The Short Films of : : kogonada
This post has nothing to do with making pottery, at least not directly, but it has everything to do with art. A few nights ago I was watching Psycho with my youngest daughter and her husband. It's been a family tradition for many years to watch scary movies and read scary books during October, and they'd never seen Psycho before. I've seen almost all of Hitchcock's films and many like The 39 Steps, Vertigo, and Rear Window I've watched many times, but this was only the second time I'd watched Psycho and the last time was more than 20 years ago. I'd forgotten what a great movie it is. After the film was over and we'd talked about it for at least an hour, I went online to read more about the movie. I did a Google search and a Slate article came up entitled "Gone Girl, Psycho, and How David Fincher Borrows From Alfred Hitchcock." Pretty good article, but somewhere while reading it, maybe a link on the side or on the bottom, I ran into a video called Eyes of Hitchcock. I probably wouldn't have watched it, but I noticed it had been made for The Criterion Collection. The Criterion Collection is a fabulous film collection, mostly foreign, so I was immediately intrigued. It was slightly less than 2 minutes, not much of a commitment, so I decided to watch it. I've seen some of these mash-ups and maybe they're good for a few laughs. Maybe. But this was not comedy, and I was surprised at how intelligently it was made. With that said, when I showed the film to my daughter and her husband, they chuckled through the whole thing, amused by the way the actors' and actresses' heads bob in rhythm with the music. I didn't find it funny because I've seen all of these films so each scene elicited a memory and a wave of feelings. Maybe that's what the filmmaker intended. Maybe. At the end of the short I noticed the filmmaker was a person named : : kogonada, so the next morning I decided to look up : : kogonada and found a series of short films he's done for The Criterion Collection and Sight & Sound. If you go to www.kogonada.com, you'll find links to them under "Projects." He has shorts like Hands of Bresson, Wes Anderson Centered, and Quentin Tarantino From Below. All of these are films about filmmaking, especially about perspective. My favorite was his short called [what is neorealism?], a film about how Vittorio De Sica and David Selznick shaped the same movie (Terminal Station/Indiscretion of an American Wife) in their own ways. By contrasting the way that De Sica put the film together for an Italian audience with the way Selznick put the film together for an American audience helps us understand what neorealism is. I also enjoyed the shorts about contemporary Japanese filmmakers and feel inspired to see their films. I don't know why, but Eyes of Hitchcock is not on the website, nor is Against Tyranny, a short about Steven Soderbergh's filmmaking, in particular the way he plays with film narrative. You can find both of these shorts on youtube. If you want to learn more about : : kogonada, go to this article at filmmaker: http://filmmakermagazine.com/people/kogonada/.
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