MIX/VHS | Week 005
This mix is no joke, y'all. Solid stuff from all corners of the creative world. We hope you enjoy!
Darkness/Light/Darkness (dir. by Jan Svankmajer)
WATCH IT HERE: https://youtu.be/el8RUqN_4Fw
I was first introduced to the Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer through his feature-length film Little Otik. I was immediately in love with the use of bizarre claymation and overwhelming surrealism, which is prevalent in all of his works. Darkness/Light/Darkness is a fantastic short about claymation body parts forming together to create a whole person. Like a lot of Svankmajer's work, it has humor behind it, but can also make the viewer feel uncomfortable at times through its disturbing imagery backed by disgusting sounds. But, hey, that might be your thing.
Speech of Foxes . Gem Club (dir. by Jared Knecht)
WATCH IT HERE: https://vimeo.com/138706629
The kinetic energy and beautiful imagery of this music video is absolutely amazing. It’s disturbingly cold, and leaves a lot of room for finding millions of meanings in the various symbolisms. The seemingly impromptu dances of Dana Jordan are so perplexing and elegant, as they clash seamlessly with various chaotic moves. The short feels like I am watching a bird stuck in cage, getting nearer and nearer to an unforeseen fate. And I can’t stop watching. The accompaniment of a great song only makes the visceral imagery stand out so much more.
History of Japan (dir. by Bill Wurtz)
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh5LY4Mz15o
Thought you knew everything about Japan? Don't know ANYTHING about Japan? You're in for a jingle-filled ride of history.
This is John (dir. by The Duplass Brothers)
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I1Ylynes8A
Every time someone asks what kind of films festivals like I show them this short. It seems like festivals these days aren't after complete, rounded-out narratives, they're after pieces people can connect to on some level. This is a classic short that seems like a metaphor for the filmmakers who ask that question. Stop trying too hard to impress others. Who hasn't been in exactly this situation: Recording and re-recording your voicemail outgoing message attempting to make yourself sound like something you're not. Write what you know, write about life, make a film featuring a character or situation that you can connect to and empathize with because I think you'll find, you're not alone. Let your voice be what it is.
Crying in Public - Chairlift (dir. by Allie Avital)
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3h0ZA3FQ0
Aesthetically, this music video is a beautiful pairing to a beautiful song, with the cinematography capturing tears perpetually frozen to the fragile face of Chairlift's lead singer Caroline Polachek. Snow pillows onto New York's city streets, their recording session o the tune is in picturesque Black & White, and we're taken into Caroline's drifting trance. Probably the best track from their new-ish album Moth (which you should also check out).
OZ (Created by Tom Fontana)
WATCH IT HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOBFaSC3004
Just started watching this now that I'm in the midst of a huge Game of Thrones glut and it is insane. At first, watching the show in the classic pillar-box format that most TV was presented in before the early 2000s was almost kinda cute, but after the first episode, those dated black bars had very little-if any-effect on my absorption into the series. It is without a doubt some of the most brutal TV I've seen, and my repertoire includes other conspicuously violent shows such as The Walking Dead and, of course, GOT. If your in the mood for some super violent and psychotic episodic narrative, I would highly suggest this show. It's not all about shock factor either, the plot and character development is superb and it's directorial style is unique for it time and place. A very worthy consideration for your next binge watching. The entire series is available on HBONOW and HBOGO.
My So-Called Life (Created by Winnie Holzman)
WATCH IT HERE: http://www.hulu.com/watch/87991
My So-Called Life is the perfect 90s high school drama to binge-watch in bed when you have a case of the feels. It's only one season long because it was unfortunately cancelled, and as soon as you finish it I guarantee you'll be sitting there like "wait, what? I need more!" and then you'll re-watch it at least 3 more times. It's just super relatable, and in only one season it manages to highlight some really important and complex issues like drug use, homophobia, alcoholism, homelessness, child abuse and the like, while also touching on more 'typical high school' problems that all young adults face such as relationship problems, insecurities and self-esteem, sex, and just generally trying to figure out your place in the world.
Like this mix? Tell us what you think in the comments below, and let us know what you’re watching this week!