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In Paris, a young American who works as a Michael Jackson lookalike meets Marilyn Monroe, who invites him to her commune in Scotland, where she lives with Charlie Chaplin and her daughter, Shirley Temple.
Short documentary by Gaspar Noé filmed around the the same time as Irréversible (in 16mm Scope), in which his friend Stéphane Drouot - director of the cult film Star Suburb - discusses life with AIDS and his struggles to make films.
Film is a remarkable medium. The broad class of storytelling and related emotional invocation is similarly broad. Watching these affirms my commitment to something else: long form cinema.
These are short form, about a minute or so. Some are by well known filmmakers, including some I truly admire. Others involved seem to be popular figures in the art scene. The provenance of the project seems to have been a liquor distributor, the target the Beijing Film Festival, and the theme dreaming.
Some are simple depictions of dreaming. Others try to register some evocative, usually disturbing dream. And yet others treat their project as if it were art as it seems to be defined today.
I will leave it to others whether that latter class is worth your attention. What intrigues me is which of these work because they used the power of cinema and narrative to work for me.
Films that work do so by making a story that entangles with the stories I host internally. They entangle one another in ways (usually more than one) where I cannot escape being changed.
When you have a sixty second film you need to do more than merely capture attention. You cannot slide us into a world, you have to shiv into the one I carry, ideally through an unguarded invagination.
The depressing thing is that not one of these did this for me. Quite possibly seeing them all at once makes this difficult but I think the opposite is the case. After a couple, you open yourself to the rhythm; you prepare yourself to carry the unresolved. You rest into concentrated vision.
Only one of these drew me back time and again and surprised me because it is the least cinematic in the traditional sense. And the most open in the narrative sense.
Do not read further until you see it.
It is by Rinko Kikuchi and features her face. She opens it enough and we have enough time to join it on our own terms. We map our own story onto it because she gives us absolutely none.
And then after we have voyaged with her in our story, she expertly takes control and a tear appears. You simply cannot avoid crying. For me it was a gasp and tears. It isn't her. It is my own revealed grief evoked.
You need to see this. The others might be interesting in some context, but not cinema, not narrative.
Ryan McGinley has an arresting segment.
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