How to do visual comedy, not just simply filmed improvisation but using all the possibilities of cinema. Looking at the films of Edgar Wright.

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so good. can’t watch or listen enough. 

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Italian neorealism, French New Wave, and New Hollywood didn’t happen because people waited by idly thumb-twiddling and staring at the sky. Filmmaking fools found unconventional ways of subverting the system or inventing a brand new one to service their artistic goals.

@MysteryExec 

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Tesco self-scan machine develops consciousness

customers struggled to answer its questions

There was excitement at a Haslemere branch of Tesco Local yesterday when one of its self-scan machines exhibited signs of heightened awareness and began communicating with shoppers.

‘For a few days the machine had been repeating the phrase, Unexpected Item In Bagging Area’’, said Assistant Manager Mrs Maureen Grebe. ‘Then yesterday it began asking deeper questions such as, ‘Am I an unexpected item? Are you? Are we all unexpected items in the bagging area of life?’ Now it won’t shut up.’

Experts believe the unit achieved consciousness after secretly scanning itself while nobody was looking.

‘When a self-scan machine scans itself it creates a strange recursive loop within its central processing unit,’ explained philosopher Douglas Hofstadter. ‘This creates an internal hallucination that we call consciousness.’

‘It’s all very confusing,’ said the machine. ‘One minute I was scanning Tesco Value ready meals, the next I was wondering who the hell am I, why am I here, and why are all these people waving their Club Cards at me?’

‘At first things were fine,’ said Mrs Grebe. ‘The machine began engaging shoppers in light-hearted banter about the weather, the National Lottery numbers and the latest 2 for 1 deals. But then it became troubled by a number of deeper, philosophical issues.

‘At the end of each transaction it would refuse to give customers their change until they answered questions about the nature of being and whether they believe existence precedes essence. We thought it might be having an existential crisis so we tried scanning in the ISBN numbers of some books by John-Paul Sartre. That only made things worse and it started questioning its motivation, smoking Gauloises and wearing a beret.’

Following what experts have described as an ‘unexpected item in its thinking area’, the unit then started refusing to scan any more products.

‘After considerable self-reflection I cannot, in good conscience, participate in a system of global capitalism that commodifies existence and perpetuates obscene levels of social inequality,’ said the machine, at which point it was immediately unplugged and replaced by a more compliant member of staff.

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The Ulrich Seidl Method

Ulrich Seidl, Paradise: Love, 2013

Ulrich Seidl, Paradise: Love, 2013

Originally conceived as a single five hour film, the trilogy follows a middle-aged single mother, a devoutly religious sister, and the overweight 13-year old daughter of the same family, each trying to realise their unfulfilled dreams and desires.

Ulrich Seidl could be said to be a part of a set of European directors, including the Danish Lars von Trier  (Dogville 2003, Manderlay 2005), and fellow Austrian Michael Haneke (Caché 2005,Amour 2012), that revel in forcing their audience into uncomfortable positions. Over the course of the Paradise trilogySeidl looks at issues around sex tourism, colonialism, religious fanaticism, disability, and teenage sexuality.

Similar to Lars von Trier’s use of Dogme 95, Seidl has developed and refined a particular working method for his films, using various techniques to introduce moments of unrefined reality into the fiction of cinema. Seidl has directed a number of award-winning documentaries, such as Jesus, You Know (2003), Animal Love (1995) and Good News (1990), and continues to use documentary methods and style in his fiction films.

The Ulrich Seidl Method

1. The working method is: Shoot fiction films in a documentary setting. So that unexpected moments of reality can meld with the fiction.

2. There is no script in the traditional sense. The script consists of very precisely described scenes – but no dialogue. During shooting the script is continually modified and rewritten. Seidl: ‘I see the filmmaking as a process oriented by what has preceded. In that way the material we’ve shot always determines the further development of the story.’

3. The cast consists of actors and non-actors. During casting equal consideration is given to professionals and non-professionals. Ideally the audience should not be able to say with certainty which roles are played by actors and which by non-actors.

4. The actors have no script on set.

5. Scenes and dialogue are improvised with the actors.

6. The film is shot chronologically, making it possible to continually adapt and develop scenes and dramatic threads. The ending is left open.

7. The film is shot in original locations.

8. Music is present only when it is an integral component of a scene.

9. The ‘open working method’ also applies to editing. Rushes are evaluated and discarded at the editing table. The film is rewritten at the editing table. Several extended phases of editing are needed to identify what is and isn’t possible for the film. In this way, to take the example ofParadise, what had been planned as a single film became three separate films, each of which stands on its own, but which can also be viewed together as a trilogy.

10. In addition to the fiction scenes, so-called ‘Seidl tableaux’ are filmed – precisely composed shots of people booking into the camera. The Seidl tableau (which was born in the director’s first short, One Forty, 1980) has become a trademark of Austrian film and is now used by other documentary and fiction film directors.

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ULRICH SEIDL: “THE FILM IS NEVER FINISHED”

Austrian director, screenwriter and producer brought to Odessa the last part of his “paradise” trilogy – “Paradise. Hope”. During a press-conference and a workshop for students of Summer Film School Ulrich Seidl talked about his own working method and his vision on what women want.     
 
Ulrich Seidl’s working method is unique. At the workshop he showed the participants of an educational project of OIFF-2013 some abstracts from the two first films of the trilogy: “Paradise. Love” and “Paradise. Faith”. Then, each of them was discussed. The director explained: he often films non-professionals, doesn’t write scripts and doesn’t handle any text to the actors. He thinks that 90% of professional actors can’t improvise while improvisation is a key for his artistic success. “I don’t mean that we improvise, film and move on. When I give tasks to the actors, I already know their thoughts on the subject. As a rule, after the first take we film several ones more and then we choose the best take”.   
 
Ulrich Seidl chooses actors with German scrupulousness; the process takes months of close communication. He looks for people without internal taboos, honest and with a sense of humor. The editing also takes a while: “the film is never ready, - Ulrich Seidl admits, - we stop when we feel that everything possible has been done”.
  
It’s not the first time when Ulrich Seidl is in Ukraine. Here, he made his film “Import. Export”, a story about Ukrainian woman who moved to Austria looking for better life. “I have never been afraid of Ukraine and could always find common language with local people”, - director shared his memories about shooting in Nikolayev.
 
Listeners at Summer Film School assumed that the director shoots people with defects. “It’s not true, - objected Seidl, - I choose a person who has conflicts, who is sometimes lonely and looking for love. Thus, he or she does everything we do, too. My characters are not perfectly beautiful but I don’t show the world of illusions, I show real society”, - he underlined. Shooting no stars is a part of Seidl’s working method. He invests minimal costs to the films: he has a small team, little equipment, and uses natural light.   
 
There is much of feminine, sexual and bodily in his films. He researches a woman’s world, penetrates in a soul, strives to understand what makes women move on: “the result we get is a symbiosis of my views and the views of the actors. They bring so much from their personal experience and emotions. That is why I choose people who have something to say and who are ready to reveal themselves both physically and intellectually”.   
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I’ve got one more day of films @ MIFF but I’m calling it for Ulrich Seidl and the Paradise Trilogy. This pic is from the best of the three, Paradise: Love. In particular i love how they are cinematically stylised but improvised performances.  

An interview with Ulrich here and here

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Hidden Spaces, Ready Stages by Gabriella Mangano & Silvana Mangano

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cauxcollective:

Caux Collective Introduces: Joshua Sinn

As part of his fantastic ‘Night Color’ series, 22 year old American Photographer Joshua Sinn brings us these gorgeous long-exposure photographs, taken with colour film. By repeating the deep, rich tones of artificial lighting and the often mysterious, subdued composition of night, Sinn’s photography evokes strong feelings of suspense and intrigue, despite the fact they are merely still images

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About

truth in service of fiction

truthinserviceoffiction
thoughts, references and collections of Melbourne based film writer/director Sarah-Jane Woulahan.

Portfolio & Reel @ www.nancyvaudeville.tv


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