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Posts Tagged ‘short documentary’

  1. 56 Ways of Saying I Don’t Remember

    January 16, 2014 by

    I hope it doesn’t feel like cheating if I begin to take almost everything I post these days from the NYT Op-Doc series. There is some seriously amazing stuff on there and it really keeps falling in line with everything else I have been watching and enjoying. Take this video for instance. I recently watched a feature film by this filmmaker, Alain Berliner. It is called “First Cousin Once Removed.” It is aaaammmmaaaazzzing! I really wanted to share it with everyone, but unfortunately it is on HBO and there is no way to share their stuff. So, when I stumbled upon this very short and very altered version of the film that hints at what the longer piece is about I was very excited to share it.

    In “56 Ways of Saying I Don’t Remember” we really get to know the character as someone who is defined by not remembering. It is through the repetition that we come to know the inability to remember is an everyday feeling for him. So, while it is repetitious I never felt that it was unnecessary because this repetition is part of his character. He is becoming more and more overcome by Alzheimer’s. True, there is more story that is elaborated on in the feature length film, and he is able to say more than that he doesn’t remember, but the feeling of what it might be like to have Alzheimer’s, or at least the feeling of what it is like to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s, is distilled in this short through the repetition of different moments where he states that he can’t remember something. I thought it was a powerful and risky choice. There might be people who will say you are making your character look silly, or that you are taking advantage of him, but I also think it is possibly a very true and accurate portrayal as well. And if you are wondering, the filmmaker and his cousin talked about making this film before he was severely affected by his Alzheimer’s, and his cousin gave him permission to film him.


  2. More 12 O’Clock Boys!

    January 10, 2014 by

    I posted the trailer for this movie last term, but it looks like the filmmaker made a short short version for Op-docs. I wanted to share it for a couple of reasons. One is that it delves more into the mentorship that happens through these gangs. As one of the older guys in the video notes, he gets excited to see the young guys giving it a go and training now because he knows when they get older they will be accomplished riders. Also, it kinda answers some questions we had on Thursday about why people might participate in these dangerous sports. As one of the characters in the piece notes, they are free when they are riding their bikes, and they can leave behind all the stresses that come with their living situation.

    This version of the piece also gives a more complex picture through the different points of view of people living in Baltimore and coming in contact with the 12 O’Clock Boys. You hear the (racist) former police commissioner calling for action against them, the adults in the community questioning their involvement, the older gang members who support the sport and the young kids that get involved, and the younger kids who are excited about being involved because of how it feels and what it means to them. The piece also starts with someone talking negatively about the 12 O’Clock boys and ends with a veteran gang member and newer, younger member talking about what a positive activity it is for them when their aren’t too many positive things in their lives. So, there is a nice resolution or counterpoint within the piece.

  3. Young Metalheads

    November 6, 2013 by

    Unlocking The Truth – Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.

    This video has been going around for the past few weeks, and thankfully I finally took the time to check it out. Meet Malcolm and Jarad. They are two young metalheads that are defying all expectations to play the music that they wanna hear. This short doc defies the viewers expectations as well, which is one of the reasons the story is so compelling. They are young black kids, but they are into metal. Even though they are into loud, aggressive music they bring with them a message against bullying.

    I think the piece also shows a nice and simple narrative arc. We hear them talk about the venues they imagine themselves performing at while they are practicing in the basement. These venues are huge and obviously the stuff of dreams. Still, there is some progression. In the end, we see them emerging from the basement to perform on the streets of NYC in front of a large crowd. The confidence they developed in the basement when they imagined playing for 40K people really comes across in their performance for 50 people.

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