Thursday, 3 February 2011
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
James: Firstly I would like to thank John and the audience for an incredibly intensive Symposium session this afternoon. I am physically exhausted. My mind is also racing...
If I understand John correctly, he is advocating a lateral-thinking style of non-narrative cinema whereby provocation of ideas is the purpose, as opposed to a fixed polemic or argument. In other words – it is about the means, not the ends. I present you with random, discontinuous sounds and images and YOU detract a meaning as opposed to the filmmaker foisting a meaning upon you.
I am actually a huge fan of Edward De Bono’s work on lateral thinking and I can even be convinced that this would be an avenue to explore to see whether it reignited audience interest in cinema. I understand that John wants it to simply be a broader church, and to include the provocative, lateral cinema alongside the narrative kind, just to offer more challenges to disillusioned audiences.
My problem is that this kind of filmmaking is still only a means, and not an end. It draws no conclusions and makes no points. It is a process and an exercise to provoke you into thinking and engaging. At best, it can only provoke, it can never resolve. Furthermore, at its most pretentious moments, it works on the assumption that you are not capable of this exercise in ordinary life, as if you must be woken from some kind of passive slumber. You can feel alienated as an individual for ‘not getting it’, as if there was some higher, conceptual meaning. But I’m imagining John argues “No! There is no higher meaning, there is only whatever you want it to be!”
The temptation is to ridicule narrative as a failing model, that we have run out of stories and the audience is bored. I believe this is not the case. There are plenty of stories that are still to be told, and can in fact be reinterpreted and retold in fantastical fashion (e.g; Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’). If cinema is failing it is because Hollywood believes that technical spectacle and big stars are the only advantages over other media. If studios woke up to the potential of cheaper production and the possibilities of digital media in the exhibition sector, we could see challenging, thought provoking, entertaining narratives that fulfilled audiences time and time again. At that point, I believe that the lateral-thinking non-narrative experiment will be exposed for what it really is – a lazy way of filmmaking that carries no purpose other than to provoke thought.
I therefore believe that it has limited appeal, limited audience and limited lifespan.
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Monday, 24 January 2011
Screenings of NETWORK/ MARTIN SCORCESE'S PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH AMERICAN CINEMA/ JOHN BRADBURN'S WRISTS/ THE BALLAD OF DES & MO. More details on other events to follow!
Friday, 5 February 2010
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Monday, 1 February 2010
Friday, 22 January 2010
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Ben Thomas will be presenting on the processes of all things to do with acting. Bill Garrett from the BBC will be back to give a talk about documentary. Hopefully there will also be a presentation from the man that made the incredibly viral 'Rage Against X Factor' video. James Fair will talk about the challenge of making Rosie (which was inspired by the last Symposium). Also John & James plan to show the films when they were students. And lots more. You lucky things...
More details to come in the New Year. Have a great Christmas!
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Friday, 14 November 2008
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
2. The Film must have a narrative.
3. The narrative must have a beginning, middle and end
3. All Audio must be created on the day.
4. The film must not contain dialogue.
5. The first and last shot must be the same.
Here are the results:
Monday, 10 November 2008
Dan charted his development as a filmmaker by discussing the journey he has taken since his first film 'Driven' (2000).
Friday, 7 November 2008
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
The events of our Symposium are filling up... "Writing Feature Scripts" and "Film Festivals From Both Sides" are now both full. Please make sure you get your spaces at the remaining events!!!
Monday, 3 November 2008
The lecturers that had a screening slot at the Galway Film Festival without even having a film to show will discuss how they shot, edited and screened the feature "Watching & Waiting" in 72 hours. This is an opportunity to see the film and find out more about the challenges they faced.
Associate Producer Peter Rudge will discuss the background, financing and university partnership of the feature movie Souled Out. The film is set in the seventies Northern Soul scene and tells the story of a young boy who learns about life and love through the music of the era. It was produced in conjunction with Staffordshire University, and students were involved with its production over the summer.
There'll be plenty more exciting screenings, exercises and discussions taking place, so be sure to keep an eye on the blog as the symposium progresses!