Both events are free to the public.
In what is now a first for me, I got name dropped in a trailer for a DIY film from NY based filmmaker/blogger Sujewa Ekanayake about a Werewolf philosopher solving the case of a string of dead art filmmakers turning up in NY.
Yes, in fact, that is the synopsis.
I received an early version of the film (was informed that some changes will be made) and sat down with it last night.
Again, I’m biased (see the trailer below), but knowing Sujewa’s work over the years, he reminds me of a living, breathing indie music fanzine from the 80’s-90’s. If you know anything about that time, you know that it was a labor of love, & it was the underpinning that drove that scene.
“Werewolf” never takes itself serious (its absurd comedy after-all), and Sujewa spends time through the Werewolf expressing his love for the things he’s interested in, centered around his influences, while imbuing the film with a workable philosophy that translates to the real world. It also has several legit laugh out loud moments sprinkled throughout.
This type of filmmaking is certainly not for everyone (long transitional cutaways/ long single take dialogue sequences/ a certain DIY wandering edit / no budget), but I can’t help but respect his drive and his passion for the scene he nurtures in it.
I think, in a different timeline, we would have had more variety of this type of work, but the indie film world never shaped up like the indie music scene; still, we have Sujewa keeping the fanzine alive with his particular vision.
When you make art & you put it out into the world, it becomes a vulnerable time if you haven’t done the necessary work to detach. Essentially, equanimity is the only barrier between this raw period and the world. I seldom read or look at reviews, but this one was a bit different because I felt the reviewer got it (the essence), for lack of a better term, and that connection is wonderful.
So, when you got a moment, check out this THREE WORLDS review from the stellar arthouse cinema site, PINNLAND EMPIRE.
Was not going to do one of these this week, but then I figured that, knowing Chris, he would have been like, "fuck you dude, do one of these on me!"
I just pulled up our last text message, in which he states that I owe him a Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles dinner. I can't seem to recall why?
Still working out some audio drop-outs, but I think I figured that out. If you're interested in getting your weekly (bi-weekly) dose of these, please subscribe.
This is a recent article conducted on Film Pipeline (Script Pipeline) about my latest film release, MAN. Both Charles and myself answer great questions posed by Script Pipeline about the process of MAN. You can read the whole interview by clicking here:
Here a small snippet:
"Options and possibilities have opened quite a bit. Filmmakers tend to idolize the big names because they like the toys and scale that comes with moviemaking. Most of the time, that’s just a hindrance because it gets in the way of truth."
"Three Worlds" wins a Gold Award for "Best Feature" in the Animation/Experimental category at the Queen Palm International Film Festival. Big congrats to the team. We also have a technical category win, a Silver Award for editing, so cheers to Bryan Tuck.
While MAN just launched, ANIMALS secretly re-released WHALE in HD. While I'm generally against revisionism in art, some very slight modifications have been made to the 2010 release. We are in the software eat world age after all, where things get continuously updated. Nothing is ever finished until it ceases to exist.
The project is available for $2 to rent, $7 to buy and is available in all territories on Vimeo. The original SD version has been and still is available on Amazon (along with a few rare DVD's), though the new HD version will be available soon and free to Prime subscribers. If I could dictate your direction, I would say, use the Vimeo route for now.
KEY ART REFRESH
The box office is open, so we would love to see you there. I am planning on attending (schedule permitting) but my producing partner & co-writer on MAN, Charles Borg will be present. If you are press, or know anyone who would be interested in writing about the event, or needs screeners, please reach out.
This has been a long time coming, but we wish to come to other cities. If you are interested in booking the films, please reach out. Whether it be film festivals, one-off events, microcinemas, arthouse theaters or gallery spaces (etc), we are open and excited to hear from you. We want to bring this to you in a way that feels organic and connected.
I'll be updating as the date nears. Thank you all for the years of support. 💚
(if inclined, please watch the work first...it runs 15min.)
Tomorrow marks the online premiere of my latest work (today for you) which I have conveniently embedded the link in this post. (if you prefer, on vimeo here)
Two birds, one stone on the shallow end, a postmodernist twist on a Rene Magritte expression on the pretentious end. Both, equally as valid.
This is the working synopsis or thesis put through a press release blender: "The film captures an intimate sliver into an Iranian American Sufi Muslim poet (Mahsa Hosseini) as she goes about finding meaning in her life. The visual narrative, shot in a classic cinéma vérité style, provides a strong counterpoint to the hidden, synth-driven, processed vocals in "Moonlighting Mission Man". The video eludes to a dual narrative between the film & the music, though kept hidden from plain sight."
Ultimately, this project started with this question, "Is this a short film or a music video?". And for me, ended with identity. (an ephemeral thing, with real-world consequences).
But back to Magritte, and equally, Jean Baudrillard. Why is the opening question important to me? Media (and its contents) by in large is an open-ended question nowadays, and while I'm personally working through the details of this new paradigm, doing so with a dichotomous media might be my best way of processing it. What is a film? What is a tweet? How are they different? These are important questions in hyperreality when words have less direct meaning, and content rules all.
To be perfectly honest (which is my aim these days), & I've said this for many years & truly believe it, awards in the arts are incompatible. No exceptions. They are structurally made of other things, and those things do not fit.
The other reality is that I want you to see my film. I really do. And so, I'll play the rules as they are (though bending what I can), so that, in the end, you have access to this work & and that it reaches as wide an audience as is possible for an undeniable arthouse experience. And an award or two, might help that cause.
It is what it is, but, I believe this film has a much wider reach than at first might appear (we have been told that as well from industry people in Los Angeles, an unlikely place for such a reaction to this type of work).
With that said, MAN wins an "Outstanding Achievement Award" for best "Postmodern Film" at CICFF, in Kolkata (formerly, Calcutta) and with it, our first "laurel".
We still have yet to world premiere the film as this was an industry private showcase, and we are thankful to the organizers of this event to acknowledge our work. Festival programmers, and open-minded distributors, *makes hand into 90's cell phone*, call me.
Dropping a new project late Nov, or early next month titled, "what do you know of waters worth while standing on the banks of the euphrates".
Before I get to the item at hand, I will admit that this beard is in desperate need of attention. Apologies.
Now for the things discussed in this episode or you to peruse:
1) First things first: Add me on snapchat @ amirmotlagh
2) My article on DIY Film in the Digital Age, a part of the Mastering Film Series published by Focal Press can be found here:
3) My favorite book purchase this week is Cool Tools by Kevin Kelly. I absolutely love having this thing on the coffee table:
As always, please subscribe to the Youtube Channel and come say hello.
Not only do you get a 2D cartoon representation of me, you also get some quotable gems I've probably (wisely) moved away from.
In all honestly, this is a cool film series published by FOCAL PRESS with some interesting, and talented(this word is meaningless in many ways, but not always) filmmakers.
I however, did not reread this after it was sent 6 months ago to be published, because, what is the point of revising archived opinion?
With that said, can it possible be the best thing I've ever written? Not sure.
Enjoy, share and let me know your thoughts.
Coming from an acting background, I personally despise ADR. Sometimes, like today, it is a necessary evil. However, with that said, the audio specialist's who make it work are amazing at what they do, and at what they can endure.
On Hollywood films, ADR is par for the course. But, something is always lost in the translation. The level of disconnect from the initial scripted (or not) words, to the performance, to the sterile soundproof booth is the grandest of artifice. I cringe whenever I find myself in that situation.
However, my experience tells me that it's never as bad as it is when you hear it, raw, out of the monitors at the sound studio.