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They say all good things in life come to an end. Today we announced that Kodak will retire KODACHROME Film, concluding its 74-year run.

It was a difficult decision, given its rich history. At the end of the day, photographers have told us and showed us they’ve moved on to newer other Kodak films and/or digital. KODACHROME Film currently represents a fraction of one percent of our film sales. We at Kodak want to celebrate with you the rich history of this storied film. Feel free to share with us your fondest memories of Kodachrome.

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The new gallery at the National College of Art and Design opens with a superb show by Phil Collins: see here for more info about the inaugural season.

Visiting a few weekends ago I was told (quite apologetically) at the front desk, ‘Well there’s no art here as such. Just some videos.’

So it seems the mediation programme has a way to go yet: it is really a shame that staff who have worked in the institution for twenty or thirty years, or more, are so uninformed as to the kind of cultural products it sends out into the world. And also instructive that the role of gallery ‘front desking’ is perhaps something that should not be underestimated in terms of the specific training that is required (vocabulary; interest; the ability to ‘put a face on yerself’) .

From http://www.petermiller.info:  ‘Bolex Baby is a love song for my 16mm film camera.’

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Amateur Hour is a showcase for exciting new learning, skills, entertainment and public actions. Submissions in any form welcome to selfinterestandsympathy [at] gmail [dot] com

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Photos are from a recent course at no.w.here, London, where Jesse and I became intimately acquainted with the Bolex camera.

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I’ve justed checked in to the Holiday Inn in Portland, Maine. For the next few days I will be attending a utopian studies conference here.

On the freeway from the airport, a sign read Welcome to Maine: the way life should be.

It was dark outside so there wasn’t much to see other than the neon signs of various franchises. I watched the DVD that was playing on the bus: it was set in the seventies (the heavy yellow colouring was a giveaway)and Mark Wahlberg played a part time barman from Philly who ended up playing in the NFL. He even scored a touchdown at the end. It felt different to watch this kind of film in the states, it made more sense somehow.

I’ve seen city buses covered in the legend Believe in Something Better (purple and spearmint; apparently not politically affiliated).

Election day is Tuesday. It’s an interesting time.

 

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Artist Vanessa Beecroft, best known for her performative installations of naked, or semi-naked women, is a pertinent artist to think about in relation to the aesthetics of the crowd.

At the heart of this is the very question of the aesthetic, or the look, of the crowd (as seen from outside it) versus any potential agency it might have, which seems strictly limited within Beecroft’s work. The women on display in Beecroft’s installations are typically tall, thin creatures, their ranks reminiscent of fetish photography, fashion, porn, fascism and science fiction in varying measures.

Now that Beecroft’s predeliction has shifted from spectatorship of the Aryan blonde body to the black female body (as found in Sudan, a body sited within a particular racial and geopolitical discourse), it seems she has finally moved a fetish too far.

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Last night I saw the film This is England.

I’d heard good things and generally was not disappointed – was a very well directed, superbly-acted skinhead flick, to be reductive about it. Given my interest in nostalgia and collective memory, particularly in constructed memories and the collision of the pop with the political, I was interested in how the texture of Thatcher’s England would be portrayed. It was actually fairly intoxicating – Rubik’s Cubes, Buckaroo, clock radios and 80s fashion-fashion-fashion was interspersed with the Falklands war and miner’s protests. It was kind of gorgeous.

The kind of nostalgia used in the film portrays the issues (nationalism/ racism and its associated nasties) as entities discrete in time, that can be reflected on from the same comfortable distance as Doc Martens, Culture Club eyeliner and clunky analogue technology. Skinny jeans have made a comeback in recent years, so maybe this is an unfair assessment. Does ideology get recycled with fashion or is it an empty recuperation?

The throwing of the flag into the sea was an implausible closing gesture… it did strike me though that most of the significant action in the film took place within the timespan of one little boy’s haircut, which seemed accidentally, significantly poignant.

Film website

November 2017
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