Cristina NualART

Tag: Film

Happy Year of the Snake!

Today Vietnam celebrates the Chinese New Year, and Saigon, the biggest city, is the only place where I have seen red hearts pop out of the firework display. You can see one of them among some of last night’s show in this little video. The last image shows you how far the smoke from the fireworks blew outwards!

For those who don’t know Saigon, the tall oval shaped building left of the fireworks is one of its landmarks: the Bitexco Tower.

Age of Stupid

In the last decade, many artists statements or exhibitions stressed the importance of  hybridity (a.k.a. culture mix?) as a subject matter or underlying idea. Pretty fitting with the second law of thermodynamics; the law of entropy, and the rise of virtual networking, and globalisation, you may think. But hybridity is not just the me-and-my-disjointed-pieces take (which I completely empathise with, by the way), it is also the me-and-those-weirdos-I’ve-never-spoken-to getting together to do something. The age of hybridity paves the way to the rise of collectivism.

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Last night I found myself using the word ‘hybrid’ when asking director Fanny Armstrong about the process of creating her film ‘The Age of Stupid’, which mixes animation, documentary and fiction. (Did I surprise myself by saying hybrid instead of mash-up?) She explained that  after testing the first documentaries in private showings, and listening to the audience’s opinions (good business practice), she came up with the idea of homogenising the plot with an overarching fictional story, and of explaining the facts using animation. The result is extremely watchable! It’s a super-fast-cut version of Arabian Nights, full of multiple twists, but without the raunchiness (about time we had a film with no predictable boy-meets-girl chapter), and a bit more water (in the form of floods…). Real-life characters come and go, unraveling their microstories around the hard facts of climate change that are wonderfully rendered in artistic motion, in complete oblivion to the big brother watching them from the future that never happened. It works. 5 years went into the making of the film, and clearly they’ve paid off. The resulting singular vehicle amplifies hundreds of voices, and encourages the raising of the public voice to collectively prevent catastrophe, for them and us. Double whammy.

The shuddering film appeals because of it’s important message, that’s obvious, and because of the engaging stories (in film that is also obvious) but principally, I think, because of the format. The documentary scenes ground us, Pete Postlethwaite’s part gives us an even harsher reality check, but one that, because it’s fictional, we can ‘disbelieve’, and some really cool animations that illustrate scientific facts and arguments distinctly. It speaks different languages but takes us to Rome.

My favourite bit of the film is the darkly humourous idea of setting the ‘future’ scenes inside a museum. It’s a dead museum, a grave for imploded cultures, and the irony of the pickled animals is riotous!

The film projection in Tate Modern was followed by a Q&A that went from the tentative to the heated. One gentleman who must have been living inside his jet-airplane too long asked for practical advice on reducing his carbon-emissions (I, like you, assumed that is is common knowledge that turning down the heating, shutting down computers and stand-by gadgets, not wasting, recycling, becoming vegetarian, avoiding plastic and flights, using public transport, walking or cycling, and buying organic food from farmers markets is a good way forward, but one can always do some research – it will be easier that finding the philosopher’s stone). Another gentleman was very provocative in his challenge to the climate change theories expressed in The Age of Stupid, but Ms. Armstrong’s logic was flattening: even if we are wrong, there is still a measurable positive outcome for all from walking more, eating in-season local produce, being more involved in the consequences of your own consumption, and in not granting world-domination to large corporations. Go girl!

Logorama

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After many industry efforts to ban it from the internet,
I finally got to see it:  Logorama, the film.

Oil as the end of capitalism… It is brilliant!

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Belleville

4_Belleville_2010It is very rare that I watch a film twice, or read a book again. There are so many I haven’t yet seen or read that I’m more keen in exploring in the unknown ones than in revisiting a favourite one. However, The Triplets of Belleville is such an incredible animation, that I can’t help but recommend it to people who don’t know it. For that reason, I have seen it again twice in the last fortnight, to wow my guests. The plan worked, and who wouldn’t be amazed at this incredible story, full of surreal characters and even more imaginative situations. This is not a Disneyfied saga of good versus evil and predictable outcomes. The triplets and the main characters unravel a world where strong and mild personalities coexist and collaborate, and where differences are not destined to marginalise. Most importantly, the drawings are really superb, both in quality (the textures, the lighting, the un-jerky movement, the impeccable finish…) and in design. The inventiveness is delirious. C’est merveilleux!
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Older women take centre stage with their strength, resourfulness and wit!

Drawing History: Kara Walker

A few days ago the Institute of International Visual Arts (InIva) in London, showed a selection of artists films on the theme of Cultural Diversity. I enjoyed an hour of varied short films Steam that made me smile (in amusement, in creative awe, or in revelation…) although I went specifically to see the 16min Kara Walker shadow puppet film.
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8 possible beginnings‘ is as intriguing as its title. I had never seen Kara’s film work, although I have been a fan of her silhouette wall pieces for wholesale nba jerseys a long time. Her work is beautiful, skilled and potently charged with political messages where history and present get blurred.
As watchable as any other contemporary animation – though this one seems to lack any digital input (which is neither good nor bad), wholesale nba jerseys this little film is a gem. Amidst dark tales of horror and Jerseys abuse, of slavery, prejudice and paedophilia, Ms Walker concocts new legends to define the birth of a nation. She imbues them with such poetry and inventiveness that the gorish events, as with all Interviewing known ancient mythology, are understood as symbols that we There can take in without feeling the need to vomit. This is not journalism after all, this is wholesale nfl jerseys art, and it does its job splendidly.

Unless otherwise specified, text and images © 2017 Cristina Nualart

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



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