vegas strip because it was my favorite part. They were so uncomfortable when they were video taped for longer than a minute. I thought that was very humorous. How would you react if that would happen to you?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I didn't hate this film although some parts were boring. Koyaanisqasti, should be ten times better while drinking two or three glasses of wine while viewing it in a widescreen movie theater. The Kayaanisqasti song may allow me to have nightmares. Koyaanisqasti allows the viewer to realize that although technology has changed, we are people, not super-humans. There's millions of bodies in the world and each of us are just a speck in the world no matter how important we think we are. I think the third of the trilogy should be interesting to watch since newer technology is used, (maybe I'll be more motivated for extra credit :) Here is cover of the film. You can see how it reflects new technology. Can you think of any other examples of movie posters that reflect new technology? It shouldn't be too hard to find one. The film "ET" comes to mind right away. "ET phone home"