"A Collaborative Effort"

The Sky Is Not Falling: Liberating Independent Film And Video From A Prehistoric Value System // submit a post -- nelson@nelsoncarvajal.com

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015


In an interview discussing his freewheeling and challenging film Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard made some comments on our current dependency to smartphones and, more specifically, text messaging. He questioned if anyone actually knew what the "SMS" in the phrase 'SMS text messaging' actually stood for. Godard insisted it meant "Save My Soul."

It's that very idea, that notion of being alone in the universe, that drives the dramatic weight of Ridley Scott's latest film The Martian. Much of the film involves the protagonist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) sending video selfies to NASA--and in parallel fashion to the audience in the movie auditorium. While watching the film (which is fairly conventional in regards to its plot) I was provoked by its accidental (or maybe intentional) role as a "selfie space opera."

Stimulated by this idea, I went ahead and created this video that re-imagines the film (which runs around two and a half hours) as a nearly minute-long "My Story" entry from the highly popular Snapchat app. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

BLACK MASS-feratu: A Symphony of Gangster Horror

Matt Zoller Seitz on Black Mass:

"With his dead eyes, ashy skin, slicked-back grey hair, dingy track suits and sagging slacks, Bulger might be a gangster ghoul. The film treats him as a literal monster, often silhouetting him or veiling him in darkness or partial shadow. One shot pictures Bulger from overhead, lying on a couch and staring unblinkingly up at the ceiling while the camera zooms out slowly: it's the way you'd photograph Dracula chilling in his coffin [...] Touches like these make "Black Mass" feel less realistic than expressionistic—like Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear which envisioned ordinary people being terrorized by a diabolical ex-convict who seemed as unstoppable as Michael Myers in Halloween or the Terminator, or the original silent-film bloodsucker Nosferatu, who could paralyze mortals by looking into their eyes."

The allusions to Dracula and F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu in Seitz's review inspired me to create this video mashup.