words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Posts tagged “Weekly Movie-Making Moments in Film

Images For HD Video: An Unfolding Night Next To You (A Scattered Storm Remix)

The night holds many mysteries when time stands still….

she remains transfixed
trapped in summer's night
contemplating the approaching storm

Searching for chance in the process of creating art.

Within the context of my digital and video work, the objective is to find visual ambient experiences. The process at times, is a stationary camera. Post-production: Unedited film, or with very minimal post editing and digital effects. With this piece, I altered the color tonality. The difficulty in the piece was balancing the black sky, now slightly colorized, while maintaining a brightness/contrast without compromising the visibility of the lightning strikes.

Art can be discovered by random chance.

An Unfolding Night Next To You is the first in a series of new HD experimental video work-in-progress. Some years ago, my first exploration of the still camera and chance recording was an hour-long piece entitled Oceans of Art. This 2012 video was filmed during a late night drive on HWY 221 in South Carolina through a scattered rain storm. Darkness, lightning strikes, pressing rain, and the headlights of passing cars all merge with the music of sound design artist, and master of glitch Alva Noto, creating an eerie journey into meditative abstraction. Rain drops falling on the window shield create a mosaic of pixel forms. These forms are constantly moving and manipulating the video. While sporadic lightning strikes fill the night sky. Patience is in order to gather the full ambient feeling of the piece. Things are there.

Recommended viewing: In a very dark room by single candle light.

http://youtu.be/-KKafg4qoaQ   –  Copyright 2012 – Walter Smith


Images For HD Video: A Day At The Beach (A Tybee Island Remix)

A Tybee Beach remix…

Tybee Island is a small public beach located on the Atlantic Ocean near the Georgia/South Carolina border. It is just a few minutes away from historic Savannah GA.

A day on the beach, with sand and surf in hand.

http://youtu.be/Qsp8xhCNHMw


Weekly Movie-Making Moments In Film: HBO’s Girls and the Video by Robyn – Dancing On My Own

A moment to enjoy a little TV, finding creativity in the work of others….

So I am watching the third episode of HBO’s really cool new hit show “Girls”. During the ending credits, the song showcased is “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn. Okay, I don’t know if I am in the know or not (too much ambient electronic music) but I had never heard of Robyn prior to this song. Where’s my MTV when I really need it? But I digress, this song was way too cool. And when I watched the video, I was totally caught up in the strong, dynamic visual moves of her dancing and the editing with the live club dance scenes. And have you ever considered how interesting it is, when watching a rather good show or movie, the song or songs, during the ending credits can make all the difference? It keeps the mood going–bringing back the emotional pulse of the film. Last year, I was very much into HBO’s “Making It In America” and there was an episode that featured a group of the show’s characters biking after a roof-top party. Through the streets of New York City they trekked—at night. Now that is the way you live in the city. Which reminds me … I miss Philadelphia, the painting parties with artists and the late midnight runs with my boyz Trash (10 miles in 1hr 45 mins, in our twenties). But again I digress. At the end of the show the producers came up with another hip song to keep the flow. The song was “Midnight City” by M83. Pulsating, hip, cool. And yes this band I had heard of before (“Too Late from the CD Saturdays = Youth).

Music can make any art form feel prolific and elevate its content and mood….

I really like the programming on HBO. Everyone I am sure is familiar with their big hit “Game of Thrones” but I really do suggest you give “Girls” a look. And although “Making It In America” is not currently available on HBO demand, you certainly can get a hold of it.

Enjoy the video clips….

Girls – Trailer

http://tv.yahoo.com/girls/show/47563/videos/28822433

Robyn ‘s – Dancing On My Own

http://youtu.be/CcNo07Xp8aQ

M83’s – Midnight City Live on Carson Daly

http://youtu.be/q3w9mfk7D9c


Weekly Movie-Making Moments In Film: Berlin Alexanderplatz by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

A scene from Berlin Alexanderplatz

It is 2012, and thanks to the Criterion Collection and NetFlix I am able this weekend to once again view the epic masterpiece Berlin Alexanderplatz by Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In the 1980’s Philadelphia’s PBS station WHYY aired the entire 16 hour film. I was totally amazed at the dark story of a man and his descent into a personal hell; as well as its historical portrayal of Germany in the pre-Nazi era. This is a disturbing film, yet beautiful and engrossing. It’s cinematography and storytelling captures the imagination with vivid realism.

Here is a short synopsis.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s controversial, fifteen-hour-plus Berlin Alexanderplatz, based on Alfred Döblin’s great modernist novel, was the crowning achievement of a prolific director who, at age thirty-four, had already made forty films. Fassbinder’s immersive epic, restored in 2006 and now available on DVD in this country for the first time, follows the hulking, childlike ex-convict Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht) as he attempts to “become an honest soul” amid the corrosive urban landscape of Weimar-era Germany. With equal parts cynicism and humanity, Fassbinder details a mammoth portrait of a common man struggling to survive in a viciously uncommon time.

The English trailer for the film Berlin Alexanderplatz

http://youtu.be/qTjFWAvJTvI

A short tribute to a modern Berlin Alexanderplatz

http://youtu.be/wC2equOfOvc


Weekly Movie-Making Moments in Film: Attack the Block – 2011

The city series….

Yo - the aliens are coming

One of the things that I have always questioned is this … Why don’t the aliens ever attack the ghetto? I mean, all the alien invaders when they invade seem to end up in the midwest; or on someone’s farm; in the backwoods; at the lake during vacation; or the town you would never visit with a population of 10—anywhere but in the hood.

Well those days are over. We be talking about the really cool, down by law, and just totally sweet, street-wise, hip new film (out this year) entitled “Attack the Block”. I could say more but I will let the trailer say the rest. But I will conclude by saying I think it is a must see film if you like the dark comedy science fiction genre. There are great moments in the film. Nothing gave us a laugh more than one of the characters saying …”fire in the hole” or “aliens got talent” in reference to America’s Got Talent and Simon Cowell.

Attack the Block is a 2011 British science fiction action film written and directed by Joe Cornish. The film stars Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Franz Drameh, Leeon Jones, Simon Howard. Set on a council estate in South London on Bonfire night, the film follows a street gang which have to defend themselves from hostile alien invaders. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2011. Attack the Block is the directorial debut of Cornish.

http://youtu.be/AUFaLAMojfA

A scene from the film - is that what I think it is

No safety in here


Weekly Movie-Making Moments In Film: Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite

Nerds of the World Unite….

What a great film and one of the best original comedies to come along in quite some time. I’ve always loved films about high school angst, going back to those great John Hughes films of the 80’s. Not everyone can relate to a film like Napoleon Dynamite; many have found its charm to be wanting and distasteful. However, I can identify with its peculiar awkwardness, that I too shared with others in high school. And just like Napoleon, art was often my escape. It can be said that Napoleon’s nerdy demeanor is always just a moment away from giving you the side-splitting laugh you always dreamed of 🙂 – Walter Smith

http://youtu.be/H2Kh7umdOrk – Napoleon Dynamite Trailer

http://youtu.be/kr7djGY1fhA – Napoleon Dynamite Dance Scene

Synopsis: The directorial debut of filmmaker Jared Hess, who  also co-wrote the screenplay, Napoleon Dynamite is a quirky, offbeat comedy set in the small Idaho town of Preston. Jon Heder stars in the titular role, a carrot-topped oddball with a decidedly eccentric family that includes his llama-loving, dune-buggy enthusiast grandmother. The story centers on the local high school’s race for class president. Using some nontraditional means, Napoleon is determined to help his pal Pedro (Efrem Ramirez) run a winning campaign and defeat popular girl Summer (Haylie Duff). Also starring The Drew Carey Show’s Diedrich Bader, Napoleon Dynamite premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. …

Dancing to the song Forever Young

The Promise – Lyrics to the song, The Promise by When In Rome. The ending theme to Napoleon Dynamite. Enjoy the musical flashback to the 80’s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMZL9pd4Q8M


Weekly Movie-Making Moments in Film: Sunshine / 28 Days Later / District 9

Sunshine by director Danny Boyle

The sun at less than 1% sunlight filter

Sunshine is a 2007 British science fiction film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland.

In 2057 the sun is dying, and mankind is dying with it. Our last hope: a spaceship and a crew of eight men and women. They carry a device, a massive stellar bomb with the mass equivalent to Manhattan Island, which will breathe new life into the star. But deep into their voyage, out of radio contact with Earth, their mission is starting to unravel. There is an accident, a fatal mistake, and a distress beacon from a spaceship that disappeared seven years earlier. Soon the crew is fighting not only for their lives, but their sanity.

The crew is made up of an ensemble cast consisting of Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, Troy Garity, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong, Chipo Chung, and Mark Strong. The script was based on a scientific back-story that took the characters on a psychological journey. The director cast a group of international actors for the film, and had the actors live together and learn about topics related to their roles, as a form of method acting. To have the actors realistically react to visual effects that would be implemented in post-production, the filmmakers constructed live sets to serve as cues. Previous science fiction films that Boyle cited as influences included Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the 1972 Tarkovsky’s Solaris, and the 1979 science-fiction horror film Alien.

Sunshine is one of my favorite films of all time. I have seen it several times and it never ceases to entertain me as I embrace its stunning beauty.

I was first introduced to the filmmaking of Danny Boyle in 2003 with his kinetic, apocalyptic and frightening horror film 28 Days Later: In the film a powerful virus is unleashed following a raid on a primate research facility by animal rights activists. Transmitted in a drop of blood, the virus locks those infected into a permanent state of murderous rage. Within 28 days the country is overwhelmed and a handful of survivors begin their attempts to salvage a future, little realizing that the virus is not the only thing that threatens them.

28 Days Later by Danny Boyle

The only other film in recent production, I feel parallels Sunshine in its originality and vision is District 9 by Peter Jackson and Neill Bloomkamp.

District 9 synopsis: Over 20 years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them. Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare – they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.

The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the
world, as well as the most valuable – he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.

District 9 by Peter Jackson and Neill Bloomkamp

The roundup in District 9

All three films are distinctly different in their subject matter, but are so well acted, produced, and directed it is difficult to choose one over the other as a favorite.

So what do you think? Are you a big fan of the Science Fiction genre? Have you seen any of these remarkable films, and if so do you have a favorite? And what is your favorite film of this genre and why?


Weekly Movie-Making Moments in Film: Camille Claudel

A woman’s strength and determination is powerful….

A woman’s love is without equal…..

A woman’s suffering for that love is immeasurable….

Perhaps one of my favorite French films that depicts artistic creativity, strength, determination, love and obsession is none other than the film Camille Claudel finely directed by Bruno Nuyten and starring Isabelle Adjani as Camille—the young but gifted sculptress. In the film Camille possesses an artistic and romantic passion that consumes her. Her love for the sculptor, Auguste Rodin, and her life, ends in pain and lost.

Here is a clip from the film. What do you think? If you have seen the film, what is your opinion of Isabelle Adjani’s performance?

http://youtu.be/_yT-oSkrrh0