Tomonari Nishikawa

(Leer en castellano)

A Preface to Red (Jonathan Schwartz, 2010)

For Lumière Project 2012

A Preface to Red (Jonathan Schwartz, 6 min., 16mm, 2010)

I have been lucky to have chances to watch many films by Jonathan Schwartz in the past few years. I saw A Preface to Red in «Wavelengths» program at Toronto International Film Festival. I like the conjunction and disjunction between the visuals and the sounds. The single recorded reverberated sound may express an existing danger at the site, while the visuals show his spontaneous response to moments and encounters, including innocent faces, in Istanbul, via his gentle, careful camera work.

Imperceptihole (Lori Felker and Robert Todd, 15 min., 16mm, 2011)

I saw Imperceptihole a collaborative 16mm film piece by Lori Felker and Robert Todd, at the International Film Festival at Rotterdam. The high-contract black & white images are powerful with, not only the visual composition but also the visual rhythm. I like the way it expresses a possible narrative too. The visual composition of the double-exposed images seemed so perfect to me, and I was surprised to hear that they had done it, not exactly remembering the image from the first exposure.

In the Absence of Light, Darkness Prevails (Fern Silva, 13 min., 16mm, 2010)

I saw In the Absence of Light, Darkness Prevails at «Migrating Forms». It is probably the film that has moved me emotionally the most in 2011. The film builds up a fierce tension through various scenes and events, and Silva’s masterful editing with unexpected visuals and sounds expose innocence and frenzy, beauty and cruelty, and humor and darkness.

Magic For Beginners (Jesse McLean, 20 min., digital video, 2010)

Magic For Beginners Magic For Beginners was screened in «Fits and Spells» program at Cornell Cinema, curated by Michael Robinson. I was familiar with McLean’s earlier video, The Burning Blue (2009), which I enjoyed a lot too. Magic For Beginners addresses the idea of personal obsession, an emotional connection between a viewer and a drama on a TV monitor, or reality versus fantasy in a very unique and effective way.

Forms Are Not Self-Subsistent Substances (Samantha Rebello, 23 min., 16mm, 2010)

I saw Forms Are Not Self-Subsistent Substances at Media City Film Festival, my first time to see a work by Samantha Rebello. The contrast between dull colors of architecture and the saturated colors of living creatures may show the idea of dualism, and the sounds, which seem like coming from the animals once have lived there in the ancient times, works well with the visuals. The camera movements and focus & out-of-focus images alter the visual pace, and the texts and the visuals seem connected and disconnected at the same time. And, yes, we are all hungry for food, blood, and living.

Sack Barrow (Ben Rivers, 21 min., 16mm, 2011)

I saw Sack Barrow a new 16mm film by Ben Rivers at «Wavelengths» program at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film portraits the environment at a factory, showing a full of rich colors and textures of apparently toxic materials, the outcome from decades of repetitive processes. The workers do their jobs quietly, and the healthy looking pinup girls are smiling at the air. Rivers’ editing and framing, and his touch of humor work together in an amazing way.

The Pettifogger (Lewis Klahr, 65 min., digital video, 2011)

I watched The Pettifogger the first feature-length piece by Lewis Klahr in «Views from the Avant-Garde» program at New York Film Festival. The collage animation is made out of magazine cutouts and other objects, like an envelope and a cocktail stirrer, which may hold their original meanings on the screen, yet revealing more of their colors, shapes, and textures to the audience. The mysterious small pieces of color reference may function as a secret code, while the sounds enhance the moods and atmosphere for this stylish movie.