19 Jul 2014

The Films That Only YOU Can make

This piece of writing only expresses my own personal views and does not reflect the whole of Experimental Film Society.

When I make a film and edit it at home, I only think about the big silver screen and imagining playback in a proper theatrical cinema. Based on that, I set my aesthetics and measurements for a dark space with good seats, just like any other traditional screening context. However when the film is complete and I return once again to the reality concerning the possibilities of screening, I soon come to the realisation that the choices are extremely limited and rarely consist of screening in an actual cinema. Therefore you have to gravitate toward either a gallery space, art venue or a very small underground space the majority of which simply have very basic setup at their disposal (old digital projector and bad sound). In short you have to compromise in order to have your film screened. 

Personally I never enjoyed or obtained any satisfaction out of any compromised screening. It comes down to very simple technical reasons which truly upset me, and there are always some small issues that I can deal with but some of the main offenders are bad sound, not fully corrected aspect-ratio, cropped images, unbalanced colours etc. This may not spoil the screening for the audience who might have truly enjoyed the film with these conditions but at the same time I cannot ignore my agendas and as the great Von Sternberg said, “I don’t have the same reaction to pictures that you have. I view a picture like a surgeon views an operation. If an operation is good and the patient dies, that’s too bad. But the operation is what appeals to me…. As a matter of fact, it’s difficult for me to talk about my own work. The Russians say: ‘The chicken does not talk about its own soup’.“

I cannot stand for sloppiness, technical errors and badly functioning equipment that essentially leads to a horrible presentation of work, and it is this that I absolutely despise and utterly loathe about experimental cinema. I love high precision, total accuracy and the complete authentic screening of a film. However this attitude has a very strong contradiction in experimental cinema and I am completely aware of it but so what? Nowadays I am not sure anymore about notions such as experimental and avant-garde filmmaking, it has no meaning to me anymore, I didn’t ask for any of this. When I started to make films I didn’t set out to be an experimental filmmaker or a story-teller or any kind of special filmmaker, I simply followed my instincts and learned things intuitively and slowly evolved and I am still evolving.

In the end I have realised that this is THE ONLY type of film I can make and I simply cannot change that even if I wanted to, therefore I have no choice. My ideas and thinking just happened to be very close to experimental cinema but it does not mean I approve 100% of everything that this practice includes. I love the WHOLE CINEMA as one entity and I pick and choose fragments, bits & pieces and aesthetics from this entire history. Therefore I prefer to belong to cinema itself rather than just experimental cinema. In my experience you are always given two choices, one is the path paved by time and has felt the feet of many travellers, and the other path is the unknown, I prefer to go for the latter. My instinct rules that I must only make film with DIGITAL and master it fully and ultimately seek to present cinema of the future. Cinema is changing radically and I assure you a great deal of possibilities will emerge, hence you must ONLY make the film that YOU can make.

PS: I found this read interesting: HERE