Friday, December 03, 2010

The Long Take - cinema and Videojournalism

I laughed so hard...

I'm watching Five by Abbas Kiarostami - whose films include Close-Up,(1990) and 10 on Ten,(2004)  out of a canon of indelible films.

I laughed because this film makes a point no text can summon in meaning.

The film is essentially five long takes in homage to the magnificent film maker Yasujiro Ozu Tokyo Story, (1953)

To many it is a film without narrative. You may even tire quickly in search of his previous films, but something special is going on here within the visual vista.

Shot by anyone else lesser of Abbas' notoriety it might be difficult to sit through, but it is Abbas' film, just as Bill Viola portrays a rock in one of his films over a lengthy period.

It's Abbas film, so like any product of a great or exciting director, you attempt to deconstruct its purpose, excoriate meaning, even utter expletives. You could also just enjoy it.

But it misses the point, in the same way, Prince may take a scarf from an audience member, wipe his brow and return it which by now would have accrued immense value. I once caught Prince's jacket he threw at a concert, though it got wrestled away from me by a thug - who did let me try it on for size

The film works, because you contextualise it against his other superb work. But it's not a film in the tradition of films. No it is something quite different. Simply it is art.

Non descriptive, non-reasoning, provocative - asking questions of the audience.

We're not there quite yet, in a truism within videojournalism, but there is a grey zone where the act of established and up coming videojournalists will feature as artistic pieces.

Manet as an impressionist, and technically a talented realist painter exemplifies this notion; that is to abandon form and experiment, you must first endeavor to understand, or at least appreciate form.

To redefine, reconfigure videojournalism practice, it's worth appreciating the myriad video forms and developing a critical analysis and then on occasion jumping of the cliff- metaphorically - to discover the unknown.

To do this though takes time of an unspecified duration. There is no limit; the limit is your dedication to finding it.

I'm done now, reaching over for a manuscript on semiotics, but something else has struck me. I have been playing Abbas on my 23' computer screen, and even at that size the cine-art works tremendously. Imagine that being on a huge screen in a public space.

There's something of the Outernet in this.