Thursday, March 08, 2007

Today

Today is International Women's Day! (Well, there is about a half-hour left.) Being a film blogger means I'm a member of a de facto boys club, so for no other reason than the date, I'll raise a glass to those women who've contributed their voices to the 'sphere--which includes Jen McMillan (repping the avant-garde to boot), the Cinetrix, Tram Ngo, the Siren, Johanna Custer, Jenna Ng, and Pamela Kerpius, to name a few film bloggers. I've taken plenty of things away from reading them ...

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Today was also a fine day for films at MoMA. (Films that were, surprisingly enough for myself, a Kiarostamiphile during an AK retrospective, not by Kiarostami. ABC Africa, which I've already seen and loved, was playing earlier tonight.) Let's start with the last screening first. Ho Yuhang's Rain Dogs got a fairly hefty recommendation from Dan Sallitt, so I ended up seeing it despite being pretty tired. It's something of a coming-of-age tale, a bit sentimental but not really investing itself in pathos because there's not much of narrative arc. Things happen, the hero maybe grows a bit, but it's more a portrait of adolescence than a narrative of it. It's worthwhile. A certain erstwhile film blogger whom I hadn't seen since the days we were in classes together said afterward (and I agree with him), the DV photography grew more appealing as the film went on. Before Rain Dogs I caught the Gehr & Snow program, which was sparsely attended (I guess I can't complain if people were too busy seeing ABC Africa), but also very respectfully attended. The audience was very quiet. I don't have my thoughts fully formulated on Ernie Gehr's Still ('69-'71) but hope to post something about it before the weekend is over. Michael Snow's One Second in Montreal is, to me, very opposite in technique from Gehr's film, so it took me about a third of its 17-minute-running time to get on its wavelength (pun not intended, but obviously kept) and try to get into the specific time-space mentality Snow demands for his still shot images of wintry Montreal. Aesthetically & thematically, this Gehr + this Snow is either a programming duo so broadly obvious as to be "wrong," or it's a really bold move that demands a reversal from one way of viewing a film to another. More explanation of this after I've written down a few words on Still.

8 comments:

Bill W said...

heh, I was at Gehr/Snow too! I don't think I ever quite got on Snow's wavelength.

Also, someone was rattling plastic bags for the first half of "Still." Not quiet enough.

Zach Campbell said...

Bill, it looks like Kevin Lee was also in attendance.

The bags didn't seem too loud to me. Once the soundtrack came in there was someone coughing loudly too. But practically no muttering, a real rarity for a-g stuff where "nothing hapens." I'm reminded of a screening of Sonbert's Carriage Trade where one guy kept hissing & berating his companion because (a) nothing was happening, (b) there was no sound, and (c) it seems like they'd seen that film before anyway.

johanna said...

Aw, thanks Zach. Can we expect more letters anytime soon?

And by the by, which Snow film is it that's the 45 minute zoom shot?

Zach Campbell said...

Johanna, the Snow film is Wavelength.

And if you're referring to Cassavetes letters, there will be more ...

johanna said...

cool. take care.

Tram said...

Thanks for the shout-out! I guess having a vagina does have its benefits.

jmac said...

Thanks, Z. So thoughtful of you! I think that I've learned a lot from the blogosphere too. I look forward to reading more about Ernie Gehr/Michael Snow from you!
:)

Zach Campbell said...

You're welcome, Tram and Jen!