I was amazed by the quality of films presented at the Film+TV 2 screening last night. I felt as though some films were worthy of being screened at MIFF and that most could receive similar accolades with just a bit more work.
I jotted down some notes on each of the films as I watched them. Below is criticism that is, for the most part, a bit more expanded from those notes but keep don’t be expecting comprehensive analyses of each of the films as I can’t recall all their content after a single viewing. I can’t really put a name to the face when looking at the criticism I wrote, so some of it might be quite basic.
Un-Profane Profanity: I thought the first film off the mark had a witty opening and overall presentation. The swearing test initially felt too construed but after watching the ‘non-swearing’ phase this perception diminished greatly. I really enjoyed the use of intertitles including the counting-up clock and cleverly devised poem segment.
Eddie: This had great archival footage and photos. One of the highlights was the captivating sequence that used a pinkish superimposition of Eddie, very entrancing. I think a different font for the subtitles could’ve been investigated as I found myself distracted by their disparate quality from the rest of the film. The IV with Eddie was an absolute standout from subject and cinematographic perspectives.
Four Images: This film was phenomenal. Each act was as good as the last as far as I’m concerned. I can’t really fault it (and maybe this is because of the film’s concept: how can we fault something so deeply personal throughout? Each segment is a representation of one’s own unique perspective so any ‘mistakes’ in the film can be seen as an authorial imprint). All this being said, the film plays with the boundary between the documentary and the experimental film – which could be a good or bad thing when considering its categorisation as documentary.
Away: I loved the b&w. Melbourne felt shot in a way that it actually didn’t feel like Melbourne: a good thing considering the film’s transnational theme.
Tram55: Awesome story. I love the constant visual of the intersection again and again and again. Different set-ups of IVs really marked out a variety of perspectives on the day of the shooting.
Beneath the Lyrics: After the first 30s, I realised the film was a damn sight better than when I’d last seen it. Editing was seamless during the ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ segment. Great structure and progression.
Campaign Auslan: Smart subtitles reinforced importance and theme of communication. With this in mind, I would’ve liked to see CU of IV hands to emphasise the theme. FANTASTIC credits.
Anywhere but Here: The title could be shown for longer. Children offer lighter side to a really difficult subject making the film more digestable. The African girls tie this off so so well but the final interview with the older man is perfectly placed within the film to emphasise the issue as cross-generational.
Black Magic: Cool intro. The subjects were great and very charismatic. Great “science” talk accompanying milk imagery.
Cubbies: I love the vibrant colours which, for me, emphasise the diversity of the population examined in the film. The rap at the end was a key element of the film. The IVs and subjects really appealed to me.
Kraffiti: I wanted to see the first shot of Bali for a bit longer. The sound could be more consistent throughout. Good IV subjects though.
A Comedy Sale: Great powerful choice of opening intertitles. The free-willed, easygoing style of the comedian complements the fairly structured but distant sense the filmmaking offers. Reminds me of Dont Look Back and felt like the filmmakers have followed him the whole time (the impression of this is reflected in the sentiment of Tom’s post).
Spliced: Adrian Danks! Loved showing the extended sequence of how a film comes to be projected. I struggled with the projectionist’s accent and would’ve liked to have seen subtitles. Given the film’s subject, the thought of a self-reflexive mode of filmmaking might have been entertained at some point?
An Actor Named Jack: Ripper opening – probably the best of the night – that acted as a major hook for drawing me into the story. Disheartening narrative of the story poetically undercuts the “fun” Jack speaks of, it all feels quite sad. The “don’t want it to be fake” line was great. The film seems so revealing of its subject. The clip with the parents can be extended.
Listen: Love the Forbidden Lies-esque self-reflexivity. Very happy with the changes they made to where Initially No’s partner features in the film. Great dissolve from b&w to colour to facilitate sound coming in during the interview with the ECT-affected individual.
Insomnia: The zoom at the start was good and I was impressed by the time lapse. I didn’t realise the subject had cancer until halfway through the film and I didn’t know if this was the filmmaker’s fault or mine?
As I said before, the overall calibre of the films was extremely impressive and there’s certainly been a step-up from the Film+TV1 projects. Maybe this is because students become more emotionally invested in the film’s subject. Maybe it’s because a few of us are out of practice before first semester. In any case, the projects from this semester have left me inspired and ready to tackle more filmmaking over the Summer break.