The Town Where Nobody Lives - Al Topich
A married couple are on a road trip in their Bonneville. Basically, the film had me at that. I mean, who doesn't love a Bonneville? They come across a ghost town that looks as if it had only been in full use hours before. As the film goes on, we start to become aware of why the town is of the ghosts, and what a town like that can do to a body. It's well-acted, well-shot, and while it moves a bit languidly, it's rewarding, and when we come to our conclusion, you're wondering how much of ourselves were in those characters.
You can read more at http://www.flokatifilms.com/the-town-where-nobody-lives/
Racer's Package - Cameron A. Caves
This film shows a lot of promise, but even moreso, I had a good time viewing it. The basics of this short is a drug deal gone bad. There really isn't much here, it's 3 minutes of storytelling that is simple, but well-done. There is a moment, where our two characters face off, that is pure, straight, uncut badass. That, more than anything, makes me excited to see what Cameron Caves does next. You can see it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3MGZ-uVU6s
Immeasurable Nature - James Tralie
The idea of using natural imagery as the opener for your film is as old as it gets, and in Immeasurable Nature, the idea is strong, but then it does something very smart - it puts the films production values outside of natural rhythms. The initial shots are sped-up, and when we get a graphic explaining what a scientific measurement tool is being used for, it's graphics rolls, shakes, acts as if it is of the sea we are watching at greater speed. The text is tagged to the objects, and we see this repeated. The editing allows one shot to flow into the other slowly, giving us a similar experience to the optical printing over-laid images of the 1930s avant garde, but with greater clarity, and here purpose. We are being shown how a map of the coast, of the ocean, is created, and that is a process of layering data, which is exactly what young filmmaker James Tralie is doing, and achieving excellent results. You can view it at http://www.watertake1.com/videos/watch/immeasurable-nature/
Ghosts in the Mountains - Chris Hite
The art of storytelling has evolved. From times immemorial, folks have passed along their stories by voice and acting, then by drawing and writing, and now by image and sound. Ghosts in the Mountains is a documentary about Jeffrey Frazier, who has been writing the stories of the mountains of Pennsylvania for thirty years. As a storyteller and author, he's amazing. So amazing and influential that a guy like me, who is far removed from his arena of influence, has been aware of his work for at least a decade. The doc is beautifully shot, but to me the real importance of this doc is that it does exactly what Frazier has been doing; it sets its subject back in life. While Frazier sees to it that the stories of the Alleghanys are preserved, director Chris Hite has assured that the story of the man who worked so hard to preserve is itself saved for future generations.
A Long Duck That Is Filled With String So As To Use To Use For Something Like Knots - Dan Black
The strange, the unknowable. The sensation of something lurking beneath the surface. The questioning of your own perception, and not fully understanding what has been given to you. This is EXACTLY what I was feeling as I allowed A Long Duck... flow o'er me. It is an abstraction of something, but stretched beyond the realm of my personal comprehension. I completely fell backwards in my mind to the collage film works of Joseph Cornell and Dadaist and surrealist works that put text and image at odds. It's a think piece, and you can view it at https://vimeo.com/daanblaack to wade into the gentle waters of a difficult piece that will reward your entry.