Expanded Cinema – some great inspiration

May 2, 2010 — Leave a comment

One of the documentaries to be found on the Expanded Cinema blog is Forough Farrokhzad The House is Black (1963). This film is beautiful, poetic, engaging on every level. The type of film I love to stumble across. It’s primarily observatory and has a visual theme of portraiture and long shots. It shows images of a leprosy colony in Tebriz, Iran, with readings from the Koran and excerpts of Forough Farrokhzad’s poetry.

These two visual aspects that I see in the film are exactly what I’m after, for both Transient and Research Project, though I think the portraiture aspect is going to be difficult. I have suggested that I will try to characterize and depict the subjects of my Transient doco through audio recordings, but this is ambitious and very in depth. We’ll see what turns up as I shoot…

She incorporates many moving/tracking shots, still shots and long shots. These are all cut together with a great sense of rhythm (she is a poet after all) and with a particular kind of ‘jump cut’. By jump cut, I mean the edit points can move really quickly when you’re expecting slowness, or long shots can be interrupted by runs of fast moving stills and portraiture. This is an editing style I’ll model myself on. It’s the rhythm I think that engages so well in this instance.

This blog is a great example of the context in which short documentaries and short experimental film and video can live on the internet. When producing my doco for Transient, I’ll have these types of sites in the back of my mind, imagining myself as a contributor to the space. I’m not making it my goal to get my piece published there in particular though, as I have to deal with my subject and have them in mind when I publish. They have to agree to where I put it, as that was the deal I struck with them, and so not until they see it can I determine where it’ll go, asides from ABC’s The Pool.

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