Saturday, December 05, 2015

AIFF 2015: First Night

It's been a bizarre and busy day.  I woke to a Japanese business man, a rural Alaska mayor, and our house sitter having coffee in the kitchen.  Some video on their project coming in the future.

Best thing that happened didn't happen.  The car that smashed into the rear end of the car to the right of me at a stop light, in all its wobbling and skidding, never touched my car.  It was like watching a slow motion shot in a movie.

My cough/cold was better today, but it's still lingering waiting for me to stop paying attention.  So I'm  going to keep this brief so I can go to bed and heal more.
Kyle Rideout Q&A after Edward

We got to see Edward at the film festival.  Interesting movie.  Great subject and two interlocked stories - the first being the use of photography to capture motion, but having a row of cameras take pictures as people walk, jump, etc.  The second was his troubled relationship with his young wife, with lots of hints that his earlier carriage accident and resulting frontal lobe injury, had changed him.  But were not uallysure what comes from the accident and what would have happened anyway.

As he moved from clothed to nude models, I couldn't help but think about how many people volunteered to pose nude back in the late 1870s.   What does it mean about those times?  What does it tell us about our naked selfie era?  What might it suggest about the social construction of nudity?

There were beautiful shots all through the film.  I would have like a little more on the mechanics of how the cameras actually synched.  There were lots of ropes, but it was never clear to me how the ropes triggered the cameras.  Maybe I just missed it.  Given that Eadweard Muybridge is famous because of these photos, and not because of his marriage, a little time explaining that better would have been good for me anyway.  And yes his marriage and jealousy are important.  A well prepared questioner pointed out that timing in the film different from actual history - that he'd done these action photos before he met his wife.  Kyle explained that in the play the chronology was correct, but that the need for constant flashbacks in the film convinced them to portray them as married while he was doing the action shoots.  But when he said that, it some things much clearer - why his wife would have known about him and sought him out, that he was already fairly eccentric before they got married, and why he wouldn't use her as a model in the action studies.  I recognize that the logistics of flashbacks is tricky, but meshing the time together seemed to take something away from the emphasis on their marriage in his life.   We really didn't understand who she was and why she had nothing to do all day but wait for him to come home.  That didn't seem to match the progressive, forward young woman who would cross the country to meet and marry this older photographer.

But it was a perfect film to open the festival given it focused on the beginnings of moving pictures.  Eadweard plays again Wednesday night at Ak Experience theater.

Afterward I got to talk to several filmmakers and festival folks.

Bjørn Olson - Heart of Alaska
Bjørn Olson is a filmmaker from Homer, whose film Heart of Alaska, is in competition among the
Alaska Made Films.  His website says:
Hig, Erin and their two children walk out of their comfortable home on a cold March predawn morning and begin a four-month human powered expedition around Alaska's Cook Inlet. While carrying food, camping gear and other necessities for their survival, the family also carries a question – 'what do you think the future of Alaska will look like in 50 years?'
Read more:
We saw a film from Hig and Erin's earlier trek from Seattle to, what was it, the Bering Sea?  So this ought to be good.  It plays next Sunday (Dec 13) at 11 am.

Scott Ballard's feature, Death on a Rock, is a bout a woman facing death.

Here's the film's Facebook page.   It plays this Sunday, Dec. 6, at 8pm at the Alaska Experience theater.

Yeah, the lighting was weird after the movie.

Phillip Thomas, co-wrote and acted in When the Ocean Met The Sky  (just remember it's in the past tense) about three brothers whose inheritance is dependent on them doing a treasure hunt together.  You can watch the trailer and see him as one of the brothers.

This plays this Sunday (Dec. 6) at 2:30 pm at the Bear Tooth.  Here's the trailer:

OK, I need to get to bed now.  And get better.   Enjoy the festival.

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