Some Notes on Film

"A movie is not about what it is about. It is about how it is about it." - Roger Ebert

"Suppose a character, in one of the stories you and I write, tried to conceive of his origin, and tried to foresee beyond what he knows of his destiny at any given point of the story. His enquiries, his speculations, would lead him to hypotheses (infinity, chance, indeterminacy, free will, curved space and time …) very similar to those at which thinkers arrive when speculating about the universe.
This is why the traffic between storytelling and metaphysics is continuous.
The notion that life, as lived, is a story being told is a recurring one. Rationalism rejected this notion by proposing that the laws of nature were ineluctably mechanical. Most recent scientific research tends to suggest that the natural working of the processes of the universe resemble those of a brain rather than a machine. To think of such a ‘brain’ as a narrator—although many scientists would protest that the thought was too anthropomorphic—has again become feasible. The metaphysics of storytelling has ceased to be a merely literary concern.
What separates us from the characters about whom we write is not knowledge, either objective or subjective, but their experience of time in the story we are telling. This separation allows us, the storytellers, the power of knowing the whole. Yet, equally, this separation renders us powerless: we cannot control our characters, after the narration has begun. We are obliged to follow them, and this following is through and across the time, which they are living and which we oversee.
The time, and therefore the story, belongs to them. Yet the meaning of the story, what makes it worthy of being told, is what we can see and what inspires us because we are beyond its time.
Those who read or listen to our stories see everything as through a lens. This lens is the secret of narration, and it is ground anew in every story, ground between the temporal and the timeless.
If we storytellers are Death’s Secretaries, we are so because, in our brief mortal lives, we are grinders of these lenses."

John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos

(Source: hours)

"In film, there are two ways of including human beings. One is depicting human beings. Another is to create a film form which, in itself, has all the qualities of being human: tenderness, observation, fear, relaxation, the sense of stepping into the world and pulling back, expansion, contraction, changing, softening, tenderness of heart. The first is a form of theater and the latter is a form of poetry."

Nathaniel Dorsky (via nikopoll)

(Source: amazon.com, via nikopoll)

tomsalinsky asked: Billy Wilder neither wrote nor directed The Odd Couple. Other than that, great piece. Cheers. Tom.

Yikes! Don’t know how I missed that. I must have just been thinking about Jack Lemon as I wrote that sentence. Fixed now. Thanks for the correction.

seamsstory asked: This is a formal request that you watch Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel and review it, specifically making commentary on the following things: Anderson crafting a queer main character although the plot line has little to do with being queer (this never happens in movies, if a character is queer, the movie is always about their sexuality, it's pretty unique!), his poignant barb about racism and immigrant and Adrien Brody brooding in a trenchcoat.

Okay! I’ve been meaning to see it. Probably will soon. If I write about it, I’ll probably just end up writing about whatever details strike me, as I usually do, but I’ll take these into consideration for sure. I haven’t really read much about the movie - had no clue a main character was queer! Annie and I have this idea to write a series of zines where we go through every single Wes Anderson film and write about how every single POC character is depicted (no matter how minor). Add that to my endless list of overambitious future projects!

review of Some Notes on Film Vol. 1 on One Minute Zine Reviews

studiumpunctumshop:

image

I’ve long been a fan of quinquagenarian zinester Fred Moe (aka “DJ Frederick”) and his blog One Minute Zine Reviews, which has introduced me to a few new titles in the past. So I’m totally flattered that Fred has reviewed my own zine on the site and had some good things to say:

First issues of new zines tend to be ambitious, with the creator trying to both convey the thematic content and build the foundation for possible future issues. Some Notes on Film is succinct in both of these aims – it is a zine that is visually beautiful and brimming with exceptional writing. The introductory essay offers one of the most coherent messages regarding the world of websites and blogs vs. the world of print that I have ever read. Some Notes on Film then explores a scene from “The Jerk”, a premise on art-maing proposed by Brian Eno, and much more. This is a substantial work that film lovers and non film lovers can enjoy. If a zine’s mission is to educate, entertain, and expand the reader’s horizons, this one succeeds on every level.

You can still buy Some Notes on Film Vol. 1 on Etsy.

"We are always trying to find the connection between two pieces of film (or rather, snippets of digital files!). We want to find the connecting line, and we want that connecting line to be clear to the person who eventually experiences the piece. We ask ourselves: in going from this scene to the next, is it perfectly clear what we are connecting? Is it a gesture, is it a situation, is it a composition? The challenge is to make this connection as clear as possible, so that it isn’t just a heterogeneous mess of things. If a certain scene doesn’t fit into this line of connections, it has to go – even if we love it. […] This is something we reflect upon constantly while working on an audiovisual essay: that every single moment in a film is heterogeneous and has many levels – there are always a million things going on. It’s easy to get lost in the richness of certain moments in a film, but if you start to line up these complex and full moments in an essay, you will start to lose the clearness of connection between details that you want to establish. If you want to make a connection between a camera movement in Welles and one Ophüls, you will have to choose precise moments which won’t get the viewer thinking about the motives of the protagonists."

Adrian Martin on making video essays

studiumpunctumshop:

Some Notes on Film was featured as one of Time Out NY’s "30 zines to pick up at the Brooklyn Zine Fest"!!
Come pick up a copy today!

Hey New Yorkers, come say hi! Today at the Brooklyn Historical Society until 6pm.

studiumpunctumshop:

Some Notes on Film was featured as one of Time Out NY’s "30 zines to pick up at the Brooklyn Zine Fest"!!

Come pick up a copy today!

Hey New Yorkers, come say hi! Today at the Brooklyn Historical Society until 6pm.

directingfilm:


Because you do not have to imitate, like painters, sculptors, novelists, the appearance of persons and objects (machines do that for you), your creation or invention confines itself to the ties that you knot between the various bits of reality caught. There is also the choice of the bits. Your flair decides.

~ Robert Bresson
(via a-bittersweet-life)

directingfilm:

Because you do not have to imitate, like painters, sculptors, novelists, the appearance of persons and objects (machines do that for you), your creation or invention confines itself to the ties that you knot between the various bits of reality caught. There is also the choice of the bits. Your flair decides.

~ Robert Bresson

(via a-bittersweet-life)

Greetings, Tumblr-ites!

studiumpunctumshop:

We’re Annie and Tim, and we make and sell zines under the name STUDIUM/punctum.

We’ll be using this here Tumblr to give updates on our zine-ing life, as well as for sharing relevant stuff we’re interested in — other zines we love, used book nerdery, cool illustrations, whatever!

And be sure to check out our Etsy store. We’ve got one zine available there now and two more coming very very soon.

Follow the new STUDIUM/punctum Tumblr if you’re interested in getting updates on all my zine-related activities.

Also: a reminder for any NY readers to stop by our table at the Brooklyn Zine Fest this Saturday. The Some Notes on Film zine will be for sale for a tiny bit cheaper than the price listed on Etsy, and customers who mention the Some Notes on Film Tumblr will get a FREE HIGH FIVE!

anniesoga:

Just a friendly reminder that Tim and I will be tabling at Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014 on Saturday April 26th at Brooklyn Historical Society. We are STUDIUM/punctum, and we’ll be selling a few zines that we wrote this year. Please come say hi, check out our goods, and think about supporting our creative efforts! We’d love to see you there!

If you’re going to be in New York on 4/26, please stop by the Zine Fest and say hello! anniesoga and I will be selling our zines, including Some Notes on Film Vol. 1, a zine about this guy, and a collaborative zine about used books and bookstores. It would be tres cool to meet some Tumblr folk in the “meatspace,” as it were.
And if you can’t make it, the Some Notes on Film zine is still available to purchase on Etsy. The other two I mentioned will be available there after the fest.

anniesoga:

Just a friendly reminder that Tim and I will be tabling at Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014 on Saturday April 26th at Brooklyn Historical Society. We are STUDIUM/punctum, and we’ll be selling a few zines that we wrote this year. Please come say hi, check out our goods, and think about supporting our creative efforts! We’d love to see you there!

If you’re going to be in New York on 4/26, please stop by the Zine Fest and say hello! anniesoga and I will be selling our zines, including Some Notes on Film Vol. 1, a zine about this guy, and a collaborative zine about used books and bookstores. It would be tres cool to meet some Tumblr folk in the “meatspace,” as it were.

And if you can’t make it, the Some Notes on Film zine is still available to purchase on Etsy. The other two I mentioned will be available there after the fest.