Sunday, April 24, 2005

iffb full day two

what I saw:

Chain by Jem Cohen -- an excellent exploration into contemporary consumer spaces (not necessarily urban) and how similar they are (the film was shot in Malls all over the world). It is both a documentary and a narrative feature. Somehow it bridges the two in a decent fashion. The composition of the shots reminded me of Patrick Keiller's London and Robinson in Space (which I just noticed is due to be released on DVD by Facets in the USA -- this is very exciting news!!!). While Patrick Kieller considers the "problem of England" in his work, Jem's film is much more global in context -- the images are edited together such that a scene from Australia is next to one from New York State, USA next to one from Warsaw, Poland and you can't tell the difference. The only other film I can think of that is made in this style is William Klein's "le Messie" (the Messiah), which is partially a millenial film (shot in 1999/2000) and partially a meditation on religion and consumerism in the USA, set to a performance of Handel's Messiah. Chain is a much needed and thought provoking film.

Mutual Appreciation -- a light hearted comedy, indie-style, about kids in Brooklyn and their social lives, it was a very plesant film and the cast was great.

Abel Raises Cain -- a very informative documentary about culture-jammer Alan Abel, who has consistently pulled off hoax after hoax on the US media since the 1950s. It is a very funny and important film. Alan is the only person in history to have his obituary retracted from the New York Times (they published his obituary and then realized that he was still alive)

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