29.10.09

Introduc-shun


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…the experience of apprehending, the adventure of seeing, the ‘wondering’ vision.”
– Introduction to the Brakhage Scrapbook

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UPDATE 6/01/2014:

If, while no doubt on your way to more worthwhile destinations, you happen to have somehow stumbled on to this site within the past good while, you were likely left with the impression that it had been abandoned.  That impression, though understandable, is not entirely accurate...

During that time the majority of my focus was spent preparing and applying for archival graduate programs, whilst staving off the nervous breakdown always seemingly just around the corner.  Alas, what little energy usually left was all but obliterated by the train wreck of a platform that is Blogger.  Thankfully, that part of the process is coming to an end, and enthusiasm for this endeavor has been renewed.  I was very fortunate to be able to consider several great programs, but in the end decided the Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image program at the University of Amsterdam was the best fit for me...

Once I've gotten settled in (having lived my entire life in Salt Lake City I'm sure the cultural transition will be seamless), I'm hoping that I will be able to use some of the same methodologies and areas of focus and apply them to something a little more ambitious and expansive.  If that sounds overly nebulous at the moment it's because I'm not quite sure what form it will take (except that it won't be on Blogger, dammit).  Up to this point I've been fairly limited in what I could get my hands on, and as a result the focus has largely been on established, well documented (American) filmmakers.  I hope the relocation will bring greater flexibility, which I would like to use to start exploring lesser documented artists from a much wider range of nationalities...  

This site has been a great opportunity to come in to contact with many very passionate individuals that I likely would not have met otherwise, and for that I'm very grateful.  I don't feel as though I've done a whole lot to contribute to this community in the way I would like, especially when it comes to newer artists working in younger formats, but by pursuing this path I hoping I can work towards something more substantial...

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UPDATE 1/23/13:

As the two or three people (a generous figure I'm sure) who regularly follow this blog might have noticed, I've slowly trended away from the creation of original content and instead assumed a move towards something resembling an archive of sorts. This is somewhat based on mild weariness of my own words, but also on my increasing interest in the archival field as a potential career path. Many of the various documents on this blog have served as a lifeblood for me, and my primary motivation in uploading them has been to allow others who are in similar situations away from “cultural hubs” to have access and hopefully experience similar revelations. On a related note, I would like to briefly mention a word concerning a very valid criticism of this blog, namely that there is a noted lack of materials on recent works. This should not in any way be considered indicative of my interests, as I have no doubt there is a wide range of enlightening work continually being made. Rather this is purely a matter of access, much to my dismay I'm lucky to see one or two new works each year. I'm hoping that in the future this will change as I finish with my schooling and transition to a place with more viewing opportunities. Until that time, however, I will simply try to do the best with what I have. As always if any filmmakers come across this site and are in need of any help, no matter how trivial it may be, I urge you to let me know, as I'm eager to be of assistance in whatever way I can...

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     Some time [years] ago I fortuitously stumbled upon the Criterion Collection of Stan Brakhage at the local library, a time of particular uncertainty in my late adolescence, and despite the visual inferiority of the television screen was immediately enamored (bewildered may be more accurate, but the reaction was potent nonetheless).  I have since developed a great passion for avant-garde and experimental film.  Unfortunately the school I am currently attending does not offer any classroom opportunities in the field, and screenings are nonexistent, so I have had to rely heavily on my own two eyes and various works of scholarship to guide me.
     I am fervently determined to be involved in supporting this community one way or another , and currently that is manifesting itself as a desire (perhaps delusion) to eventually embark on my own critical examinations of experimental and avant-garde film (spurred on by Sitney's repeated mention of an increasing void in this sector amongst the youth).  Until I am able to complete my general education and it is financially feasible to pursue a more specified area of study I am limited in my developmental possibilities, but I figure I have made considerable strides studying on my own, and to continue in that direction I should just start writing.  The most practical option seems to be a blog, and despite the shallow nature often associated with such devices, I think it can be of some use, if only for myself.  Having mainly stayed afloat on my own it will be likely that many times my thoughts veer (wildly) off-track or are downright misguided (I claim no authority whatsoever), so if anyone wiser than I stumbles upon this blog and would like correct my course I would very much appreciate it.  (Occasionally, and partly for the sake of variety, I will PIVOT into other areas that are of great value and interest to me, mainly the mysteries and splendors of light itself, sequence or long-form poems, which have provided much inspiration for many of the greatest film artists and thus will be a very suitable topic to explore, and blues or free-jazz music).  
     As it relates specifically to works made on celluloid, from the outset I want to make it clear that I have damn near literally pursued almost every method available to me to get a chance to these works ON FILM.  I have absolute reverence for the medium and its possibilities, but as a student it is a constant struggle to have access to the finances needed to rent from [invaluable] institutions like Canyon Cinema or the Co-op (though I do make a concerted effort, and do save up enough to make personal rentals as frequently as I'm able to).  I have filed for grants, put on presentations to local sponsors and have pleaded with the local film society, but so far I have been largely met with the same polite disregard each time.  As such I find myself occasionally having to pursue other inferior forms for opportunities to see the work of artists I so admire, and as such the majority of the examinations I attempt here will be largely based on those formats (I fully recognize that in such situations I have not truly seen the film).
     I would also like to aid my examinations with visual cues, but unfortunately certain artists can be rather difficult to get a hold of.  It is my hope that these artists or those affiliated with the artists will understand that my use of the visual cues are being done so with the utmost respect for the material, and are not being employed exploitatively.  In any case if any such artists are offended by my use of their material I post here, please let me know AND I WILL REMOVE IT IMMEDIATELY.
     If any artists come across this blog and feel generous enough to give me the opportunity to examine their films I would be IMMENSELY grateful, or if any institutions have access to sixteen millimeter films and would potentially be willing to work out some sort of loan agreement I would do whatever work was necessary.  I would also like to use this blog as a way to announce events or releases, so please contact me if you would like me to do so.

(credit for the title goes fully to James Broughton, whose work of the same name occupies a space that whatever I  do will never be worthy of)

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12 comments:

B. said...

I just want to say that I love your blog. Thank you so much :)

Jacob W. said...

Thank you, that is very kind...

Just Another Film Buff said...

The ugly: I landed at your blog purely by chance. Never knew it existed before.

The good: It is just terrific

The bad: Now I have to read over a hundred posts. Sigh.

Great, great work. Jacob. Will keep coming.

CHeers!

Jacob W. said...

Hey there, I really appreciate the comment,

made my day!...

Brian L. Frye said...

Jacob,

Your blog is great - came across it from a Facebook link. Where are you in school? I know exactly where you are coming from re: seeing all those fantastic films. And it's especially difficult if you aren't in NYC, SF, or Chicago. I have a little collection of prints (my own & those of several other artists) that I'd be happy to lend to you. Just let me know.

Brian Frye

Clara said...

Very interesting, always great to hear passion and dedication in words. Great stuff in your blog too. For reading or submitting your own writing, have a look at http://oneplusonejournal.co.uk/
Hope you enjoy it.

Albert Alcoz said...

Jacob, thank you very much for those links!

Best!

Cait Davis said...

Hi Jacob. I only recently discovered your blog and I think it is great. The format is aesthetically pleasing and I love the content that you're covering. I'm a filmmaker, recently I've almost completed a 20 min short shot on super16 called The Alchemist Makes Gold. My appreciation of your blog brought me to comment and ask that you take a look at the project I'm currently funding entitled Stories of the Unconscious, a series of 9 surreal landscapes where animals speak, statues bleed and people seek purpose in a world at once alien and familiar. It's so great that you support and are interested in avant garde and experimental film, I'd love if you could take a look at my project. Thanks! http://www.caitdavis.com/seedandspark

Jacob W. said...

Thanks for the kind words Cait,


I'll be sure to check your project out, best of luck with it!

Stephen Silha said...

Jacob, what about a post about the new documentary BIG JOY: The Adventures of James Broughton ? It's screening at Tribeca Film Festival this next week four times! And the Village Voice called it one of the ten films not to miss! http://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/513a82b3c07f5d4713000026-big-joy-the-adventures-of

Mountain Multimedia Inc. said...

Hello Jacob, I've got a project for Andrew Noren and I'd like to ask you a few questions. i'd like to email you about but can't find contact info. If your willing to speak to me briefly i can be reached at
jonathan@mountainmultimedia.net (email). Thanks for the time.
Jonathan Jackson

elouet said...

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