“It’s between frames where cinema speaks.” -Peter Kubelka, 1967

“Hollywood,” sometimes known as “the dream factory,” makes ritualistic-dramas in celebration of mass memory–very like the rituals of tribal people […] But the amateur photographs the persons, places, and objects of his love and the events of his happiness and personal importance in a gesture that can act directly and solely according to the needs of memory.[…] He is free, if he but accept the responsibility of his freedom, to work as the spirit of his god, or his memory, or his particular needs, move him. It is for this reason that I believe any art of the cinema must inevitably arise from the amateur, “home-movie” making medium.” – Stan Brakhage

Narrative Without End

The Hero’s Journey says, more or less, that if you go on this quest and take these risks, it will cost you something, you will learn something, and you will get to come home stronger and more mature. In other words, you will win. Beowulf, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings – all of these fit the template. It is not,…

Compare and Contrast

MacroCinema is hierarchical, product-oriented, and an attempt to make the world conform to a directorial / studio / corporate vision. MicroCinema is relational, process oriented, and an attempt to make something that reflects and responds to the world as it is at this moment – objectively or subjectively speaking. MacroCinema attempts to rigidly conform to a schedule and a budget – it…

The Violence of Narrative

“You can not narrativize a topic without doing violence to it” – that phrase keeps running through my head, from an excerpt I posted here a few weeks ago. An ex-girlfriend of mine used to get upset about phone calls in movies and on television – “they never say hello or goodbye!” – it would drive her crazy. Once you…

Gendered Cinema

There are so many status quo filmmaking supposed “norms”—questionable militaristic language like “point” and “shoot” and “cut”—”CAPTURE” a moment. But the truth is: I came into most of my power as a filmmaker when I realized that all I needed to do was make a safe space for people to have feelings. This keynote address by Jill Soloway has been popping up…

Cinema of Control

I want to repeat, and keep repeating, that I am not anti-MacroCinema. Many big movies have been formative experiences in my life, and occasionally I still see one that impacts my perspective on the world in a powerful way. All the more reason, I think, to continue to discuss the ongoing and evolving role of MacroCinema in global culture. Most…

Charlie Kaufman on Screenwriting

I found it! I haven’t actually watched it yet but I really like this guy. If anyone is still somehow making MacroCinema that is also Art, it’s him – it’s a small and shrinking club, as he seems all too aware. I feel like there’s more to say about the idea of Narrative as Violence that I haven’t worked out yet…

“The Phenomenon of Popularity”

But there’s an extra phenomenon that arises from major releases—the phenomenon of popularity. The very fact that a movie captures the interest of millions of viewers is a mark of its makers’ creativity. Popular success is no random flick of the finger of fate, but the result of a combination of ability and acumen—which, however, isn’t the same thing as…