Joshua Oppenheimer – Early Works – A Collection of 12 Films (1995 – 2003)

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Joshua Oppenheimer is one of the world’s most renowned documentary filmmakers. His multi award-winning films The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014) have challenged and redefined perceptions about the very nature of documentary cinema.

Dušan Makavejev on THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE.

The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase is an imaginative and innovative film essay which combines faux and real documentary with lyrical fiction to paint a monstrous yet beautiful portrait of America at the end of the millennium. With unflinching originality, the film meditates humorously on faith, myth, scapegoats, the idea of the alien, the end of the world, and the beginnings of redemption. The film is a playful intellectual travelogue through the abandoned remnants of the Wild West, an ex-frontier turned into a heartland deprived of its promises, gazing at the stars for signposts to a brighter future. The film reminds us that the West may share something more than barbed wire with genocide, and that history can be told through the moving image in startling new ways. Oppenheimer suggests that we may look to cinema to understand the dark secrets at the heart of the American dream. Oppenheimer asks: if we can identify with larger-than-life epics on the silver screen, why can’t we see the larger-than-life history of the United States in the fringe acts of violence (motivated by the most irrational fantasies) which this country nurtures more than any other on our planet? Continue reading

Larry Jordan – Big Sur: The Ladies (1966)

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In describing the process of BIG SUR, artist Lawrence Jordan writes, “As with RODIA-ESTUDIANTINA only one shot, which probably was the result of lapse in concentration, was deleted from the original camera roll. This film was intended to extend my experiments with the ‘in-camera’ film, and is probably one of the most successful. Against the coastline of the Big Sur country the camera catches swiftly shifting fragments of the women at the baths, playing the guitar, cutting their hair, sleeping. In this case I attempted to use the camera movement to slightly smear the images onto the film emulsion in a manner parallel with the use of broad different medium from music or painting, I have always been interested in the dynamic parallels that existed once photography in its still form was released into time (the parallel with music) and into motion (the parallel with the brush stroke).” Continue reading