Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sample scanned slide images from HOMEWRECKA

These nature images will be combined with the imaginary friends images of the film's narrator's brother...

Saturday, December 20, 2008


3 Blogs in 3 days. I am on a roll huh.

I went to the mall to do a lil Christmas shopping (and to get myself an ICE LATTE) and I walked into BED BATH AND BEYOND department store. There was this table with a 35mm SLIDE to DIGITAL Converter! I was like, HOLY SHIT! Not only do I need this for my slides for HOMEWRECKA, at a ridiculous chain store like this, I can get buy the thing, get my work accomplished, save the receipt, and return the crap to get a FULL REFUND. Hell yeah! $100 it costs. $100 I get back. I will enjoy the process. And I hope I have educated all of those poor and passionate artists put there, where there is a will there is a way. And , God bless stupid, corporate holiday chain department stores and their in-kind refund policies :)

aka refund meister

Friday, December 19, 2008

CRITIQUE from film, "I NEED YOU" viewing...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CRITIQUE from film, "I NEED YOU" viewing...

Hey Joey,

I just finished watching your film, "I Need You". I watched it twice because I hadn't watched it all the way through the first time and thought that would be better. A lot of it's tough to watch - it's poingant. But it has more impact the second time. It's much more obvious the second time that the dancing at the beginning is when they're both successfull out-patients. The first time they both seem pretty "crazy" even then. The second time it's also more obvious when the Captian is beginning to go manic - when Ernie is trying to talk him out of his "Bongo" obsession.

I thought the early scene when Ernie is trying to talk Captian out of his Bongo obsession was a little long, and though it's filmed in regular light, which makes it more sane (which is what it's supposed to be), the regular light makes Ernie's wig and teeth more obviously fake.

But the scene shortly after that when Captian Jamaca is explaining how Paul died and why Paul died was great. In fact it was so good that I wished some (or all) of what he was saying was sub-titled so people couldn't miss what he was saying.

Some of the zoo scenes were long, but they did have the effect of showing Paul's manic phase kicking in.

All of the parts with the phone guy were really good. In fact they were perfect and striking. Especially the end, when he smiles at the camera from the end of the pier.

Irronically you start by saying Ernie is our worst fucking nightmare, and end by saying he's probably never going to get better, but in reality he didn't do anything bad in the entire film. He just tried to keep Captain Jamaca from messing up. It was less obvious that he followed Captian Jamaca into not taking his meds.

Maybe you could start with more voice-over during the part showing the psych hospital in the rain talking about the numbers of people on out-patient status. This would make it more obvious that Ernie and Paul are recent out-patients trying to pull it together. Also, the dates help a lot, but they're usually small and I found it difficult to follow their progress, which I think is important so you can see how the two are deteriorating over time.

I'll probably watch it a couple more times. The grainy colored film sequences are great. A lot of texture in sound and picture. I loved the Martin Luther King part too. And I thought it was funny the second time I watched, at the beginning it says the film was "dierected" which seemed to indicate it was already a story, the director merely "erected" it for everyone to see.

Maybe that's more critique than you wanted. You said you were re-working it so I thought more ideas might help you brain storm (but then they might not also). It's too bad you couldn't make them look less crazy at the beginning and establish Paul as Paul so watchers could see the Captain Jamaca transformation as extreme and indicative as it is supposed to be - as an indicator that Paul's starting to go manic.

Anyway, you said this was done in 1995 I thought, but you also said it was done after Len. I didn't know Len was that old. makes it even more impressive.

Now I'm more impatient to see Nice People.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

To study a BREER

I'm gonna go to ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES and check out the work of filmmaker ROBERT BREER.
I got tip from an experimental friend/professor and checked out the films a bit on YOUTUBE.
Blew me away. I am not into the "animation" breed of filmmakers but this guy is truly amazing. What I saw in the film " 69 " blew me away. Simple line drawings morphing into all kinds of movements and creatures. Very inspiring, and clearly a HANDS ON process.

I'm hesitating to begin shooting my HOMEWRECKA film simply because I want to make sure I tackle it with the same precision as I did the first 2 films of this trilogy series (MISSING GREEN, NICE PEOPLE). I have enrolled into a drawing class and want to see what that experience brings to the new film. Either way, I will begin the film in about 2 weeks by recording the sound interview. Also, shooting the 35mm slide film onto 16mm film with the optical printer.


Anthology Film Archives.
Robert Breer films.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

William and the WHITNEY...

I was looking for "NEW" toy to play with, a NEW tool. I have been intrigued by the old PORTAPAC video system used in the late 60's and early 70's. This camera system was used in the documentary "THE POLICE TAPES" and the video image looked gorgeous. Smears of light, unexpected splashes of video-Noise. AHHHHHHHH, LOVE IT! Total unpredictable beauty.

Photographer William Eggleston was being showcased at the WHITNEY MUSEUM so I decided to go check out his "process", listen to the lecture and hear about his use of the Portapac Video system in his exploration of the "moving picture". It "looked" great BUT there was an immediate MAJOR problem. The PORTA PAC was being wheeled out in a WHEELBARROW! Literally! That is how the 75 minute film that he made of the South opens up, a friend with a wheelbarrow lugging what looks like 300 lbs. of video box luggage. CALL ME SPOILED BY SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT AND THE ALMIGHTY HI8mm BUT I AINT GOING ) ORDER ANY DAMN PORTA PAC after seeing that!

Overall, my day at the WHITNEY was inspiring. I saw images that moved me (particularly 5x7 blown up BLACK AND WHITE portraits) and was reminded of the important responsibility that I have to continue to "move foward" as an artist and not get boggled down by any person, or any disappointment.

I am still dealing with the fact that Eggleston was a sophisticated redneck who took some pretty damn good pictures. I did not know that this was possible. Guess I have been working in the Bronx way too long. huh.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

SBX Film Festival reactions

The SOUTH BRONX FILM FESTIVAL far surpassed my expectations. It was REALLY good. Not only did I leave a PROUD Bronx born person, I left learning more about my work, and the effect it has upon other people.

The film fest screened, LEN. My screening generated some very informative dialogues, with the usual combination of those who "believed" and "wanted to believe" the tragic story narrative I had created. I have had such a difficult time with this important film of mine due to the fact that it was used against me in a trial to hurt me. A film, like some of my others, that came back to personally attack and haunt me. There is a distance now, a creative one, and I was able to speak of the film and it's process, without the caution I had experienced before. I continue to get the overall appreciation for the "look" of the film, it's gritty 16mm black & white style, it's misunderstood horror. Other comments really made me appreciate the experience of having to "go back in time" and recall why I did some of the things that I did. Here are some sample questions that I received:

1) Did you film the story in a linear fashion? There are essentially 5 questions asked in this interview with the perpetrator. Were they designed to be a "build up" to this character's "resolution", or did you construct the interview-story-drama in the editing process Out of Sequence? ( the question was asked due to the fact that the actor appeared to be getting better and better at his "denial" as the film progressed).

2) How did you set up the Lighting? (the question was asked due to the pulsating effect. This effect occurred since the lights were blasted up at the apartment cieling fan).

3) Your "personal situation" due to he misinterpretation of the film, and the LEN character's situation ended up being so close in detail. Would you ever consider making a film about how THIS particular film actually came back to attack you, the filmmaker, in a trial and forensic evaluation setting? (the question was posed because the person felt that it added a whole new layer and dimension to the mysterious "reality" the film has despite it's complete falsehood).

OVERALL, I made some good contacts due to this film screening at this New York festival. I think that finally LEN has come back to make peace with me. Thank God almighty. I will embrace anything good that comes outta the effects of this film upon others, and as usual, hide it away under LOCK AND KEY, after any film festival is done and finished with it. (i.e. right now. I locked Mr. LEN up and away. and it's time to get to the next film to show).

NOTE: I was told that the gallery that showed my work has FREE model drawing once a week for artists. I will begin to participate in NUDE Model Drawing on Thursdays. Number one: It's free. Number two: I'm thinking I may find the next victim to make a star in a new joey film. Why not try something new and that ain't using CRAIGS LIST as a means for casting. Let's see how that confessional narrative goes. No clothes. No script. No clue. Time will tell.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Justine Kurland

I saw Justine at APERTURE GALLERY down on 47th street. Awesome lecture. It's just so interesting to see a hippie fight so hard against "hippiedom". I keep telling her that it's not her fault, IT'S HER MOM's! (her mother is the ultimate commune livin' nudist hippie). Justine lives in her van, with her 4 year old kid, so ya gotta give credit where credit is due! She rules. Point Blank.

Anyways, all friendship aside, she is an incredible talent. Her work IS narrative driven (the unfortunate new hype), BUT is SO focused and enamored by the nature "LANDSCAPE" there is always something unruly and unstaged about every single thing that she does.

I had needed inspiration today and I got it by seeing her work and hearing her process. She not just loves what she does, she needs to do what she does. She needs to take and make images. I needed to be reminded that I am not the only lunatic in the world who needs to do this kind of thing with my life.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008


How do we choose our specific material, our means of communication?
Something speaks to us, a sound, a touch, hardness or softness, it catches us and asks us to be formed. We are finding our language, and as we go along we learn to obey their rules and their limits. We have to obey, and adjust to those demands. Ideas flow from it to us and though we feel to be the creator we are involved in a dialogue with our medium. The more subtle we are tuned to our medium, the more intuitive our actions will become. Not listening to it ends in failure...What I am trying to get across is that material is a means of communication. That listening to it, not dominating it, makes us truly active, that is: to be active, be passive. The finer tuned we are to it, the closer we come to art.

Anni Albers, "Material as Metaphor," in SELECTED WRITINGS ON DESIGN

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Text Text Text go away

I am currently rehearsing my new film, HOMEWRECKA in my head. I am continually looking for various ways to describe my stories. With film, you have only a few options, IMAGE, SOUND and TEXT. Is there a way to climb over this prison wall? Not sure. I think that then we would be walking into the landscape of performance art. Hummmmm. I have used all kinds of different tools for my text descriptions of events to keep my creativity work "FUN". You can only find so many busted up typewriters and types of rough paper.

I wish I had a teacher I could turn on and off. A teacher who would challenge me to discover new ideas and possibilities. I am reading about the teaching practices of Eva Hesse. What a lucky bunch of kids she taught.

Here is a sample of her teaching methodology from the book "EVA HESSE DRAWING" :

On "expressive possibilities of line," find this: "I will make up a story. I will describe forms that can move, walk, jump, describe long shapes, circles that skip and hop. I can sit still or move at 300 miles an hour. Can you paint me?"

On color, one exercise proposes "using at least four different hues of black, render the image as colorful as possible" (ex. Ad Reinhardt).

I read stuff like this, and I am reminded about why I love, and DON'T understand why I REMAIN in love with creating films. I am hellbent on continuing my journey towards bringing the film narrative into the complete "white cube" of the "fine art" spectrum. MISSING GREEN was my first direct gunshot. NICE PEOPLE and HOMEWRECKA will be the following ballistic report.

aka me

Sunday, September 14, 2008

a note on poet, ANNE SEXTON

The doctor encouraged her, and tried to give her a sense of purpose. "Don't kill yourself," he said. "Your poems might mean something to someone else someday."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

your greatest fan

Like it or not, you must be your greatest fan.

I make films, make sounds, make stuff, because I HAVE TO. I have no other reason.
It is terrible when you work so hard at setting up a presentation of work, and you learn that know one really truly cares about you do BUT YOU. I am talking to myself outloud right now (I imagine). Why do I do this crap? IT's all about money, attention, who knows who, for the most part. I do have to remind myself, that I got into this film art thing because of seeing cinema that inspired and changed me (i.e. BERGMAN, ROSSELLINI).
I have a huge body of work now.
But who will ever see it all?
I work now towards my death show. Seriously. I organize everything I do carefully and "clearly", I "back up" all of my work, I write the "creative process" for as many films of mine as I can to help give insight to the public of how I create what I do, and my "motivations" if there are any. The idea is that when I am dead(and unfortunately when this happens I won't even know it) someone can organize it all and show it all properly to inspire others and let the work live on. WHY CAN'T I JUST DIE, COME RIGHT BACK IN THE FORM OF A FANATICAL FAN GIRL AND ORGANIZE THE THING MYSELF!

I guess this is why God created the almighty BLOG , huh. For stuff like this.
Well, I hope someone out there can relate to some aspect of this.
If not, The mere act of writing this keeps me focused on the quaky reminder that I am this despicable creature they call "artist".

And man, what I would to to trade it in and be a simpleton candy wrapper somewhere in a rural town with a run down local movie theatre and a loyal mut junkyard dog that loves me.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Forgot to mention...

I am showing a still photography show based upon the joys of single parenthood, and the wonders of children.

Please come see my non-controversial moment as an artist (FINALLY)!
Here is a sample image from the series...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

mistakes :

A good piece of art is a successful exploitation of mistakes.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How a painting can inspire a film...

This Image has inspired me. I want to make a very minimalist film soon. One that centers around a static shot of a model. Subtle movements that remind the viewer that they are not experiencing a still photograph. Emphasis on location sound recording, as a backdrop to create an ambient idea of a narrative. I would like to use an analog NAGRA recorder rather than a digital sound recorder. I would like to record sound at night. In the dark. Only company:INSECTS. A RUSTIC CABIN. Please stay tuned...

Film and Photography as a means of "documentation"

There is a growing interest in the commerce of photography and its reception as an index to larger political, economic, and social issues. Recent research and writing about photography focuses on the politics of representation, the markings of difference inflected by gender and class, and the social conditions of reception. Perceptions are filtered through the lens of theory and writing about photography encoded in the language of the New Art History.

The books by Molly Nesbit and Elizabeth Ann McCauley grow out of extensive, if not exhaustive, research. Their interest in the commerce of photography in the mid-19th to early 20th century has led them to recover an important body of material which might otherwise have been overlooked. The footnotes, appendixes, and extensive bibliographies are essential sources and references of great use and interest to anyone working in the history of photography. McCauley's research is prodigious: in the appendixes she registers commercial photographers, their addresses, and their years of operation during the period 1848-71. Charts in the body of the text give the number of employees per establishment and their total sales. Nesbit provides the captions and numbers indicated on Atget's negatives, records his sales to Paris institutions from 1898 to 1928, and lists his clients, classified by profession. The images from the seven albums are reproduced in small-scale duotones.

Since the exhibition of Eugene Atget's work at the Museum of Modem Art in 1981 and its catalogue by John Szarkowski and Maria Morris Hambourg, there have been profound changes in the discourse on photography. Atget's individual perceptions, choices, and aesthetic were foregrounded in the MoMA catalogue; theory as such was not at issue. Szarkowski noted: "No philosophic rubric will lead the photographer to an image that describes a new subject; at best it will tell him when he has arrived at his own proper hunting ground." He observed that "in the last decade, mythic Atget was replaced with an historical one."(1) "Mythic Atget" refers above all to the view of Berenice Abbott, who bought his archive in 1927 and wrote the first biography.(2) Now, with Nesbit's study, we have a thoroughly theorized Atget, seen through the ideologies of "difference."

Nesbit radically reinterprets Atget, taking issue with the prevailing view of his oeuvre as a unity of artistic accomplishment. She cites Clement Greenberg and John Szarkowski as the principal proponents of this seamless praise of Atget's work as great art. Nesbit is more aligned with the contrary view advanced by Rosalind Krauss, who argued that the numbers marked on his negatives are not clues as to how his work constitutes an artist's "oeuvre" but rather are the workings of a documentary photographer.(3) Nesbit makes much of Atget's words to Man Ray, that his photographs are "simply documents I make" -- not art. This position is central to her argument. She regards Atget's photographs as "commodity pictures," following Marx's definition of commodity, and as "satisfying man's need through their [the documents'] play between sign, knowledge, and vision".

The reduction of the history of photography to discourse has curiously led in Nesbit's study to the drawing of sharp distinctions between documents and art, aligning photography with knowledge rather than aesthetic form. But does the distinction really hold between art and document? Must one discount knowledge from the range and concern of art? Nesbit does not actually write about what of photography she might consider as art. Documents, on the other hand, are defined by their exchange value, and their identity lies in the "technical signs" they contain which refer to "a culture of work." Nesbit likens the document maker to a worker in the field and partakes in that aspect of critical theory that discounts the notion of the artist.(4) The section, "The Author," draws the distinction between the form of personal engagement of the document maker and that of the artist. Atget becomes an auteur-editeur through the seven albums he composed of his photographs. Nesbit charts his course from the photographer working for clients both public and private to his increasingly critical and political subversion of the topoi of picturesque Paris. The complexity of Atget's practice is presented, and we become aware of him as a determined conscience of the changing urban scene.

aka me xo