Mixtape 2019-1: Sinofuturism, Relativity, Crane Shots, Rox Lee, and Scott Barley

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Agnes Varda last year.

Awards season is here. But if you are looking for different cinematic experiences other than the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood Empire, here are some films you can watch online:

Sinofuturism (1839 – 2046 AD) (Lawrence Lek / UK / 1 hr / 2017)

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Sinofuturism is a film essay that comes from the future, ‘a science-fiction that already exists’. The idea behind the film essay is elusive. It attempts to map contemporary China’s material condition while also circumventing this mapping using ‘historical fantasy, documentary melodrama’ and some insights on Chinese cosmologies. ‘China is the factory of the world,’ the narration said. It imagines Chinese capitalism not only as an exchange of commodities but a neural network that is everywhere. It has seven Chapters : 1. Computing, 2. Copy, 3. Gaming, 4. Study, 5. Addiction, 6. Labor, 7. Gamble. Each chapter constitute various movements of expressing the idea of Sinofuturism.

Theory of Relativity (Catherine Grant / UK / 3m30s / 2015)

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Catherine Grant’s essay film Theory of Relativity has a split screen form, wherein an image of a clock is placed adjacent to characters in various untimely situations in cinema. Time or temporality is the element explored. The film experiments with time-as-relative, a relativity of time with respect to the adjacent screens that are seemingly unrelated but by the logic seeing, manifest as if there is a form of heightened urgency. At the end of the film, there is a symbolic disassembly of time via the destruction of the clock.

Downside Up (Tony Hill / UK / 17 mins / 1984)

In Downside Up, Tony Hill explores an experimental percept similar to Michael Snow’s Wavelength (1967) but focused on one effect: the cinematographic effect a crane shot traversing scenes of country life. The crane shot moves in a semi-circle emulating the movement of the sun. The film’s use of wide angle lens captures, to a large extent, the landscape and its people.

33 mm Man (Rox Lee / Philippines / 20 m 31 s / 2008)

Rox Lee’s 35mm Man is polemical experimental comedy on the dominant conflict between celluloid and digital mode of production in Philippine cinema. It blends the profane and the comical. Rox Lee plays as the defender of digital cinema. He battles out the 35 mm man, who represents the exploitative and cost-intensive commercial cinema  in the Philippines that still uses 35 mm.

Closer (Scott Barley / UK / 7 mins / 2016)

Closer puts forward a principle of the immediate sensuous reality: that of superimposition. Scott Barley implicitly shows that reality cannot be segregated, that the sky and the stars are always already within one objective reality.

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One response to “Mixtape 2019-1: Sinofuturism, Relativity, Crane Shots, Rox Lee, and Scott Barley

  1. Pingback: January 2019: Round-Up | OMNITUDO | Interventions in Cinema & Philosophy

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