Thursday, December 8, 2011


by Jonathan and Colleen

I wanted to bring different colors into the video because I felt like the clean white background would let me do this without it looking too cheesy.  I also wanted to try to use text more as a main element. 

The lines/script of the commercial are supposed to be ambiguous enough to where the word dinosaur also fits into the definition of friend which also fits into the definition of international.  I hoped that by not revealing what the text means until the end that this would entice the audience to keep watching. 

I also felt like I wanted to try to touch on the points that Alan and Chris had made with their video:  the need subtitles portion of Alan’s and the game aspect of Chris’.   I also really wanted to keep the commercial upbeat.  I tried to choose footage where people looked most interesting and enticing.  I felt that without the changing color people might loose interest in what they were watching. 

I also liked that the changing color looked like the “horse of a different color” scene in wizard of oz.  I thought about even using these words in the video, I think the off humor would have been interesting, but the overall message would have related international students to a horse.  This I didn’t like.  I felt like the animal that Allan would need to be would have to be far off from reality, to make it clear that the animal had no significance outside being used for humor. 

I really tried to bring out the joke by making you feel like I was talking about animal language, particularly the language of dinosaur, with the word extinct.  This was a little off humor.  It played on the whole “dead language” phrase and the fact that the dinosaurs all died.  It is kinda a Stephen King humor laughing at death.  I did not want this to dominate the audiences ending thoughts so I made the word extinct instead of dead.  This seems less harsh and allows the audience to still think about the universal concept of a laugh.   I wanted them to feel like a laugh even translates to dinosaur. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Colleen Ruth Harvey: Commercial

Colleen Ruth Harvey: Commercial: Part 1 - Who's international? Part 2 - Need Subtitles? Part 3 - Dinosaur The three separate videos are used in ...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Cost of Living

The Cost of Living by The Physical Theater gave me mixed feelings.  Perhaps it was hard for me to interpret this film because the film itself was meant to have no connections (no literal meaning).  The film was about the role of physical movements and actions.  At first it came across as showing a society of physical strength over mind.  This idea slightly felt degrading to me at first.  I also have bad initial impressions of looking at circus as art.  When I think of the circus I think of one of the lowest and slap stick forms of entertainment.  The film really made re-look at my view of physical acts as demeaning and the circus as slap-stick.   A person's physical characteristics we are usually asked to overlook and instead interpret a person for their mind.  Here we were not given a mind.  We were interpreting and judging people strictly by their physical nature.  The movie also revealed how much of human nature is physical.  Sometimes we do feel like these physical being just moving around and not being seen for anything else. The film ultimately made me look at one of the simplest concepts of human.  I was watching the physical nature of each person.  Maybe this can almost be considered an honest film.  With movies like Twilight getting number one ratings it begs the question what is the audience truly watching (my opinion worst movies ever).  The audience is watching the actors and actresses.  That must be why they are interested in watching the movie.  Maybe it is a social constraint to watch a film about simply the physical nature of the characters. So Twilight has a plot so that people can say they are interested in the story. The The Cost of Living has no plot and makes this known.  If you watch The Shape of Things you are interested in the physical nature of humans.  This interest is not hidden by plot or effects. The Cost of Living may be trying to shed commentary on this idea.

At the beginning when he stops moving his head with all the clowns, I loved.  I love it when people talk to the camera or break the action.  This is a power that film really has.    In film you have the ability to pause life or change life so easily.  I love to see "what ifs" happen.  There is something very liberating about changing something that seems so set in stone, such as a job.  I loved that the film opened with this.  Kinda like you are in my world now.

Also, what is the cost of living?  Is the cost to be seen for our physical nature and not fully be judged by our spirit.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Necessities of Life by Gerald Guthrie is a commentary on needs and wants in modern culture.  He uses modern techniques in his video, creating a simplistic video.  Simplistic in the sense that he reuses many items and deletes unimportant details such as just putting a white space or not putting faces on the men.  The video makes you question what are the necessities of life?  The video sends the message that life's necessities are greater than just basic survival needs such as food and water.  We see this debate between life's necessities as the men conjure a refrigerator and a radio.  The refrigerator represents the basic needs of food and water  the radio the basic need of happiness/music.  In modern times what are our basic needs? Do we need a rainfall of houses?  The houses seem to fall in a way that make you feel like you are being squished by them.  This could be saying that we are being squished by our basic needs of society.  The headlines of the newspapers also stood out to me "Modern Culture" and "Basic Needs." Headlines are usually bad things but they are also temporary.  Are our basic needs temporary?  The human race may always need to seek happiness through dance, running, and other physical activity.  How do we seek happiness now and when will this fall through?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Artist Statement

I was originally trying to only film reflective images, but the video turned into trying to get that vibe of a person reflecting on thoughts.   As I was filming it was really odd to notice reflections.  They are everywhere, but it is something you never really see.  You walk by or you see it and look away.  You don't really look at reflections as things, but instead as being a distorted form of something else.  When I was filming I felt like the reflection was the tangible medium.  I felt like I was in a world made up of reflections and the normal world was the reflection.  The video is kind of my journey through the world of reflections.  Possibly me getting a little lost, lost in thought and lost in my grip of reality.  I found that by studying reflections it really did push you into this mindset.  What is more mundane than a reflection?  It doesn't really even exist.  It doesn't feel like it is a part of this world.  I played on the human side of reflection with time passing and using common places where we contemplate reflection or contemplate in general like the bath tub or car ride or while looking in a mirror.  I thought the car ride was the strongest contemplation point.  I like to look out into the abyss and think.  Also, things in a car ride look distorted.  I wanted to keep this feeling and also bring the audience to continue questioning what they were seeing (the reflection in the sunglasses really brought this out). I showed the shoes to make them realize the difference between reality and reflection and contemplate on that. I wanted the audience to feel lost in reflection. When I look at my reflection or photographs I am often drawn to think about time.  I used time as a big piece with the clock, and ticking at one point, the reversal of the spoon falling, and the old ladies face changing into a skeleton.  I wanted to capture that feeling of looking at a reflection and reflecting with your thoughts.  Kind of bring the whole idea of reflection full circle using visual and mental definitions of the word reflection.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"The Shape of Things" made me think that making art from social experiments on people was evil.  But "The Five Obstructions" by Lars von Trier is a gripping and insightful documentary that would be a sin against art if it wasn't created.  The whole thing is so genius.  Jorgen Leth's film "The Perfect Human" really bothered Lars von Trier.  I find it so amusing that Jorgen Leth is being held responsible for his art and the idea he planted in others minds.  I am not sure if the films purpose is for art or for punishment, but either way I can't stop watching it.  I think we have all wanted to have an opportunity to change someones perspective, I love that Lars von Trier gets this chance.  He makes a point that the art is Jorgen Leth.  Watching Jorden Leth struggle is the art.  This asks many ethical questions to artists.  I think Lars von Trier by getting Jorden Leth's approval and being completely upfront with him about his plans did his art in an ethical way.  I love that unlike a book or play Jorden Leth is in on the experiment.  I feel like this is something that could only happen in a documentary.  I love that this is something real that is happening.  This is a real person.  We can see the conversations taking place.  This is a difficult thing to do on film, to have it actually be real life.  Have people act like themselves, like the camera isn't there.  I don't even think this is ever obtained in "reality" TV.  I think in Lars von Trier's film we see real emotions and real reactions. Side note: I loved Jorden Leth's second obstruction.  As we watched him as the perfect human I could not help but be completely captivated by the girl in the background staring longingly at the food he was consuming.  I understand why this was off of Lars von Trier's wishes, but it was a great film.  I couldn't help thinking during my next meal, what if all those children were standing around me as I ate this.  What if those children were not oceans away but instead by my dining table?  How can I live a life helping these people when I try to block out their very existence? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Maya Deren's "At Land" reminds of those children's stories where the stuffed animal escapes, travels all these places, and then ends up back home.  Maya went on an adventure to a land she didn't belong and just her luck the pawn fell where it did because she made it back to where she started.
Wavelength by Michael Snow is not my favorite video.  He made fridge as interesting as possible, however I am not sure it's one of those films I would want to watch again and again.  It could of been my youtube quality, but as much as I stared at that picture in the center I could not make out the image.  I did enjoy the color changes and the ominous feeling that the movie gave.  It made me feel like I was in a haunted house or something.  I guess what most impresses me is the power of film, to be able to convey a feeling just by recording a refrigerator.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wedlock house used darkness in a really unique way.  Instead of showing darkness and expecting you to see darkness, it showed darkness and made you see an image.  The flicker in the darkness would remind me of an object or make me feel safer.
"Meshes of the afternoon" by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid was about a women going insane.   In contrast the filming was very simple and crisp, with few objects and little camera movement.  The film went slow showing us the little changes that lead to her demise.  I found the scene where she looks out upon herself to be my favorite.  It was kind of like a black hole of time and everything was happening at once.  I also liked the object switching.  The phone was off the hook on the stairs and the next time she looked there was a knife.  Something seems to be calling her towards death.   I also enjoyed the ambiguity of the end.  Who kills her? Herself or her husband.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Wedlock House, An Intercourse" by Stan Brakhage was a really unique idea.  I can just imagine him putting together this art in his basement and getting obsessed over it.  I have done moth collecting before, and they are so beautiful and intricate,  it is hard not to loose yourself staring at them.  Brakhage took this even further by distorting them and the film.  Maybe he is wanting us to take a closer look.  Take a closer look at everything and find its beauty.  I am not to sure exactly what he was trying to say, but the thousands of images were all unique and gave different feels.  Maybe he could be saying art is everywhere if you look closely.  
 I thought Un Chien Andalou by Luis Brunnel and Salvador Dali was really fascinating.  The film is based inside of a dream.  I think this adds a lot to the meaning of the film.  Because once you are done watching the film, it also feels like you are waking up from a dream.  The feeling of trying to recall all that happened, also trying to decide the significance of your dream.  I've had dreams that I swore had to mean something, but I just could never fully grasp their meaning after I woke up.  In the dream you feel like you understand the meaning.  You are making decisions and doing things that all seem to make sense.  I could definitely relate to the woman in the film.  She seemed to be in on the dream, I pictured her as the dreamer.  So during the film I think the audience was supposed to see themselves as the woman, and when the film ended the audience was like the woman waking up. Now, it is our job to interpret what her/our dream meant.  The box, besides the woman, was the only consistent element of the dream.  The box even followed her into the final dream sequence on the beach.  I think the box represents something that is always following us, from the world we left behind, our past follows us forever.  What that past is I do not know.  From the woman's perspective I am leaning towards it meaning guilt.  People dying, lovers, and getting hurt seemed to dominate the beginning of the film.  I enjoyed the short film, especially how Chien Andalou made all of it flow.  It was such a jumble but he connected it into something that I could follow, and want to give meaning to.  It felt like a story of a dream.  A part that really stood out to me was the look the woman gave when she got to the beach.  She looked out into her past and grinned like she had finally got away.  I could not help but chuckle when she runs into the box that she had thrown out her window.  I assumed that the world outside her window had transformed into the lake/beach.  I like how he connected those two scenes, very dream like.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Colleen Ruth Harvey

This is a cool commercial that I watch sometimes for motivation.  I hope this is the future of more advertisements.
I enjoyed Emak Bakia's video more than Man with a Movie Camera.  When I watched Bakia's video I really felt like he was telling me to look closer, and wanted me to see things for what they really are, which is not what we normally see.  He allowed you to see something that you normally would not have noticed.  I felt with Bakia's video he was hiding something.  Two seconds of this two seconds of that.  What happened after those two seconds?  Why did he need to cut/zoom in so much? What was he hiding?  I think he might have been doing the two seconds to show off his new art form.  But shooting in a controversial period of time in a controversial place, and only showing one side to the story, makes one feel like they are missing something.  Maybe we did not see the whole truth.