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A lot has happened since last post ! cant believe it went so fast and here I am like a year later !??

At least it means a lot to share

The year has been pretty exciting for my movies, the ones I have directed as well as the ones that I worked on as DP.

Regarding “ON LOCATION”,  was very happy to see that its Festival career even if slowly fading still provided a couple of Days ago a SPECIAL FESTIVAL MENTION from the Delhi Shorts International Film Festival. I believe by 2018 it is going to be the time to switch to the VOD and possibly TV purchase.

For “BECAUSE THEY ARE THERE”, a lot of selections and prizes !! I am very proud about the outcome of that project, thinking it was a sort of “minor” movie ; my great producer was convinced of the opposite and she was so right. The proof ? An amazingly successful Festival career and I bet more to come.

My project “NEW LIGHTS” got postponed, if not cancelled. I like to think about it like it is postponed. The initial researches were fruitful (too fruitful ?) and gave me answers to the clues I had when starting the entire writing process. The theme is complex, the participants too fragile to not be handled with the proper support team, which in current budget didn’t make sense. I very often wrote that, when shooting a documentary, you got to give as much as you hope to get from the places and people that participate ; in this case, there was a true miss-balance on my side and I didn’t want to make anyone unhappy or suffer from opening wounds I wouldn’t be able to close.

But who knows, maybe a new upgraded version of the project will rise soon ?

 

It gave me time to focus on a photographic project called “FELT”. Making it short, I tried through Portraits of persons and items to recreate a moment of grace we all tend to look for. A moment in time where nothing and everything happens. Project is still on and it might run into Spring 2018 with an exhibition, and for sure a book later in the year.

 

Time was on my side, promoting my movies, changing mind on projects, going back to photography and …Music Videos !!

I had a great gig – 3 music videos, 2 as DP and one as Director – with the great musician Richard Pizzorno. Great time, excellent journey together on the making of his new album. Our collaboration lead to the following images and clips that I am very proud of , both in the making of the images as DP and as Director  part for the last one. That last one was the stepping back into animation and drawings… 3400 drawings later, the Music video is there…and already two Festival Selections !!

https://www.facebook.com/richardpizzornoconnections/

As DP

As Director

 

That gave me the opportunity to another gig with Jazz and Music : Francelet Moser are another great band I am very happy to have collaborated with, and their new release rocks. On the side, the double Bass player offered me a photo session with another project he works on : Wise and Young (WY). I felt back to my first love of music and fashion photography.

as DP

WY Photo sesssion

https://www.facebook.com/wiseandyoungofficial/

 

 

We re early november and I realize the year has been quite of a full and successful one. Promised I will step back into a more regular update and writing, as other projects are on the go ! yes got some extra gigs and  feel very enthusiastic about !

 

Like always, stay tuned for more !

 

Crowd funding at its best !!!!!

 

so..

If you like mountains,

if you are an addicted climber

if you are just a generous person that want to support local communities via a great project…

 

 

 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-climbing-in-panama#/story

 

click, subscribe and donate…every contribution is welcomed !

 

and of course if you know anyone that could be interested in it..just share it ! it s another great way to support them !

 

 

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After a year of diet, here I am again at the Visions du Reel movie festival in Nyon. The main focus of the festival are documentaries somehow linked to direct cinema theories (to make it simple and quick…if more check http://www.visionsdureel.ch)

Today was my first day at the Festival that actually started last week. But due to Easter and the usual Polish trip linked to it, I missed the first days…and so far I would say for good. Indeed Recently I am wondering on how to move on with the editing of the movie On Location, as 98% of the shooting is completed. And after a lot of mountaineering and that family trip, I am now more than opened for advice and ideas.

So perfect timing to go back to a movie festival, to get inspired by what is being screened to find solutions to this usual  tricky bit I am having now as the post production begins.

Today it was rainy and cloudy. Cold and windy. It starts to be the standard for the Nyon’s festival. Indoors a packed cinema room – probably the weather’s effect – and the first movie of the day was Modulations, a short movie about a hip hop crew’s studio recording session. I am a fan of hip hop and the movie brought me back some…well 25 years ago , days of my life when I was deeply immersed into the freshly growing hip hop culture in Switzerland. So on the screen the entire process on how to set up a beat, adapt it to the lyrics and then the recording / mastering in what has become more than familiar to anyone since “we are the world” video clip and more recently all the home studios happily sold by Avid, M-Audio, Steinberg, etc etc have been heavily promoted.

Unfortunately to me, I think the movie was a nice high quality capture of a moment in life…and nothing more. I could feel the director being overwhelmed not by the emotions of the topic but by the fact of being fascinated by it. Sort of “let me show you the WOW” instead of “let me share with you the WOW that is happening on-screen. A lot of images of mixing devices, peak meters close-ups, tweek switches being processed, headset and mic covers just for the sake of the nice picture. A feeling that the movie director rediscovered what MTV broadcasted widely in the 80’s. Maybe is she too young to know it ?

Following it was another medium length documentary called Maximum Pleasure. A polish movie about five retired woman in a Polish town that are getting crazy buying every possible expensive household gadget that the TV Shopping channel has to offer. And indeed the weakness of the ladies is that all seems to be an offer : special expensive prices but with discount on supposed high quality life lasting products. The official synopsis defines the movie as a cruel documentary comedy about a widespread phenomenon in Central Europe…and it is true. And so does the point of view. There is very little empathy with the 5 characters. We are stuck in the showing of  how they are trapped into this craving for buying themselves a living and an eternity via selfishly spending the money they don’t have. Obviously it is hard to build and show the true complexity of the characters, specially if we consider how much History , from WW II to Communist Times, had a strong impact on people’s lives and perspectives. Some scenes are truly hilarious and are worth watching the movie. But if the main joke of such scenes are blowing you off on their first appearance, they become as well like gadgets when being repeated later on. Again hard to understand what the movie director wanted to share there. And this is why it becomes cruel and unfortunately to me reduces the “plot” to some people who run no matter what after fulfilling their egos. Some melancholic bits and general background locations (their houses, their partners) help in giving clues on how stretched they could be. But nothing apart from money seems to be the stretch. At the end the feeling that the director is pointing a finger towards them and this irrational race they embarked in.

Lunch break – fast one and back to the cinema where…well…I must say that both short movies of the morning are definitely worth being watched and my comments could be seen as picky…but the one I had at 12.00 GMT+1….I still can’t believe I’ve seen such. It was Les Tourmentes.

I actually chose to go to it as it was being presented as some magic, mystical outdoors mountains, Shepard, animals and voices mashed movie. A must see. Yes a must see in the 70’s with all the artificial voice over, shaky frames, super loud deep bass sounds (btw thanks Mr David Lynch…..if in your movies all the suction sounds effect are great, it actually polluted the mind of generations and generations of movie directors…I am joking of course but such cool effect is being used over and over and over in whatever situation…). So or I became sort of sensitive about what the experience of the outdoors is, or the movie has been mixing to many things…and only in someones brain. A true lack of content from the heart. It was an essay , again fascination first and power of the topic much after and hidden in a rigid copy/paste form, where every 10 min the same was happening with pretty similar images and sounds effects. A lot of work definitely, but not touching me. For sure other people have been, as this is the beauty of the world : all tastes are equally available and good.

Half sleepy I got out of the cinema to move to another location where I would enjoy the two last movies of the day : again shorter ones. The first , Autofocus, is a great little Croatian movie where you spend your time watching, from a couple of yards away , one of the most visited touristic attraction that is located on a small hill. Worldwide languages, comedy situations : tourists being spied by a sort of sniper hidden far away from his victims. We laugh, sometimes too much if I consider the content and the audience’s reaction ( I ll explain it later), and at the end we feel like having had a nice time. Nothing more. A true candid camera moment that makes you feel some kind of better than the average tourist. And this is a true discomfort to me. Sounds like I haven’t enjoyed a lot my day…

Last movie of the day : Hotel and a Ball. A movie bravely crafted in Latvia , presented as ” The film is about wondering why the world is the place it is”…”A masterful quiet dialogue of worlds and points of view”. To put it back into the context, imagine an old sport resort, you know the communist times jewel of the 50’s. Fine. You’re there ? Ok so imagine nothing has been refurbished since and still every type of young sports people use it for football, athletics, strong men preparation contest. The employes on the fields have made their careers there too. So have the equipment. A hotel is still opened and welcomes all those brave sportsmen and women. Interesting topic. Interesting movie. And again just a camera that , thanks to close-ups makes some normal, everyday’s details appear like the ultimate poetry. A very normal things that I remembered happening in a small swiss village’s football field in the 80’s were so attractive to an overcrowded cinema as all is happening now in Latvia… I am still puzzled. But nice movie, specially if you don’t read or consider the synopsis.

All in all a nice start with a lot of work in every movie. But an overall feeling, and not the first time, that there is a trend taking us on the shore of a risk free movie making. I hardly felt anything else but the fascination of the movie makers in their proposals. Most of the time I felt like empathy and the translation into images of the personal experience was missing. As if we got too well-trained in being “objective” when shooting the movie, which leads to similar objects at the end. No space for little mistakes of the heart. Those little imperfections where you melt as it is the fragility of the person behind the camera sharing a moment of brotherhood with what is being recorded. I believe as well that editing is being very much influenced by a 15 years of real tv shows : as long as it serves the plot, let’s forget the deep emotional coherence for a cheaper superficial action/reaction principle. Maybe are we getting lazy on sharing the true hard to grasp feelings and we replace it by the most exquisite verbal lies ?

So tomorrow another day in the dark rooms, where an audience of 50+, hipster style and loving the exotic of a non perfect swiss-like reality and I would again have this great experience of watching the hard work of passionate people.

The movies :

http://www.visionsdureel.ch/festival/programme/jour/s/2014/4/28/

PS:

Some weeks ago a schoolmate contacted me as a student she’s in charge of was planning a movie about the university we went to. In our days there, I made a little documentary (26min) about our class and what we were facing those days of hard work and learn. So here is the movie for those who are interested in it – the others can share it !. It was in 2007 – all the guys there have now found their successful path into the cinema industry !

It was a snowy day. At least it is what I remember. Walking back home after school in the first snow was a magic moment. I was 7 years old and I remember that quiet and peaceful atmosphere that only snow can create. All sounds are deaden and all I wanted – or pretty much wanted – was to get back home to find my cat.

All the way back, which wasn’t a very long way – perhaps a couple of kilometers – I couldn’t help looking at the sky. In those days darkness came quite early and we could see some stars very soon. So with my red hard leather backpack on the back I felt like flying above the ground, like floating in this cold but life-giving air.

I remember the feeling : I thought it was the best moment on earth. The best moment ever. And that this moment might be the last one.

Actually the days before, spying on the TV – or should I rather say listening from the corridor to the switched-on TV – I was busy paying attention to the news. Gorbachev, Reagan, nuclear power, spies, Afghanistan, if no signature or agreement the end of the world as we know it.

I think I tried to explain it to my cat, but she didn’t realize it. Well being honest my way of explaining her my fears were done in a pretty funny way : I used to lay on floor of my room, trying to not breath. I pretended to be dead after a bombing. What mattered to me was the cat’s reaction : will she find me back, ask for cuddle and show me some desperate love and a deep sadness of loosing her master ?

Years went by and that stays as a memory,  that tension I felt for a couple of weeks when going school disappeared. So did those international tensions (somehow). So did the medias in moving onto other news (yes like the Gulf wars, 9/11, etc…)

Funnily enough in Switzerland every house in those days had a nuclear shelter, obviously build underground. In most of the houses it was used – and still is –  as an extra cellar, a disposal room or quite often as the kids playroom. Toys next to food cans next to sugar next to old newspapers.I believe that nowadays the amount of toys and old newspapers totally outmatched the goods.

As I commented many times, I wasn’t born here, in Europe. As a fact my ancestors – and not that long time ago (only 1870’s) are from Europe. An interesting mix of Western and Central European fellows that for many reasons left the continent to have a better life, or simply a life somewhere else. To exist, no matter what they are or came from.
If we are back to this continent, it is because our future was endangered in South America ; if that sub continent could avoid all damages from the World Wars, the legacy of colonialism carried into most of the World the same seeds that provoked those European driven conflicts.

So is it that the Eurasian continent has been seen as lifesaver for my family and for me. Deep inside I have this believe that culture, respect, open minds are the low hanging fruits in this orchard. We were the victims, like many others in what is called the Third World, of fascism, lack of freedom, single-minded doctrines, post colonialism conflicts, debate free societies – some other type of low hanging poisonous delights. I grew up in an ideal perspective where every point of view – even some disturbing – could be discussed and resulted into positioning of individuals and societies. By  agreeing or not, respect of laws and people, in many different ways. A common objective of not repeating the errors of the past. Yes I saw Western people, Euro-Asians , North Americans like the saviors of us, poor victims. Of course It never meant these places were idiots-free. There is stupidity everywhere, but I thought the wealthy and cultivated have a good way to handle them.

These days, no need to detail what’s happening, we all know too little and too much, we know all is right and wrong, every side in every conflict has good and bad reasons and both interests can be accepted or denied. Just like in an argument with your partner, no one is fully innocent, no one is fully guilty. Yes you know it. Yep hard to accept…I know I know…It makes me think that quite often, and it is the same with acting, many strategies are applied during a couple’s quarrel. Actually it is even the same when a kid asks for something and the parents say no. It shifts from seduction to pleading ignorance to cries and the most often from tyrannic anger to absolute victim outfit. Again you know what I am talking about. So do actors.

Unfortunately for me, my childhoods feeling of last day on earth came back. Not that there is a true fear in there. No I realized and understood that what was scary as a child is sad beyond its limits as an adult. And even more when I see all around me, in the civil society, nothing but people considering themselves like victims. Having a collection of all the most precious treasures that mankind ever dreamed of and they feel like the biggest victims. And all their reactions, thoughts and behaviors are excused by being “the ultimate victim”. I am a bigger victim than you so in the name of my decency – as it is all what’s remaining – I have all rights and no responsibilities.

I am free of any moral duty linked to my acts as I fight for my survival. I thought this was only the claim of uneducated hopeless oppressed  about to die poor people from what is being called the Third World – where I am from. In these days I understand when it can come from the people who had to suffer the biggest from the financial crisis. Hard to hear it when it comes from everywhere and on everything – literally from Geo-politics to personal work.

In those moments I feel discouraged and tricked. I feel like this naive dream of my parents to offer us a better world to live in, a place where you can move from being a victim into an active educated responsible person was a shadow. A concept that no one here wants to grasp any more as hope and future seem to vanish. Is it possible that all the conflicts on this part of the world, since thousand of years taught people to only react with what they know…which means lack of hope and chaotic presumed solutions ? Just like a cheap 2 € therapist would say that beaten children become abusive parents ? Did it discourage them from finding new ways and solutions and a low acceptance for what life is made of , which is uncertainties ? Did a certain comfort make a lot of people lazy and brainless on this side of the globe ? Just like a very clever man, a farmer who had a tough life told me recently for my movie : the advantage we have, us, oldies, versus the young ones , is that we had nothing when we started, and all what we have we collected it on the very late….

I know that there is something deep in human beings, in their nature, in ourselves, that pushes us to find guilty ones and dramatic fast solutions. But so many amazing things have been achieved by those same humans ! If instead of collecting whose nation have the biggest amount of poets, writers, Nobel prizes and great generals to know who’s the greatest and rightful,  we would sum up this for the mankind ? A reason to all be proud of it ?Just like the recent discovery about the Big Bang’s earliest moments ?

And not a victim of the non recognition of my personal greatness from the others. A victim of the lack of interest of our nation amazing genius from the other countries ? A victim that what my faith is not the same as yours and my uncertainties and doubts of my beliefs are actually your fault ? And the most stupid : I am a victim of the entire world not being like the way I want it to be but it freaks me out so therefore everything , everyone is guilty and let’s fix it the way it should be…that no one knows about ?

Maybe those are just the results of what our frenetic materialism drove us into : feeling like things, treating others like things…. Maybe this victimization is the voice of our souls crying in distress…

I believe that my cat understood what my little drills were about. I think she understood it far too well as she stayed by my side for almost 22 years ! She died years ago and it was to me to stand by her side on her last moments. That happened many years ago.

Since 5 years I have a new cat and it never came to my mind to play that game again. Instead of waiting for her to come and save me, I look at her and ask myself what does it take to make her a happy world to live in.