Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The Dallas Video Festival is a week behind us and we have all had some sleep. I really enjoyed the festival this year, I loved the venue, and I loved our Coffee and Conversation sessions, which worked on so many levels. It allowed us to have real Q&As with the makers in much more depth. Festival attendees got a chance to get in on the dinner conversation that I would have had with these filmmakers, which is when they say what’s really on their minds. It allowed us to serve the audience and the makers and keep the show moving on time.
I loved the way the projection worked. It was just amazing. Steve Alford, thank you so much. The iTunes experiment went really well, and if next year we can get all the makers to send us files instead of digital Betacam, we can keep Tim Capper from going crazy.
Everyone who came really enjoyed the videos and the experience. Even though we didn’t control the whole building like we did at the theater center, there was a great video fest vibe. It was also somewhat of a changing of the guard. This was AC's first festival running the show and she did such a wonderful job. We had a great crew working, smaller but more efficient.
Then there was Jeremy, who made it all work in every way. This year he did the job of three people, all with perfection and grace. Thanks to all of you who came. More about the festival in the weeks to come.
Right now, I’m in Boston at the Jewish Festival looking for Jewish film to program here. The Amon Carter is showing Mary Lucier's video installation, The Plains of Sweet Regret. We showed an installation from her in Year One at the Video Fest, when we were at the DMA. I’m sure it’s worth the trip.
Have a good week,
The Dallas Video Festival finished with a bang this year as we presented our first ever awards ceremony! Each maker received a handmade glass sculpture as our thanks for bringing such fine work to the festival.
Our jurors chose Año Uña as the Best Narrative Feature. The piece is in the tradition of still photograph montage films, but it’s especially inventive in the fact that maker Jonas Cuarón first captured photographs of his life over the period of a year before later reordering those images to discover the film’s story. We’re proud to present such daring work to Dallas.
We chose audience-favorite She Should Have Gone To The Moon as our Best Feature Documentary. It tells the story of the Mercury 13, a group of women astronauts who trained alongside John Glenn and the rest of NASA’s pioneers. These women should have gone to space, but the patriarchy cancelled the program on a whim. It took thirty years before Eileen Collins realized their dream to become a space pilot and commander.
Jurors selected My Mom Smokes Weed as Best Comedy Short, for obvious reasons. Nothing could be so uncomfortable (and thus hilarious) for the straight-laced protagonist as sitting next to his mom as she gets high at some dude’s house. Filmmaker Clay Liford thanked his mom for the inspiration.
New Business by Julia Kots won Best Dramatic Short. Dima thinks he knows everything about women - they are like the buttons he makes in a post-Soviet Russia factory. He tries his hand at being an entrepreneur by pimping two teenage girls, but business isn’t as easy as he thought.
The inspirational For Tomorrow: The First Step of the Revolution won Best Short Documentary. Blake Mycoskie’s story of charity is genuine and uplifting. In partnership with Tom’s Shoes, for each pair of shoes purchased by consumers, he manages to bring a pair of donated shoes to needy children. http://www.tomsshoes.com/
Joel Schlemowitz made Teslamania, our best Experimental Short this year. This film is really cool, combining zaps of AC in time lapse with flashing lightning in multiple exposure. Along the way, we learn about the genius and insanity that was Tesla.
For the ACE award, AC chose Chris Ohlson’s Expecting, which was featured in the Texas Show. This film is a bare bones production that abandons the luxuries other films have at their disposal, such as HD cameras, elaborate art direction, and fancy camera moves. Expecting succeeds brilliantly based only on its raw performances and talented directing. You are involved with the two characters on a real emotional level. The subject of the film is expertly crafted around the reactions of a young man and young woman as they carry on a conversation rich in subtext. It’s riveting.
Moral Kombat, Bart’s choice for the Meta-Media award, is about the effects of video games. This is not an easy “Nasty video games are bad and are the cause of the destruction of man” type of video. It is very thoughtful, very thorough, and it definitely presents both sides of the argument. The film is incredibly well produced and directed, melding the interview into hi-res images from the games. The film makes you understand what video games are really like while you’re hearing about their effects; it’s very powerful and a must-see.
Thanks to Brad Abrams for the beautiful awards trophies. http://www.bradabramsglass.com/
THANK YOU to everyone who made the Festival possible, from the Video Association’s board, to our kind sponsors, to the artists, but most importantly, to the viewers. We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to share cutting-edge work with curious and engaged audiences here in Dallas.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
The first night of the 21st Annual Dallas Video Festival was a great success! We’re so excited to be in our third decade of programming innovative, though-provoking video art in north Texas. Come out to see the baroque of the digital age.
Everyone loved Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, which actually exceeded my wildest expectations. What an awesome film. It deserves its title as best fan film ever made. In the market scene, Indy’s self-satisfied smirk after taking out the Egyptian scimitar warrior had me rolling. From start to finish, I was beaming, looking forward to what they were going to do next. I wish everyone I know had come to see it, because then they would have shared in the delight. When the film about the making of this film is released on DVD, perhaps they can include the Adaptation as a bonus feature. Everyone needs to see it!
A huge crowd came to see Champ: The Steve Mitchell Story, which is a touching documentary about a man who overcomes serious physical handicaps to become an excellent boxer. His life story would make an excellent feature film, (he’s a real-life Rocky!), if only Hollywood would listen. Thankfully, local documentarians Elizabeth Spear and Mark Birnbaum have shed some light on his story for us.
I also enjoyed a compilation of German music videos. Two in particular, one for a song called “Blood Sample” and another, “Good Morning Stranger,” were really cool. Blood Sample is, in fact, a visual-sample, a mash-up of 70s glamour ads, and a dissolution into some distant corner of the television universe. Come to think of it, even Good Morning is a post-modern collage of visual culture, but brilliantly enshrines YouTube videos, the clips and glimpses of which represent the thousands of ways people have chosen to say “good morning” all over the planet (we can see the music video “narrator” searching YouTube on-screen for terms like “good morning” or “waking”).
Don’t miss the installation pieces in the foyer outside the HBO and AMS theaters. 88 Constellations is interactive Flash art which transports the viewer through worm holes in space to arrive at fragments of knowledge, loosely connected by whimsical philosophies of fancy and linguistic curiosities. Non-linear lovers of Wikipedia, this is for you.
Tonight’s program will be just as exciting, between feature A President to Remember: In the Company of John F. Kennedy, and The Wrecking Crew, a documentary about backup musicians of the 60s. Don’t miss our AWESOME Guts ‘n Glory competition, and festival-favorite The Pleasure of Being Robbed.
For further reading, KERA blogger Stephen Becker has provided a write-up about the programming tonight. Thank you for your excellent coverage Stephen!
You can no longer buy tickets for Friday night online.
You must buy them at the door, they go on sale upstairs at the Angelika at 6:00pm
We take cash or credit. You can buy a single ticket for 10$
You can buy all night passes for 25$ which gets your into everything including The Wrecking Crew.
Because we sell All Fest Passes, Day Passes, and Single Ticket Passes there is a chance we may oversell this event, - meaning just because you have a ticket doesn't mean you can get a seat.
The theater seats 220. We will sell out so get your ticket early and get in line! If you buy a single ticket pass and you can't get a seat we will give you your money back.
Lets work together AMERICA!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The 21st Annual Dallas Video Festival opens with a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation
The 21st Annual Dallas Video Festival opens with a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation at the Angelika Film Center Dallas at 7 PM.
Have you ever loved a movie so much that you wanted to live it? This is just what Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb did when they were only twelve years old. Over the next seven summers, they painstakingly remade Raiders of the Lost Ark, shot for shot.
This may be your only chance to see the film, because it can only be screened at the discretion of the filmmakers, who obviously can’t distribute the film on DVD. What’s more, they donate all proceeds to non-profit organizations and to the cause of educating teenagers about the art of filmmaking. Passionate filmmaking for a good cause. Best of all, Chris Strompolos, who plays Indy in the film, will be in attendance to answer your questions!
This video opens our festival because it stands for some of the highest ideals in filmmaking. This kind of youthful passion, imagination, and hard work can inspire us all.
Independence: without any money or institution to guide them, the boys made this film by finding their own solutions and by enlisting the help of their local community. This is DYI at its finest. As the film progresses, we witness how much the boys grow as artists, in further command of their craft.
Originality and Innovation: the submarine scene is sweet because it’s an actual submarine those kids are running around on. They even found a way to include some bastard, Nazi-saluting dogs.
Just a lot of damn fun: Just wait until you see the rolling boulder scene, not to mention the bar scene or the scene where Indy is pulled along the ground by the truck. They even did their own stunts!
The film screens at the Angelika Film Center at 7 PM. Arrive early because it’s going to sell out!
By the way, the three friends have become consummate professionals and have started a production company. They have a strong script called “What the River Takes,” and they’re preparing to go into production.