Breathless (1960) Cigarette Toss Supercut

A supercut of every time Michel tosses his cigarette in Breathless.

I watched Godard’s Breathless yesterday, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Something fascinates me about the way Michel lights and tosses his cigarettes in Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (À bout de souffle). It’s as if each cigarette tossed out of frame enters another dimension and never stops moving.

The song is “Poursuite” from the Breathless soundtrack by Martial Solal.

The typeface is Jean-Luc by Atelier Carvalho Bernau, http://carvalho-bernau.com.

Gnome’s Day Out

An experimental short film about a gnome and their adventure out of their home.

My friend Zach lent me his Sony PD150 for a little bit, so I made a very short film about a gnome who leaves their home to see what’s going on out in the world.

Gnome’s Day Out is an experiment. It was fun to use an older camera that records to a tape deck. I like the image quality. Making this film has me reflecting on how the rapid pace at which technology changes means that so many cameras get left behind with no real use. I think that’s a bit of a shame, as they all have their own visual qualities. While the advancement of technology brings some positives, I wish that there was less of a focus on the specs of any given camera.

The music used in Gnome’s Day Out is “I Allegro con brio” and “II Andante con moto”, composed by Ludwig van Beethoven and performed by Lambis Vassiliadis. They are part of the public domain. Listen to them here.

My Brother’s Wedding

The video I made and my favorite photos from my brother’s wedding in Maine in August 2017.

This past weekend my older brother got married on the coast of Maine. I took some photos and shot some video (which I edited together above). It was a beautiful weekend. It’s a rare and special thing for so much family and friends to come together.

Here are my favorite photos from the weekend:

Shane and Mary Wedding - 7
My brother and Mary after the legal ceremony
Shane and Mary Wedding - 60
Nicole during the family photos
Shane and Mary Wedding - 57
Abagail during the family photos
Shane and Mary Wedding - 71
Ceremony
Shane and Mary Wedding - 25
Me in Boothbay, Maine
Shane and Mary Wedding - 16
A small boat on the water
Shane and Mary Wedding - 91
Abagail looking out onto the Maine waterfront
Abagail on the Waterfront
Abagail on the waterfront in West Bath, Maine
Shane and Mary Wedding - 112
Sunset

FilmStruck Review

A thorough look at the ups and downs of FilmStruck, the movie streaming service by TCM and Criterion.

I’ve been a subscriber to the new-ish movie streaming service FilmStruck for a few months now, and I’m fairly happy with it. It’s got some issues though, and I don’t think it’s for everyone. Here are my thoughts on FilmStruck as of mid-2017.

Continue reading “FilmStruck Review”

What I Enjoyed, July 2017

The film and literature highlights of the month, including Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and quite a bit of David Lynch.

July was a good month. It wasn’t too warm in Portland, and I spent most of my free time working on my film projects and reading. Here is what stood out for me in July.

Films

The NW Film Center’s David Lynch series continues, so I’ve mostly just been watching David Lynch films. I did watch Dunkirk, Okja, and Atomic Blonde this month, but neither of them really stood out to me. Here are the films that did:

Eraserhead

Eraserhead (1977) - Henry 2 - David Lynch

I got to see it in a theater, which was awesome. But the audience reaction was unexpected and strange.

Eraserhead was even better the second time around. It’s absurd and impressive.

The Elephant Man

I love the story of The Elephant Man and the story of friendship that is told. It’s a beautiful and moving film. Black and white treats it very well, and it has aged wonderfully.

It is interesting seeing Lynch work within the confines of a time period, linear narrative, and pre-existing script. I really do think he’s one of the only directors who could have pulled this film off.

The make-up, costuming, and settings are all superb.

I really like how focused the story is. A film that’s just over 2 hours that focuses on one story line, following John, feels so rare these days. It was refreshing to watch.

The pacing in the middle is poor, but it ultimately redeems itself in the end.

The 35mm print was in great shape, but the audio mix was rough. The dialogue by all characters was very straining to understand. I’d like to rewatch it with subtitles in the future.

The Elephant Man doesn’t rank in the upper echelon of Lynch films for me, but I truly did enjoy it.

2001: A Space Odyssey

I saw 2001 for the second time, and it rose to a new level for me. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack lately too. The classical music is a great fit.

Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet Title

My sixth viewing of Blue Velvet really cements it as my favorite film. Within the first 10 minutes I got lost in the small, dreamy, American town of Lumberton again.

With some movies I can’t help but think when it’s going to end or when the next exciting thing is going to happen. But with Blue Velvet, by the time the credits roll, I can’t believe two hours have passed.

This time around I really appreciate Alan Splet’s sound work. Like a lot of early Lynch works, it totally sets the mood. I’m convinced Alan Splet was a master of sound.

Also, I’m pretty sure Angelo is playing piano at The Slow Club. It’s the little things with Lynch I appreciate on subsequent viewings.

I really love this film.

Books

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata

My Lesbian Experience with Lonliness Cover

A very relatable memoir-style manga that tells the story of a young woman overcoming her anxieties and discovering her sexuality. It handles depression, dealing with family, anxiety, and sexuality in an approachable but still impactful way, especially with the aid of the visuals. Very much worth reading.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick

Do Androids Cover

I spent the second half of July mostly reading this book, the source material for the film Blade Runner. What a pleasant surprise. PKD’s writing is refreshingly simple and shows a lot of restraint for a sci-fi novel. I love that it takes place over a single day, and that it’s not an epic in length. The dust-ridden San Francisco is more relatable than the chromatic shine and wonder of most sci-fi that I’ve read. The biggest surprise is how well this stands on its own compared to Blade Runner. While they share similar concepts and themes, they have distinct characteristics that I appreciate.

The introduction of the word kipple may just be my favorite part.

Looking Ahead Toward August

August should be a good month. I have some travel coming up, which is a great time to watch movies and read. There will be more David Lynch as the series continues. I started reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace after finishing Do Androids…?, so I imagine that will take up most of my time since it is quite long. I’ve been enjoying it so far, but I wanted to read a significant portion of it before writing about it.

2001: A Space Odyssey the Second Time Around

How my appreciation of the film has grown upon viewing it a second time.

A little more than a year ago I had the chance to see 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time. Lucky for me, it was in a theater and in 70mm. I was blown away by the film. Last night I got to see 2001 for the second time. It was in a theater with a 35mm print.

I didn’t expect this happen, but the film was even better the second time around. A year was the perfect time between seeing the movie again.

Knowing where the plot goes and the key scenes allowed me to instead focus on the small details of the film. The music. The visuals. The camera movement. The pacing. The special effects. They’re all superb. I have a new appreciation for 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it’s even more cemented in my mind as one of the all-time great films.

In the world of modern cinema with rapid cuts, overused CGI, and no silence, 2001: A Space Odyssey was breath of fresh air.