Sunday, April 29, 2012
QUATTRO HONG KONG (2011, A+)
--M HOTEL (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, A+15)
--FRIED GLUTINOUS RICE (Herman Yau, A+)
--WE MIGHT AS WELL BE STRANGERS (Heiward Mak, A+)
--THE YELLOW SLIPPER (Fruit Chan, A+)
--OPEN VERDICT (Ho Yuhang, A+)
--PURPLE (Brillante Mendoza, B+/B)
Like Jacques Rivette, Eugène Green, and Phaisit Phanphruksachat, Apichatpong Weerasethakul sometimes can turn images of ordinary things into "a magical world". In M HOTEL, the ordinary images of views inside a room and outside a hotel inspire me to imagine about a drowned world in which mutant people live. There seem to be no visual effects in this film. Only sound effects are used to suggest a drowned world. This kind of techniques reminds me of the wonders found in some films of Rivette, Green, and Phaisit. In the films of Rivette, ordinary streets are turned into streets full of hidden conspiracies. In THE LIVING WORLD (2003, Eugène Green), we regard a dog as a lion, just because the film tells us that a dog is a lion. In BURDEN OF THE BEAST (Phaisit Phanphruksachat), we imagine that the hero is interviewed by an alien from outer space, just because we hear a strange voice, though we never see the alien.
I like FRIED GLUTINOUS RICE, WE MIGHT AS WELL BE STRANGERS, and THE YELLOW SLIPPER very much, just because these films remind me of something in my personal life in the past, such as some kinds of food I ate when I was a child, the moments when my friends and I walk along some streets in Bangkok from 0100-0300 AM, or the moments when I took a bus late at night.
I don't exactly share the same experience as the protagonist of THE YELLOW SLIPPER, because I didn't go to see a movie with anyone in my family, but the protagonist of THE YELLOW SLIPPER reminds me of my own childhood, because the protagonist of THE YELLOW SLIPPER saw many films when he was a little child and because he doesn't have a father. Films have become his substitute father.
Thanks to Chaisiri Jiwarangsan for this photo.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
COLOUR BLINDED (2005, Destiny Deacon + Virginia Fraser, Australia, photos + installation, A+++++++++++++++)
This is shown in the exhibition SHADOWLIFE (2012, curated by Djon Mundine OAM + Natalie King) at BACC.
Friday, April 27, 2012
BLACK BREAD (2010, Agustí Villaronga, A+++++++++++++++)
There are so many things I like in this film, especially the heartbreaking scene in this photo. One of the things I worship in this film is the lesson that the boy learns. "YOU MUST TRUST NO ONE, ESPECIALLY YOUR OWN PARENTS."
Thursday, April 26, 2012
From the director of I SCREAM (2008), YING AND WAN (2008), A PREVIOUS TIME (2010), and the super cult hits READ ME! (2008) and THERE WILL BE DRAMA (2010), the new film of Janenarong Sirimaha is coming soon.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Favorite choreography from China
Thanks to Filmsick for telling us about this.
นึกว่า choreographed โดยเจ็ดประหลาดแดนกังหนำ ท่าเต้นนี้มีไว้เพื่อตบซุนปุกยี่จากสำนักช้วนจินโดยเฉพาะ
Monday, April 23, 2012
THE WORLD IS NOT OURS (2003, Barameerat Jantarasriwongs, English subtitles, A++++++++++)
I don't know what is happening in this film. I think it is a little bit absurd. The weird suicide attempt in this film makes me want to screen this film together with THE AIR THAT I BREATHE (2005, Zart Tancharoen) and A SERIES OF SALINEE EVENT (2007, Napat Treepalawisetkun).
1.THE NAKORN ASAJARN TRILOGY: NIGHTMARE (2011, Wachara Kanha)
2.ZOETROPE (2011, Rouzbeh Rashidi)
3+4.PASSING THROUGH THE NIGHT (2011, Wattanapume Laisuwanchai)
5+6.TENEBROUS CITY & ILL-LIGHTED MORTALS (2011, Rouzbeh Rashidi)
7+8.DARK WORLD (2010, Teeranit Siangsanoh)
9.HADES OF LIMBO (2012, Rouzbeh Rashidi)
10.JEAN SPECK (1860-1933) (2011, Rouzbeh Rashidi)
11.DARK SLEEP (2009, Teeranit Siangsanoh)
Sunday, April 22, 2012
JEAN SPECK (1860-1933) is one of the films that is beyond my ability to describe. So I think I should add some photos of this film to complement what I wrote about it.
My feelings and opinions on the films of Rouzbeh Rashidi:
1.HADES OF LIMBO
2.JEAN SPECK (1860-1933)
3.IMMANENCE DECONSTRUCTION OF US
5.TENEBROUS CITY & ILL-LIGHTED MORTALS
6.CREMATION OF AN IDEOLOGY
7.CLOSURE OF CATHARSIS
9.REMINISCENCES OF YEARNING
12.LIGHT AND QUIET
The photo is from JEAN SPECK (1860-1933).
Things I find interesting in this film include:
1. One of the things I like very much in this film is that it arouses my imagination. HADES OF LIMBO unintentionally reminds me of the films MASUMI IS A PC OPERATOR (2001, Apichatpong Weerasethakul) and FUMIYO IS A DESIGNER (2001, Apichatpong Weerasethakul). Each of these two films of Apichatpong presents a face of a woman who shows no obvious emotions. The viewers must imagine by themselves the stories about these women or what these women are thinking about.
HADES OF LIMBO also has that effect on me. I felt a little bit bored at first watching the two long conversation scenes between a man and a woman and a long conversation scene between a man and a man in this film without hearing their dialogues, then I started imagining by myself what they are talking about, and then I got lost in my funny imaginations.
Rashidi once presented a long, silent, dialogue scene between a man and a woman in FILMORE (2011), but that scene doesn't arouse my imagination, because of the two main differences between FILMORE and HADES OF LIMBO. The first difference is the fact that in FILMORE it is clear how the man and the woman are related to each other. They are lovers. So it doesn't leave much space for me to imagine what they are talking about. But in HADES OF LIMBO, I don't know how the characters in the film are related to one another. Are they lovers? Are they siblings? Are they friends? Is there a love triangle? So it leaves much space for me to imagine about their conversations.
The second difference is the fact that in FILMORE there is no interruption in the haircut scene, so the viewers' eyes and thoughts are transfixed with the lovers. But in HADES OF LIMBO the conversation scenes are interrupted from time to time by scenes which have no clear connections to the conversation scenes, such as a scene of a window, a scene of teeth, a scene of a guy with a car, a scene of a woman searching something in her bag, a scene of the guy alone, a scene of a staircase in a building, a scene of a door, a scene of something blurred and unidentifiable, etc. This technique helps a little bit arouse my imaginations.
2. If I have to screen another film with HADES OF LIMBO, I may choose to screen it together with DOG SWEAT (2011, Hossein Keshavarz), because both films deal with the contemporary life of middle-class, young women and men in Iran. And both films seem to complement each other, like two sides of the same coin, because DOG SWEAT is narrative, while HADES OF LIMBO is non-narrative.
However, there's another main difference between these two films. While the problems presented in DOG SWEAT is Iran-specific, what we see in HADES OF LIMBO is very universal. I don't know if HADES OF LIMBO tries to criticize anything in Iran or not, but I find that the city in this film looks like many other cities in the world. I also find that the activities and the loneliness of the characters in HADES OF LIMBO are very universal.
Another different thing between these two films is the fact that while DOG SWEAT makes us focus on the problems of the characters or what they are talking about, HADES OF LIMBO makes us focus on the gestures of the characters. Because we can't hear what they are talking about, we must focus instead on the faces and the movements of their hands or something like that. The focus on little gestures like this is something often overlooked in other films.
3.Why do I think some characters are lonely? It is because of some images and some scenes in this film, including the images of buildings in construction; the scene of a guy watching a television without talking to an old guy who may be his father; the scene of the guy climbing up a bridge staircase, then pausing, and coming back down, instead of reaching the bridge; the scene of the guy sitting alone on a bench, while his body is half-hidden from the viewers by a barren tree; the scene of this guy sitting alone on an old springboard; the scene of a guy loitering around his car; and the last scene of a guy lying on his bed, thinking about something for a long time.
4.The sound in this film is as intriguing as in other films of Rashidi. There are many scenes in this film in which I hear the sound of water splashing on shore, but there is neither water nor beach in sight. We only see an empty swimming pool above which a man and a woman is having a conversation. Does this sound of water splashing imply an undercurrent of feelings between the characters? Does it imply that the characters yearn for something out of reach?
I also like the ambient electronic music used in some scenes in this film very much.
5. I think the images in this film look a little bit different from other films of Rashidi, though they are as beautiful as in his other films. I think there are some scenes in this film in which we see a wider and deeper picture than in other films of Rashidi, but I'm not sure. I guess it may be because this film was shot by a different camera (Canon EOS 60D) or by a different cinematographer.
6. Rashidi's website says that this film is directed remotely from Ireland over Skype. I think this may be the second film that I have ever seen which was directed remotely. The first film in this case that I saw is PEE PONG (2010, Wachara Kanha, 30 min), which was directed remotely by Wachara in Thailand. He told his friend in Hawaii to shoot this film for him via internet messages or something like that, if I understand it correctly. And the resulting film still has the obvious signatures of Wachara, such as its puzzling quality. HADES OF LIMBO looks like it was shot by Rashidi himself, too. If I didn't read Rashidi's website, I would have assumed that Rashidi was there to shoot this film by himself.
Talking about films directed remotely, I still haven't seen YOL (1982), which was directed remotely by Yilmaz Güney while he was in prison.
7.This film also contains some puzzling scenes, which I think is a signature of Rashidi (with some exceptions, such as FILMORE). Puzzling things in this film include the shower scene and the scene of the black dog viewed from a hidden camera or something like that. What are the meanings of these scenes?
In the synopsis of this film, it says that Jean Speck opened Zurich's first cinema. So I assume that Jean Speck was a real person who used to live in the past. However, this film is as far from being a biographical film as possible, despite its title. In a way, this film reminds me of THE DEATH OF MARIA MALIBRAN (1972, Werner Schroeter), which is one of my most favorite films of all time, because both films choose not to tell us the life of the titled character, but choose to present us many seemingly incoherent scenes which may or may not concern the titled character, and both films give me very powerful cinematic experiences.
Like THE DEATH OF MARIA MALIBRAN, JEAN SPECK (1860-1933) is another film which is beyond my ability to describe. I will not try to analyze this film, its structure, or its meanings. I just know that it overwhelms me with its visual and sound. All I can do is to try to elaborate a little bit about a few things I like in this film, though I know that my writing cannot adequately convey the powerful feelings I get from watching this film.
Things I find interesting in this film include:
1.The seemingly incoherent quality of the scenes. I don't know what many scenes in this film mean. I don't know how many scenes in this film concern Jean Speck. I'm not sure how each scene is related to any other scenes in the film. Having said that, I think many scenes in this film seem to be tangentially related to one another, or to cinema, or to shadow and light. And the seemingly incoherent quality is a good thing in my point of view. Like THE DEATH OF MARIA MALIBRAN, JEAN SPECK (1860-1933) puzzles me with scenes which are not clearly connected to one another, thus the film arouses my imagination. The film encourages me to try to connect the dot, to try to find the connections between each scene, or to imagine some connections by myself. The film doesn't let me be a passive viewer.
In my imagination, I think like this:
1.1 The scenes which seem to be clearly connected to Jean Speck include the first scene which show a few viewers coming to sit in a theatre, and the scene which shows stills from old movies. There is also a strange sound in some scenes which make me think about the rolling of film in a projector or something like that.
1.2 The scenes which make me think about various aspects of cinema include the scene which shows a couple using a bathtub curtain as the screen; the scene in which some people shut the curtain to make the room go dark (so that the room can be fit for a film screening); and the scene which shows shadows of a man appearing repeatedly for ten minutes, while we hear various voices at the same time. These voices make me think about voices of the audience leaving a theatre, though we see the shadow of only one man.
There are also a scene of a guy driving like in an old film noir, a scene of a guy trying to fix a spotlight, a scene of a white screen, and a scene of a throbbing black screen. These scenes remind me of some aspects of cinema, too.
1.3 Most scenes in this film stun me with their shadow and light. In the
first scene, we see light from a flashlight sweeping around the seats in a theatre from time to time. Each sweep lets us see how the number of the audience has changed or whether some viewers have changed their seats. Then we see some abstract white light moving in a black screen. We see shadow of a man appearing repeatedly for ten minutes. We see a guy driving a car at night, but we only see his face intermittently, because the lights from the street don't reach his face from time to time. We see shadow of a camera, and light and shadow caused by a spotlight which a guy tries to fix for ten minutes. We see light from a flashlight held by someone who seems to search for something in an old room. We see a light moving around on a bed. We see views of trees at night passing by very fast. We see a guy walking in a quiet town at night. The lights in the street in this scene is beautiful. We see a guy looking at his reflection on a train window, or maybe he looks at the nighttime view outside the window. The light and shadow in all these scenes are stunning.
2.The sound. I think this film has the most complicated layers of sound among Rashidi's films that I have seen. There are a few layers of sound presented at the same time in many scenes. One layer of sound is a sound effect which is very haunting. I don't know how to describe this sound effect. I'm not sure if it can be called a droning sound or not. This droning sound is presented in many scenes, and in some scenes the intensity of this sound effect is gradually increasing until it reaches a certain point, but not "a climactic point", because there seems to be no conventional climax in this film which tells us no story.
Apart from this haunting sound effect, I think I also heard the sound of an invisible musical instrument in a black screen scene, the sound of an invisible film projector, the sound of an invisible train in the male shadow's scene, and the sound of an invisible water dripping in the spotlight-fixing scene. All these sounds of things which are not presented on the screen arouse my imagination very much. There is also a scene in which we hear the sound of things presented on the screen, but the sound of things presented in this scene is amplified a lot. It's the scene in which a guy stands in a building, smoking and drinking. Each sound made by this guy or the liquor bottle or things in this scene is surrealistically loud.
3. The opacity. There are many scenes I like in this film, though I don't know their meanings at all. For example:
3.1 The scene of white light moving in the darkness
3.2 The scene of a white screen in the beginning of the film, and the scene of a throbbing black screen at the end of the film
3.3 Is it the same guy whose shadow we see appearing repeatedly for ten minutes, the guy who drives the car, the guy who tries to fix a spotlight four times, the person whose legs we see on a bed, the guy who wakes up and goes down the staircase, the guy who walks in a quiet town at night, and the guy in the train? How many guys have we seen in these scenes? Does it matter to know the answer? I guess it doesn't matter.
3.4 Something in this film makes me think about a splitting existence/identity/consciousness or something like that. Because this film focuses on shadows, it makes me think about shadow as a kind of thing which splits from us. Apart from intriguing shadows in this film, there is a very intriguing scene of a guy waking up in his room, but he is presented as a ghost. His body is transparent. And the ghost even splits itself into two later. The scene of a guy staring at his reflection near the end of the film makes me think about the splitting of oneself, too. What does this scene mean? Unintentionally, somehow this scene reminds me of how I watch films nowadays. In the past, I saw many films in a big theatre like in the beginning of JEAN SPECK (1860-1933). At present, I watch many films, including this film, in a laptop in my own room. My laptop is even smaller than the train window that the guy stares at near the end of the film, and while I watch films on my laptop, I also see a faint reflection of myself appearing on the screen. Watching films nowadays means I watch both the films and my own reflection on the screen at the same time. It's like what the guy does at the end of this film, watching both his reflection and the view outside from a small room.
3.5 Why do these films focus on legs and feet? We see four legs in a bathtub, two legs on a bed, and some legs of people walking in front of a building?
3.6 The legs-in-a-bathtub scene is very intriguing. What do these two people do in the bathtub? Are they making love with, playing with, or killing each other?
3.7 Why does the guy try to fix the spotlight four times?
4.I like the haunting quality and the grainy quality of this film very much.
5.The scene of a guy walking in a quiet town at night, and then smoking both inside and outside a building, reminds me of films by Bela Tarr and Fred Kelemen. The atmosphere in this scene is a little bit similar to the one in the films of these two masters. I also wonder if the scene of a guy driving is a tribute to Jean-Pierre Melville, while the scene of two ghosts waking is a tribute to Maya Deren or not.
6. If I have to screen other films together with JEAN SPECK (1860-1933), I will choose THE DEATH OF MARIA MALIBRAN and these films:
6.1 TWO TIMES IN ONE SPACE (1984, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Croatia, 12 min)
The scene of the two ghosts waking up in JEAN SPECK reminds me of this Croatia film. This Croatia film is made by the double projections of a film called IN THE KITCHEN (1968, Nikola Stojanovi) on the same screen. The second projection is nine-second delay from the first projection. So on the same screen we see two similar activities, but one of them is nine second late from the other.
6.2 MA DANG BO SAI (1999, Phaisit Phanphruksachat)
There is an abstract quality in some scenes in JEAN SPECK, especially the scene which shows white light moving in the darkness, and some scenes which seem to look so closely at something that we can only see the texture of the things, but not the things themselves. This reminds me of MA DANG BO SAI, because many scenes in MA DANG BO SAI show us unidentifiable things, too.
6.3 CONTRE-JOUR (2009, Christoph Girardet + Matthias Müller)
The flickering of lights and shadows in JEAN SPECK reminds me of the flickering of lights in CONTRE-JOUR.
6.4 I FORGOT THE TITLE (2008, Christelle Lheureux)
I FORGOT THE TITLE also deals with the history and some special qualities of cinema in a very haunting and experimental way like JEAN SPECK.
In conclusion, JEAN SPECK (1860-1933) tells no story, but it gives us one of the most powerful presentations of recorded moving shadows, lights, and sounds. That is cinema.
IMMANENCE DECONSTRUCTION OF US shows us found footage from home movies of a family, which I guess is an upper middle class family in Ireland. These home movies are punctuated from time to time by footage of landscapes in snow. I'm not sure what these snow scenes mean, but the snow falling in these scenes makes the scenes become more and more blurred. I guess the blurred quality in these scenes is also augmented by some visual effects. So for me, the blurred quality of the snow scenes reminds me of two things. The first thing is our own memory which keeps fading away as time goes by. The second thing is the film material which keeps deteriorating as times goes by. Some of us try to preserve our good memories of happy moments by making home movies or video diaries about them, but these home movies or video diaries can only keep these happy memories for a while. One day the film material will deteriorate completely. One day the digital data in the video will be completely destroyed. Time destroys everything, including our memories and everything that we use to preserve our memories. But it doesn't matter. We don't want our memories to last forever. We just want to preserve them at least for the rest of our lives, maybe for 50-60 years. So making home movies or video diaries is still useful for us, I think.
Sorry for not writing exactly about this beautiful film. I find myself unable to write a good review of any films any more. I just want to write about anything that comes up into my mind after watching this beautiful film. One of the first things that comes up into my mind after watching this film is that this film shows us both how great a home movie can be and how temporary a home movie is. One of the great things about the home movies shown in this film is that they allow the viewers to catch a glimpse of real life of ordinary upper middle class people many decades ago. But the home movies shown in this film will not last forever. The film material will keep on deteriorating. The pictures in these home movies will become more and more blurred. Everything will be buried in the end, including the people in the home movies, the home movies, my memory of this film, and myself.
Because the film doesn't give us any information about the home movies, there are many questions that come up into my mind after watching this film, including:
1. I guess all the found footage used in this film belongs to an upper middle class family. Am I right? There is an old woman who keeps appearing in this film. I guess she is the matriarch of the family.
2.Who shot these home movies? Are there more than one person who shot these home movies? Is the director of these home movies a family member? Does the director of these home movies appear in the home movies too?
3.Is the director of these home movies still alive? Are the children in these home movies still alive? Is anyone in these home movies still alive?
4.When were these home movies shot? I guess they were shot in the 1950s, but I'm not sure.
5.How did Rashidi edit these home movies?
6.Do the home movies look grainy like how they appear in this film? Or did Rashidi make the home movies look more grainy in this film than what they really are?
However, all the questions above are not important. Knowing the answers of these questions is not important for me at all. What is important for me is that I enjoy watching these home movies very much.
What do these home movies show? They show us scenes of a big family dinner, a child learning to walk (I like this scene very much. I really want to know if this child is still alive.), people going to a swimming pool, people playing tennis, a boat trip, birds flying, a little boy playing with a water hose, an old guy exercising, a car wreck, a foreign maid, golf playing, people walking their dogs, a trip to France, a parade of strange vehicles, a child in an amusement train, a kid driving a vehicle for kids, a child riding a bicycle, kite flying, people going to the beach, children playing with a toy gun, etc.
Things I find interesting in this film include:
1.It may be good that we don't know the name of the people in these home movies, so our opinions on the home movies and this film will not be affected by things that these people do in real life. For example, if the family portrayed in these home movies are a family who used to support Nazi in WWII or something like that, our opinions towards these home movies and this film will be affected a lot by this fact. So I think it is interesting that we don't know who these people really are. Because these people are anonymous, we may enjoy this film without worrying if we inadvertently sympathize with any wrong persons or not.
2.I am a little bit surprised that I can enjoy watching these rich people's activities. The family in these home movies are much richer than mine, and are much warmer than mine, but I can still feel great watching them. I'm not sure why.
3.What is exactly the enjoyment that I get from watching these people's activities? I think it is hard to describe this enjoyment. The enjoyment one gets from watching a home movie of a stranger is different from the enjoyment one gets from watching other kinds of movies, I think. Most home movies don't tell an exciting story. They just present us a slice of an ordinary life of a stranger. But there is a strange kind of enjoyment in watching them. This enjoyment is a mix between the nostalgia, the poignant feelings when one thinks about the fact that people in these home movies may have died, and other feelings. This enjoyment also relies on the fact that the people in these home movies are real and their activities are real. The reality of these home movies creates a strange feeling in me.
4.I like the ending of this film very much. I find it extremely touching. Most parts of this film are silent, except the last five minutes of this film. In the last five minutes of this film, we hear some strange sound. I don't know what this sound is, but it makes me imagine the footsteps of the Death which keeps approaching us. In these last five minutes we also see a home movie covered by whiteness and dirt on the screen. The whiteness which covers this home movie makes the home movie become extremely blurred. We cannot see any more what is happening on the screen. I'm not sure what the last section of this film means, but it touches me very much.
5.These home movies show us only happy moments in a family, like what most home movies do. I think this can be considered both a good point and a weak point of home movies in general. Because many home movies show us only happy moments of a family without any conflicts, home movies are different from mainstream films which focus on plots, conflicts, and resolution of conflicts. This is a good point of home movies, because they show us a part of life which is often overlooked by mainstream films. However, it is also a weak point, because the conflicts or the bad side of the family is not presented in the home movies. We only see the smiles of the people in IMMANENCE DECONSTRUCTION OF US. We don't see the tears. So while home movies are very interesting and help fulfill things which are overlooked by other films, other films also help fulfill things overlooked by home movies. When I write about this, I think of documentaries about a family made by the outsider of that family, for example, BROTHER'S KEEPER (1992, Joe Berlinger + Bruce Sinofsky), CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS (2003, Andrew Jarecki), GREY GARDENS (1975, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer), LOVE AND DIANE (2002, Jennifer Dworkin), A SHORT JOURNEY (2003, Tanon Sattarujawong), and A WEDDING IN RAMALLAH (2002, Sherine Salama).
However, sometimes we don't need an outsider to portray both the good side and the bad side of a family. In some extraordinary cases, a family member can make a searing portrait of his/her own family, too, for example
THE MARINA EXPERIMENT (2009, Marina Lutz), SINK OR SWIM (1990, Su Friedrich), A STORY IN A CAR (2011, Wachara Kanha, 4 min), and TARNATION (2003, Jonathan Caouette).
6.Home movies in IMMANENCE DECONSTRUCTION OF US unintentionally make me think about the difference between home movies and video diaries. I think these two genres of films are roughly the same thing or are very connected to each other. But when someone mentions the words "home movies", I often think about personal films made in the past and shot in 8mm format. When someone mentions the words "video diaries", I often think about any kinds of moving images made nowadays which focus on the personal life of the filmmaker, excluding the ones made in film format.
Though I used to think of home movies and video diaries as roughly the same thing, watching IMMANENCE DECONSTRUCTION OF US makes me realize how home movies may be a little bit different from video diaries made nowadays. These differences include:
6.1 The money. Most home movies were made by middle class or upper middle class people, but you don't have to be that rich to make video diaries nowadays, because you can use your mobile phone or use some program such as Socialcam to record your daily activities nowadays. I'm sure that in the near future someone will make a great arthouse film from materials found in Socialcam, like what Rashidi made from home movies in IMMANENCE DECONSTRUCTION OF US.
6.2 Many home movies focus on the family. Many video diaries focus on the filmmaker and friends. It may be because many home movies were made by the father of the family. These fathers who were in their 40s wanted to capture the activities of their kids and families. On the contrary, many filmmakers who make video diaries nowadays are in their teens or 20s. These video-diary makers want to capture the moments they spend with their friends before each of them goes on his/her own way.
The kind of video diaries that I like are the ones in which the filmmaker expresses his feelings to the video, for example, DIRTY PICTURES (2007, John Smith), A NEANGLY FAIRYTALE (BREAKDOWN: SIDE STORY) (2009, Nattaphan Boonlert, 21 min), and STRESSFUL 12 HOURS BEFORE THE DEADLINE (2010, Pitchayakorn Sangsuk, 10 min). Actually I'm not sure if these three films can be called video diaries or not, but I think of them as powerful video diaries.
However, there is also a group of "personal films" or video diaries made nowadays which focus on the family of the filmmakers. I think this group of personal films differ a little bit from home movies made in the past because these personal films look more formal instead of amateurish, and often involve some interviews with the filmmaker's family members. Some of these personal films are listed in the link below:
7.Like many films shown in the 6th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival in early 2012, IMMANENCE DECONSTRUCTION OF US makes me think about the convergence between home movies/video diaries and experimental films. It is interesting to think about the differences between them and the similarities between them which link them together.
I think the differences between home movies and experimental films are the fact that many home movies were made by persons who didn't know how to make films or didn't know the rules of what to do when you are making films, whie many experimental films are made by persons who know very well about the rules of filmmaking. The similarity between them is the fact that both home movies and experimental films generally ignore the rules of filmmaking. Many home movies don't have plots and focus on little things in life. That's what many experimental films do, too.
Apart from IMMANENCE DECONSTRUCTION OF US, films that I like very much and seem to be the hybrids between home movies/video diaries and experimental films include:
7.1 THE ATMOSPHERE AT HOME AT 6AM (2011, Wachara Kanha, 16 min)
7.2 DESTINATION FINALE (2008, Philip Widmann, Germany/South Vietnam)
7.3 (DIS)CONTINUITY (2012, Wantanee Siripattananuntakul, video installation)
7.4 MV: EV'RY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE (1990, Ed Lachlan)
7.5 FILM FROM LAMPANG (around 1971, anonymous, Thailand)
7.6 GALLIVANT (1996, Andrew Kötting, UK)
7.7 THE GARDEN (2010, Ann Steuernagel, USA)
7.8 HERE COMES THE SUN (2008, Supakit Seksuwan, 7 min)
7.9 HOLD STILL (2009, Rachel Shearer, New Zealand)
7.10 I REMEMBER (2011, Arthawut Boonyuang, 90 min)
7.11 LIFE CONTINUED (1966, Zhuang Ling, Taiwan)
7.12 LOVE ACTUALLY (2008, Gun Sangkaew, 9 min)
7.13 ME AND MY VIDEO DIARY (2010, Tani Thitiprawat)
7.14 MORNING (2010, Kok Siew Wai, Malaysia)
7.15 MY MOTHER AND HER DARKNESS (2008, Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa, 7 min)
7.16 MY ROOM AND I (2010, Ka-nes Boonyapanachoti, 20 min)
7.17 A PLACE OF DIFFERENT AIR (2008, Chaloemkiat Saeyong, 24 min)
7.18 POISON 4: THE MOST BASIC ANSWER IS THAT I LOVE FILMS A LOT (2011, Eakarach Monwat, 21 min)
7.19 RAINING IN THE NIGHT (2008, Supachai Saiwirat, 6 min)
7.20 RESIST (2009, Teeranit Siangsanoh, 54 min)
7.21 SLEEPING BEAUTY (2006, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, 40 min)
7.22 SUNDAY (2010, Siwapond Cheejedreiw, 24 min)
7.23 SWING (2011, Weerapong Wimuktalop, 30 min)
7.24 TOTAA (2008, Akashdeep Sing, Malaysia, 4 min)
7.25 TRAIN OF SHADOWS (1996, José Luis Guerín, Spain)
7.26 TWO CORONATIONS (2011, Stephen Connolly, UK)
7.27 VACANCY (1999, Matthias Müller)
7.28 WINDOW WATER BABY MOVING (1962, Stan Brakhage)
However, I still haven't seen the personal films of Jonas Mekas, Jennifer Montgomery (ART FOR TEACHERS OF CHILDREN), and Anne Charlotte Robertson (FIVE YEARS DIARY). I hope to have a chance to see them in the future.