Thursday, 31 January 2013

Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini)

Nights of Cabiria (1957).
"Like La Strada and several other of the post-war Italian neo-realistic films, this one is aimed more surely toward the development of a theme than a plot. Its interest is not so much the conflicts that occur in the life of the heroine as the deep, underlying implications of human pathos that the pattern of her life shows...But there are two weaknesses in Cabiria. It has a sordid atmosphere and there is something elusive and insufficient about the character of the heroine. Her get-up is weird and illogical for the milieu in which she lives and her farcical mannerisms clash with the ugly realism of the theme."
Bosley Crowther, New York Times.
This is a very cool film too. There is about a prostitute, who endures life's tragedies and disappointments with both innocence and resilience. Giulietta Masina won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for this role. That wasn't her first work with Fellini, they had been married by that time and she was his muse. The name Cabiria is borrowed from the 1914 Italian film Cabiria, while the character of Cabiria herself is taken from a brief scene in Fellini's earlier film The White Sheik. It was Masina's performance in that earlier film that inspired Fellini to make this film. But no one in Italy was willing to finance a film which featured prostitutes as heroines. Finally, Dino de Laurentiis agreed to put up the money. Fellini based some of the characters on a real prostitute whom he had met while filming Il Bidone. For authenticity, he had Pier Paolo Pasolini, known for his familiarity with Rome's criminal underworld, help with the dialogue.
 This movie makes u feel at the same time sorrow and joy, but also, and that doesn't change during the whole film, unfairness of the whole situation! Because she deserve it so much, and when u think that this is over and there will be happy end, he's rubbing her and u just have a disappointment again. There is "open end", so u don't know what's the end of her life, but despite all situations in her life, she is smiling again. So, she'll be ok, I suppose;) I advise everybody to watch it, cause it's classic!

French director François Truffaut thought Cabiria was Fellini's best film to date when it came out in 1957. And as u know Truffaut was an influential figure in the cinema world.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Breathless (Jean-Luk Godard)

Breathless (1960).

 This is one of my favourite movies and I advice everybody to watch it! And this is one of my favourite directors as well. The plot is about 2 guys and their adventures. Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a young petty criminal who models himself on the film persona of Humphrey Bogart. After stealing a car in Marseille, Michel shoots a policeman who has followed him onto a country road. Penniless and on the run from the police, he turns to his American girlfriend Patricia (Jean Seberg), a student and aspiring journalist, who sells the New York Herald Tribune on the streets of Paris. The ambivalent Patricia unwittingly hides him in her apartment as he simultaneously tries to seduce her and call in a loan to fund their escape to Italy. At one point, Patricia says she is pregnant with Michel's child. She learns that Michel is on the run when questioned by the police. Eventually, she betrays him, but before the police arrive, she tells Michel what she did. He is somewhat resigned to a life in prison, and does not try to escape at first. The police shoot him in the street and, after a prolonged death run, he dies “à bout de souffle” (out of breath).

Michel's death scene is one of the most iconic scenes in the film, but the film's final lines of dialogue are the source of some confusion for English-speaking audiences. In some translations, it is unclear whether Michel is condemning Patricia, or alternatively condemning the world in general.

MICHEL: That's really disgusting.

PATRICIA: What did he say?
VITAL: He said, "You are really a bitch."   
PATRICIA: What is "dégueulasse" [bitch]?

 It was Jean-Luk Godards' first feature length work, and one of the earliest, most influential of the French New Wave. At the time, the film attracted much attention for its bold visual style and the innovative use of jump cutsBreathless, together with François Truffaut's The 400 Blows and Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour, both released a year earlier, brought international acclaim to the French nouvelle vague. It's a huge part of cinema history. Especially in French cinema, but I think that for world's one too.

 The film consists of links to other movies and catch phrases. For example there are some scenes where Michel names himself as Laszlo Kovacs, and this is, actually, a "On the double turn of the key" character, this is a film, directed by Claude Chabrol in 1959.
Another example is Michelle Puakar mentions Bob Montagnier. Bob Montana - is the film's hero. The director is Jean-Pierre Melville "Bob the Gambler" (1955).

 Godard said that the success of Breathless was a mistake. He added "there used to be just one way. There was one way you could do things. There were people who protected it like a copyright, a secret cult only for the initiated. That's why I don't regret making Breathless and blowing that all apart."     

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

RESEARCH (Maurizio Anzeri)

Maurizio Anzeri makes his portraits by sewing directly into found vintage photographs. His embroidered patterns garnish the figures like elaborate costumes, but also suggest a psychological aura, as if revealing the person’s thoughts or feelings. The antique appearance of the photographs is often at odds with the sharp lines and silky shimmer of the threads. The combined media gives the effect of a dimension where history and future converge. The image used in Round Midnight is an early 20th century ‘glamour shot’ that at the time would have been considered titillating for both the girl’s nudity and ethnicity. Anzeri’s delicately stitched veil recasts the figure with an uncomfortable modesty, overlaying a past generation’s cross-cultural anxieties with an allusion to our own.

 “I’ve been collecting old photographs for a long time. A few years ago I was doing ink drawings with them and out of curiosity I stitched into one. I work a lot with threads and hand stitching, and the link to photography was a natural progression. I put tracing paper over the photo and draw on the face until it develops. Sometimes the image comes straight away, suggested by a detail on a dress or in the background, but with the majority of them I spend a lot of time drawing. Once the drawing is done, I pierce the photo with a set of needle-like tools I invented and take the paper away; the holes are obsessively paced at the same distance to convey an idea of geometry. When I begin the stitching something else happens, drawing will never do what thread will – the light changes, and at some points you can lose the face, and at others you can still see under it.”
Maurizio Anzeri.

 There’s a dynamic in what happens between the photograph, the embroidery on top, and you standing in front looking at it. I try never to completely cover a face, you can always still see the face underneath. There are no rules other than I always leave one or both eyes open. Nothing is bigger in my head than a face, it’s the best landscape we can look at. It’s all to do with the center, the body. Like a costume or other identity, my work reveals something that is behind the face that suddenly becomes in front. It’s like a mask – not a mask you put on, but something that grows out of you. It’s what the photo is telling you and what you want to read in the photos. I get my ideas from many different sources: it could be theater, or someone dressed up on the tube, a tribe in Papua New Guinea, or Versace. It’s never one specific thing.

“Photographs from the 40s and 50s have a totally different quality from photos we’re used to today. We don’t recognise them as photographs now, they really look like watercolours or drawings. The images I use are anonymous, I find them everywhere; I’m really into flea markets and car boot sales, when you enter you have no idea what you’re going to encounter. In everything I see there is something I am interested in, but I try to look at them as plain canvas. Art history is very important to me, it’s all been done before but it’s never been done by you: if you don’t look into the past there is no chance to go into the future. The surrealist movement is important to my work, but I don’t become obsessed by it, it’s not dictating rules. I understand history in a formal respect, and think of past artists like travelling companions – making work is like going for a walk with them. At the end of the day it’s about humanity.”
He is soooo cool! He has his own style and it is very recognisable.  I love it! I used to know him before. When I had Stitching Image Making with Tatiana I'd made a research about him and I wanted to do something like that in my project. So, I've made a stitched face, but it was very different. It was made on a piece of fabric and stitched differently and also there was a lamp behind it, so it is lightning. But I was inspired by Maurizio Anzeri!

RESEARCH (Graham Dolphin)

Graham Dolphin is a British contemporary artist, who is changing faces and other "stuff" on a glamour magazines, such as VOGUE. And not just on it, but on vinyl records and paintings too. Dolphin using photoshop, pins, threads, letters, magazine clippings, sequins and rhinestones. He is also a sculptor and making installations. I liked him very much, because he is changing the context of image and u perceive it differently.

Sorry for not giving a lot of information about him. That's just because I haven't found it.

A bit more Photos in here.

RESEARCH (Laurie Anderson)

 Laurie Anderson is an American experimental performance artist, composer and musician who plays violin and keyboards and sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960s. Throughout the 1970s, Anderson did a variety of different performance-art activities. She became widely known outside the art world in 1981 when her single "O Superman" reached number two on the UK pop charts. She also starred in and directed the 1986 concert film Home of the Brave.
Anderson is a pioneer in electronic music and has invented several devices that she has used in her recordings and performance art shows. In 1977, she created a tape-bow violin that uses recorded magnetic tape on the bow instead of horsehair and a magnetic tape head in the bridge. In the late 1990s, she developed a talking stick, a six-foot-long baton-like MIDI controller that can access and replicate sounds.

She is a very interesting person for me, cause her performances are strange and u can see that this is real Fine Art. She has an aim, a concept. She is making it because she is feeling so, not to just shock public, but to make it think about things, she is thinking.

Anderson has invented several experimental musical instruments that she has used in her recordings and performances. For example tape-bow violin, which was created by her in 1977. It uses recorded magnetic tape in place of the traditional horsehair in the bow, and a magnetic tape head in the bridge. Anderson has updated and modified this device over the years. And that is so cool! She has made her own musical instrument and I cannot even make a simple table! Also she has invented voice filters. A recurring motif in Anderson's work is the use of a voice filter which deepens her voice into a masculine register, a technique which Anderson has referred to as "audio drag".
I think her works are provocative and not everybody will understand it, and to be completely honest, I didn't understand a lot of things she made. Now I'm feeling her performances better.

RESEARCH (Thomas Demand)

 Thomas Demand is a German sculptor and photographer. He is known for making photographs of three-dimensional models that look like real images of rooms and other spaces often sites loaded with social and political meanings. He thus describes himself not as a photographer, but as a conceptual artist for whom photography is an intrinsic part of his creative process. Demand has also experimented with film in works such as Tunnel (1999), a tracking shot from a driver’s perspective through an empty tunnel lined by concrete pillars. The tunnel is modelled on the Paris underpass where Princess Diana died.

Demand had one project named Model Studies, which was his first time when he photographed architectural models that weren't his own. "The series comprises a total of 32 close-ups of cardboard, tar paper, and foam core panels, depicting the study models from many angles."(Wikipedia)

In 1993, he began to use photography to record his elaborate, life-sized paper-and-cardboard constructions of actually or formerly existing environments and interior spaces, and soon started to create constructions for the sole purpose of photographing them. The photograph he takes of this model with a large-format-camera is the final stage of his work, and it is only this image, most often executed in an edition, of six that is exhibited unframed behind Plexiglas, not the models. On the contrary, Demand destroys his “life-size environments” after he has photographed them. One notable exception is his large scale model for Grotto (2006), inspired by a postcard of a Mallorcan grotto Demand has never visited, which was later exhibited. The life sized models are highly detailed, yet they retain subtle but deliberate flaws and anachronisms, such as an unnaturally uniform texture; according to art critic Michael Kimmelman, "the reconstructions were meant to be close to, but never perfectly, realistic so that the gap between truth and fiction would always subtly show".

I was inspired by him and wanted to make photos too, but then I realized that I used to make photos when I was working with last project, so I can't do that now. And also I was very inspired by that woman, who made photos like they are from film, but they weren't. I think this is very cool and impressive!