"Absorbed", and further updates on whale

So, the film Micro from last year is going to be titled Absorbed, and if you read my last post, i am giving it away free.  I will keep relaying why i am doing this, to give it a greater context(both social and personal), and i think that in the end, the conceptual gap between the works whale, "Plain Us" and Absorbed will hopefully mend.

 At this time, i am of the mind that as artist, we have to be very reluctant to give away our work for free, especially now that the internet audience feels entitled to media without fee, but at the same time i am starting to see a diminishing quality of work being put fourth in the ultra indie community that has abandoned both singularly(which i don't mind so much and can be beneficial in the world of low budget DV/HD) and comprehensively (detrimental to the filmmaking community), concept, craft and art.  The thing about the proliferation of DV in the nineties was that in the words of Jean Cocteau, "Film will only became an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper", well its not pencil and paper, but damn near close, although Jean Cocteau might not have been thinking about how the internet and lack of scope was going to muddy his quote.  Because we are on the subject, this was another gem from Cocteau, "Art is not a pastime but a priesthood", which echoes the commitment to the work that one does.  

Unfortunately, quantity has taken over quality, art for commercial viability even in the lower echeln of no budget work.  DV gave us the opputunity to experiement with form and ideas, sometimes, or mostly at the expense of craft but that was OK, it was a trade of.  You don't talk about resolution when you watch the personal diary pixel vision works of the 80's, nor do you call into question the simple editing and VHS footage of Tarnation.  But these days, both craft and concept go out the window and we are left with work that neither resembles Cassavetes nor wannabe Spielberg's.  Its something more akin to the Hollywood Romantic Comedy, or shows like Flight of the Concords without any real social commentary.  And without the truth that Cassavetes forced you to watch.  In fact, Cassavetes name gets thrown out alot these days, but my god, if you compare 5 minutes of A Women Under the Influence or Husbands, you will understand what realism is, not pseudo naturalism.  I am guilty of that myself, but i would never believe that my craft is at that level yet, nor is it trying to be, nor might it ever be.  Lets just never compare these contemporary micro works to Cassavetes again, until it truly fucking deserves it OK.  And lets face it, its not going to happen because talent doesn't develop that quickly.  Now if Mike Leigh was given $3000 to make a feature film, he could pull something of.   

Nevertheless, there has never been a Micro Budget movie that i have ever witnessed to carry that type of truth, maybe interesting but without the developed craft, nor as i stated concept.  Those are two separatist ideas.  I will not ask for craft if concept is compelling enough, if the argument really exists.  In the 90's we had Dogme, but the new crop of internet filmmakers isn't shooting for that, isnt shooting for Breaking the Waves or The Celebration, but shooting work that resembles sitcoms, with people who are hipper then what you would be seeing on network TV.  In a way, Absorbed has many elements of the trend i am argueing against, but at the same time, it knows what it is.  Its critically looking at itself.  I shot a movie to resemble a youtube journal, and what better way to express that, then give it away in the format that it was mimiking.  It might be the first feature film to be made for the web, both in content and style. The work is also a self-reflexive reaction to what is availble without all the metaphors.  Where as whale is a culturalist piece cloaked as character piece, Absorbed is a character piece cloaked as a culturalist piece.  

On a more urgent note, whale has taken me around three years to complete, from its inception.   To be honest, i have no idea how anyone will view it, whether they call it adolescent or brillant, nor if i where to be truly honest, do I really care.  I do hope that people see it for more Kiarostami then XYZ filmmaking, but thats just my hope.  Of course i would love an audience, but i cannot dictate that.  I also don't have the desire to sit on myspace for 8 hours a day, adding people to view my film.  But one thing is that regardless of some of the home made aesthitcs, or what some might loosely call lack of craft(i have other films you know, and an MFA), it was made out of my understanding of what DV micro budget filmmaking might have become.  To me, its all craft, its all concept, and its all personal.  But not my life.  Ofterall, i'm not that self-absorbed that i might make it out to be, it might all look real, but is all fiction.

I am going to set up the blog or website this coming week for Absorbed.  I calculate that it will be in 16 parts with the first part going up in late August or early Sept.  I'm talking a break writing this while in the middle of finishing the sound for whale, which will be a completed, locked picture by August 18th.  

Until next time, behave yourselves.,