Cultural Bulletin
Cultural Bulletin is a quarterly magazine that provides an international view of creative work. We look to film, music, design and art as signifiers of our cultural moment.
Posts in Film
WATCH: VARIATIONS ON A SCENE - Davide Rapp
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Davide Rapp (1980) is a videoartist and architect.

Here, he studies a scene from Kill, Baby, Kill (or Operazione paura, in its native Itaian) - a 1966 Italian horror film directed by Mario Bava and starring Giacomo Rossi-Stuart and Erika Blanc. Saturated in gothic dreaminess, the film sees a bright doctor investigating the death of a woman in a small Carpathian village. Towards the end of the film, a surrealist sequence wreaks havoc with spatial and temporal recognition. The lead actor chases a man through an endless series of octagonal rooms lined with red curtains.

Mario Bava combines colours, composition and smart visual tricks in order to create a warped sense of time and space. The repetition of the same room is both mesmerizing and disorienting and suggests countless imaginary architectures to be experimented.

The video essay was made for NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies (2018).

FilmTom SilverComment
CINEMATOGRAPHY: John Alcott
 
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John Alcott was an English cinematographer best known for his four collaborations with director Stanley Kubrick. He shot  2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), the film for which he won his Oscar and The Shining (1980).

Alcott died from a heart attack in Cannes, France in July 1986; he was 55.

In Duncan Petrie's The British Cinematographer (BFI, 1996), he outlines the work and achievements of Alcott. Enjoy Petrie’s short and accessible biography of Alcott here.

Barry Lyndon  (1975)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Barry Lyndon  (1975)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Barry Lyndon  (1975)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Barry Lyndon  (1975)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

A Clockwork Orange  (1971)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A Clockwork Orange  (1971)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The Shining  (1980)

The Shining (1980)

The Shining  (1980)

The Shining (1980)

2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

 
FilmTom SilverComment
WATCH: Malick // Fire and Water - Kogonada
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Kogonada is a director and video essayist. Here, he looks at the role of fire and water in the works of Terrence Malick. Kogonada’s ability to compare and contrast themes without words is the reason he stands above most other video essayists and is the reason it comes Highly Recommended.

Enjoy the video below.

Of all the recurring signatures of Malick, his use of fire and water might be the most telling, in part because there’s a significant shift between early Malick (Badlands & Days of Heaven) and later Malick (The Thin Red Line, The New World, The Tree of Life & To the Wonder). Early Malick favors fire. Later Malick favors water. In To the Wonder, Malick forgoes fire altogether for the first time in his career. Water reigns.

Music: River by Alexandre Desplat

 
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Tonino Delli Colli

Tonino Delli Colli was an Italian cinematographer.

Once Upon a Time in America  (1984)

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

He worked with an astounding number of revered directors, including Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini, Roman Polanski, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Claude Chabrol and, most notably, Sergio Leone. 

He died in 2005 aged 81.

Enjoy some stills from his work below.

Life Is Beautiful  (1997)

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life Is Beautiful  (1997)

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life Is Beautiful  (1997)

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life Is Beautiful  (1997)

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Once Upon A Time In The West  (1968)

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)

The Voice of the Moon  (1990)

The Voice of the Moon (1990)

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom  (1975)

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

Once Upon A Time In The West  (1968)

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)

The Voice of the Moon  (1990)

The Voice of the Moon (1990)

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom  (1975)

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

FilmTom SilverComment
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Rafael Corkidi
 
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Rafael Corkidi was a Mexican cinematographer, film director and screenwriter.

He began his career as a cinematographer and contributed to the visual style and cinematography in three films directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky in Mexico, Fando y LisEl Topo, and The Holy Mountain.

Enjoy some stills from the weird and wonderful The Holy Mountain below.

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FilmSebastian BodinComment
SHORT FILM: FAUVE - Jeremy Comte
 
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Jeremy Comte is a director based in Montréal, Canada.

His shot film, Fauve, won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance 2018. Comte reportedly had a recurring nightmare that inspired the events of the film.

Watch this expertly tense and superbly acted film below.

Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer.

 
WATCH: Hollis - Miguel Rodríguez
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This essay - from Miguel Rodríguez - examines the visual similitudes, double strategies and tropes in Hollis Frampton’s filmography. Known for his oblique references—from Ezra Pound’s poems to mathematical syllogisms—the filmmaker interrogates some of the multiple possibilities that cinema might have developed in the past and that became entangled in narrative logic. His most celebrated works are frequently seen as singularities rather than the sums of a whole. Hollis seeks to pair up its own images in order to show his coherence as a filmmaker, as well as initiating those who might not be familiar with his work.

A joint venture from FILMADRID and MUBI.

FilmTom Silver Comment
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Norm Li
 
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Norm Li is a cinematographer from Vancouver.

Most notably, he has worked with  Panos Cosmotos on Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010) and has credits including music videos for Loscil and Reptile Youth.

Enjoy some of his work below:

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FilmTom SilverComment
WATCH: Caravaggio - Derek Jarman
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Now on the BFI Player is Derek Jarman’s wonderful film about the the 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio. The film comes with a short intodcution from renowned British film critic Mark Kermode.

The BFI say:

Jarman struggled for seven years to get it to the screen. The result was well worth the wait.

It’s a freely dramatised portrait which conjures several of the controversial artist’s most famous paintings through elaborate and beautifully photographed tableaux vivants, and boasts wonderful performances from Nigel Terry, Sean Bean, and, in her first role, Tilda Swinton.

Watch it here.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Jarin Blaschke
 
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Jarin Blaschke is a director of photography from California.

He has worked with director Robert Eggers on the outstanding horror The Witch (2015) and short film Brothers (2014). They will collaborate again on The Lighthouse (2019) starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. It will be shot in black and white on 35mm film.

On shooting The Witch, Blaschke stated: ‘We wanted the audience to lose themselves in that world as much as possible including the light that illuminated it. For me, that meant using real flame and natural light whenever possible, which also happens to look very beautiful if placed and shaped just right.’

The Witch  (2015)

The Witch (2015)

Brothers  (2014)

Brothers (2014)

The Witch  (2015)

The Witch (2015)

Brothers  (2014)

Brothers (2014)

 
FilmTom SilverComment
WATCH: Mirrors of Bergman - Kogonada
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Kogonada is a director and video essayist. Here, in a work created for The Criterion Collection, he looks at the work of Ingmar Bergman.

Sylvia Plath based her poem “Three Women“ on Bergman's Brink of Life (1958). The idea of Plath watching and engaging the women of Bergman is almost too much to bear. Who would have more to say about these women than Plath?

Poem: “The Mirror" by Sylvia Plath

Music: Vivaldi, Concerto for Two Mandolins in G RV532

FilmSebastian BodinComment
WATCH: The Apartment - David Verdeure
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David Verdeure is a Film Studies Lecturer, Video Essayist and Audiovisual Producer.

In this video essay, (a joint venture with MUBI) he explores what a location — the apartment from Billy Wilder’s 1960 classic — evokes when it is scrubbed of the characters of the movie.

Verdeure states:

In this video essay, the apartment really does get the starring role. Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and all other visitors to C.C. Baxter's bachelor pad have cleared the way for the rooms themselves to shine... All human presence has been scrubbed from Billy Wilder's movie: their appearances erased, their voices replaced by a soundscape. (If you want a visual reminder of what The Apartment was like when it had inhabitants, you can watch the "before and after" montage of this video essay). 

However, this video essay's main goal is not to put a tired promotional trope to the test. It wants to function as a movie memory palace. The Apartment is a beloved classic that is widely seen and known. But what remains of the film's essence when it is reduced to nothing more than its locale? 

Enjoy the video below:

FilmTom SilverComment
SHORT FILM: Skip Day - Patrick Bresnan & Ivete Lucas
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Intimate glimpses of one very special day in the lives of high-school seniors from an industrial corner of the Florida Everglades: prom’s over, the future is uncertain, and the irresistible pull of the beach makes the long-time friends drive 60 miles to chill, pose and revel in the waves.

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Winner of the Illy Prize for best short film at Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival.

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Directors and Producers: Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan
Producer: Maida Lynn
Cinematographers: Patrick Bresnan and Joaquin del Paso
Editor: Ivete Lucas
Executive producers for the Guardian: Charlie Phillips and Lindsay Poulton

FilmSebastian BodinComment
WATCH: Of Love and Longing - Allain Daigle
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Allain Daigle is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research interests include film history and cinema technologies, especially in relationship to time and memory. Here he presents us with Of Love and Longing (first published in Transition, Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies, 2018).

Alongside the essay comes this this statement:

Through grasping, clutching, and refusals to let go, four contemporary melodramas (In the Mood for Love, A Single Man, Carol, Moonlight) use the sensation of touch to produce affective histories of longing and being long in time.

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Read more about this astute video essay here and enjoy the video below.

FilmTom SilverComment
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Rachel Morrison
Mudbound  (2018)

Mudbound (2018)

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison has emerged as a refreshing young talent at the forefront of independent cinema, channeling each story’s core emotion into arresting imagery.  Her work has a haunting quality at times and a beautiful elegance at others.

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Morrison has photographed twelve feature films including Mudbound (2017), Fruitvale Station (2013) and Black Panther (2018).

Fruitvale Station  (2013)

Fruitvale Station (2013)

She has received numerous awards for her imagery, including tow Outstanding Cinematography Emmy Nominations for her work on Netflix's What Happened, Miss Simone? and Showtime’s Riker’s High, a documentary about the high school within the Riker’s Island prison system.

Enjoy the trailer for the excellent Mudbound below:

FilmSebastian BodinComment
WATCH: Kurosawa Color - Philip Brubaker
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Philip Brubaker is a video essayist and filmmaker. In this essay - Kurosawa Color - Brubaker explores the work of Japanese film director and screenwriter Akira Kurosawa.

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Alongside the video essay, Brubaker writes:

After making twenty-four films in stark black and white, Kurosawa decided to explore the world of color on film. He received training as a painter before venturing into the cinema, and his later works would benefit from his keen intuition about hues and their impact on the eyes and mind. By the time of Ran, the fourth color film he directed, Kurosawa had mastered the color palette for film. He'd painted every frame of the film ten years earlier, and when his eyesight failed him on location, his cinematographers needed only look at his paintings to depict his vision.

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The four films collected here are treasures of cinematic beauty and some of the most breath-taking examples of color film in movie history. Originally published on Fandor.

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Enjoy the video essay below:

FilmSebastian BodinComment
WATCH: Women on a Bergman Screen - Leigh Singer
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Leigh Singer is a freelance film journalist and video essayist. Leigh is also a filmmaker and screenwriter and a programme advisor for the London Film Festival.

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In collaboration with Sight and Sound, this video study looks at Swedish master Ingmar Bergman’s fascination with female experience and how emotions underpinned one of the cinema’s greatest virtual communities of women on screen. Leigh invites Bergman’s talented actresses and their creations into closest possible correspondence.

Find out more here and watch the essay below.

FilmSebastian BodinComment
SHORT FILM: All These Creatures - Charles Williams
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Last year, Australian director and filmmaker Charles Williams created the wonderfully powerful and thought-provoking short film All These Creatures. The 13 minute film - shot on 16mm - deservedly picked up the Short Film Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. It revolves around an adolescent boy who attempts to untangle his memories of a mysterious infestation, the unravelling of his father, and the ‘little creatures’ inside us all. 

Cultural Bulletin will be speaking to Charles about his film in an excluse interview for Issue B. In the meantime, enjoy a director’s statement, stills and the trailer for the film below:

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Director's Statement

I think we all reassess the memories we have of our parents as we get older. This is especially true if we have a parent that was volatile or destructive – our memories of these giants can take on an almost mythic quality. 

Over time, we can we try to seek a deeper understanding. Who were they? Were they tormented themselves? Or mentally ill? What is the story we tell to understand these people? 

Where a destructive parent is concerned, there is also a child's fear of inheriting that damage, and what control, if any, a person can have over that. 

With 'All These Creatures' I wanted to explore these themes in a way that was immersive and visceral. To follow the memories of someone trying to understand a parent and the damage caused and, in the process, examine their own potentially unreliable experience of the world. 

My hope is that the film can deliver some sense of understanding for those volatile creatures who cause harm in our lives. Is it possible to see them outside of just who they are in our memories? 

Even if there are tragic consequences, can we still find some compassion for their struggle - and our own?

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CAST

Tempest Yared Scott

Mal Mandela Mathia

Winta Helen Hailu

Isabella Melody Demessie

Narrator Melchisedek Nkailu

Tempest’s Friends Mohammad Shahid Zada, Nejeebullah Muhummad, Louis Savage, Breanna Ruwoldt, Corey Kirk, Jamal Taylor

Woodwork Student  Leah Maric

Teacher Katherine Muir

People on the Street Dennis Petropoulos, Lucas Petropoulos, Karl Fernando, Walter Kajer, Sade Aroha Waaka, Llewellyn Michael Bates

Students Lachlan Anderson, Joshua Burgess, Megan Elliot, Siennah Ferris, Yasmin Issacs, Isabella Heffernan, Elma Jelacevic, Richard Mezei, Aqueel Abdul Karem, Georgia Neilson, Medhi Jafari, Lennon Moons, Ben Evans, Sara Demessie, Bemenet Melaku, Hunter Vaughan

Dog Buddy