Psycho 60/98

WARNING: This film contains flashing images.

“Psycho” (1960) by Alfred Hitchcock and “Psycho” (1998) by Gus Van Sant collide in a frame-by-frame editing that assaults the eyeballs and assassinates the normative consciousness of the viewer. The footage seem to penetrate us, as though it was a knife or a threatening phantasmagorical entity. The fast succession of single frames and extremely short audio files produce afterimages and aftersounds—entoptic and endaural phenomena—creating a film that does not happen on the screen, but in our brain cells.

*Just a technical note for those interested on how things are made, this film consist just of both shower scenes fragmented in frames; the odd frames are the shower scene from the Hitchcock movie and the even frames are the shower scene from the Van Sant remake. No image or sound effects of any kind, just the frames. Sense-destructive cinema, enjoy! :)

Angular. Volumen 01 en Otros Cines Europa

En Otros Cines Europa han publicado una reseña muy bonita de Angular. Volumen 01. Además, dicen cosas que me gustan sobre mi película, así que agradezco sus palabras por partida doble, como enamorada del cine experimental y como parte implicada :)

«En una línea similar de cineastas-videastas que conocen la tradición experimental y dialogan con ella desde un punto de vista contemporáneo, está el trabajo de Blanca Rego Engram (optical sound #001), un trabajo que forma parte de una serie titulada “Esto no es una película”, que emula u homenajea obras clásicas del estructural, a través de una sucesión de frames blancos y negros, pero hecho, no en celuloide, sino con una aplicación de teléfono móvil llamada 8 mm, que emula el aspecto cinematográfico de las películas antiguas. Parte homenaje, parte ironía, el trabajo es puramente posmoderno, y reflexiona sobre cómo nos relacionamos con la tradición cinematográfica, por un lado, y cómo, por otro, añoramos el aspecto físico de los soportes analógicos, creando simulacros nostálgicos. Estos dos trabajos dan una buena muestra del enfoque contemporáneo con el que Angular se da a conocer: no se trata de reivindicar un cine experimental añejo per se, sino de entender la historia, dialogar sobre ella, y pensar cómo el cine experimental puede seguir reinventándose, ya sea a través de sus relecturas, en dialogo con sus fuentes, o explorando nuevas vías a través de nuevas herramientas digitales: al fin y al cabo, el cine experimental, fuertemente unido a sus herramientas técnicas, nunca podrá ser el mismo, o no debería, si cambian las tecnologías».

Reseña completa en Otros Cines Europa.
Más información sobre Angular. Volumen 01 en Angular.

So sublime, hand me a cigarette and a towel

It’s that time of the year in which everybody writes best-of-the-year lists, all I have to say this year is this, paraphrasing Matt Zoller Seitz:

“Other series were more comprehensible, and nearly all were less gore-soaked, but none was as consistently innovative and sublime … This visionary drama evoked German Expressionist cinema, glossy-pretentious art-house pictures … super-sexy fan fiction, and even experimental film. … The climactic showdown … was the most orgiastic display of choreography, music, lighting, and gore … [its creator] might as well have reached through the screen and handed viewers a cigarette and a towel.”

Guess what he’s talking about.

The 10 Best TV Shows of 2015,” Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture.

The Spaces Between Cities premiere @ Seattle [December 8th, 2015]

A world premiere presentation. EXcinema commissioned twenty films by international experimental filmmakers spread across four continents to create one feature length road film. The Spaces Between Cities is a collaboration made in the form of an exquisite corpse. Each film connects randomly to the next by way of a series of prompts creating a continuous road trip, or journey that will connect these different parts of the world.

Filmmakers: Amy Bassin, Mark Blickley, Stephen Broomer , Charles Chadwick, Pip Chodorov, Konstantinos-Antonios Goutos, Pablo Molina Guerrero, Salise Hughes, Douglas Katelus, Anna Kipervaser, Kate Lain, Insa Langhorst, Jesse Malmed, Milan Milosavlijevic, Reed O’Beirne, Arto Polus, Ben Popp, Blanca Rego (that’s me), Margaret Rorison, Dustin Zemel, Robert Zverina

December 8th, 7:00pm
Grand Illusion Cinema
Seattle (USA)

More information

In structural film sound does exactly the opposite

“If one of the main functions of sound in traditional filmic mimesis is to ‘naturalize’ the image and anchor it in the real, in structural film sound does exactly the opposite. It openly contradicts the visual track, abruptly appears and disappears, or changes tone, quality, or intensity without a clearly visual motivation.”

“Structural Film: Noise”, Juan A. Suárez, in Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography.

Retinal response to rapidly changing frames

“They rejected subjectivism, expressiveness, narrative, and direct social reference and focused instead on the medium’s formal and material properties … flicker films were about retinal response to rapidly changing frames … structural film also inquired into the spectator’s perceptual activity … flicker and single-frame films engaged the psycho-physics of vision.”

“Structural Film: Noise”, Juan A. Suárez, in Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography.

Trailer for The Spaces Between Cities

Something in which I’ve participated…

EXcinema commissioned twenty films by twenty international experimental filmmakers spread across four continents to create one feature length road film. Featuring: Amy Bassin, Mark Bickley, Stephen Broomer , Charles Chadwick, Pip Chodorov, Konstantinos-Antonios Goutos, Pablo Molina Guerrero, Salise Hughes, Douglas Katelus, Anna Kipervaser, Kate Lain, Insa Langhorst, Jesse Malmed, Milan Milosavlijevic, Reed O’Beirne, Arto Polus, Ben Popp, Blanca Rego, Margaret Rorison, Dustin Zemel, Robert Zverina.

I love flashing lights warnings from films and TV shows

Warning: This film contains flashing images and stroboscopic sequences

This one is from A Field in England by Ben Wheatley. I remade the original intertitle that I had because it was a bit small for a HD video.

Due to Violent Content, and Flashing Lights with Strobe Effects, Viewer Discretion Advised

This one is from Hannibal, my favourite TV series ever (it’s from “Takiawase”, season 2 episode 4). The DVD doesn’t include this warning at the beginning of the episode, but it was there when it was broadcasted on TV.

Computer Music Studies

During last month, I spent most of my time making a series of audiovisual pieces entitled Computer Music Studies. The sound, and the title, are by Mikel R. Nieto, who provided me with twenty tracks. This work was made for Nokodek Festival.

The initial idea was to make a series of audiovisual pieces based on digital feedback. That is, using configurations in which the audio output returns to the audio input, generating an internal digital feedback which usually is nonlinear and difficult to control. The sound was generated in an autonomous way using different configurations of the same pattern. (I don’t know which audio software used Mikel, if you’re interested in the sound tracks you should ask him).

The video track is not feedback, but data bending, which I guess could be understood as a kind of digital feedback because it uses a stream of data—in this case audio data—to generate another kind of file—in this case an image file. It’s not feedback, obviously, because I’m not routing the output back as an input, but in certain sense I’m routing the ‘output’ data of one format as an ‘input’ for another. In any case, it’s not generative, it was made frame by frame.

What I did was splitting the audio tracks in fragments of around 41.67 milliseconds—the equivalent to one video frame—using Audacity. I saved all those files as .raw, then I opened them in Photoshop, and I saved them as .jpg. So, what you hear and what you see are exactly the same data.

This video is just one of the twenty pieces, the complete work is around 40 minutes. It can’t be played live, because the data bending part is almost ‘handmade’—the conversion phase is not automatic, it’s painstakingly slow—, so even it was made for a music festival it’s more like a series of films than ‘live cinema’. Machine music for machines.

Light either burns or scratches film

“Light, lens concentrated, either burns negative film to a chemical crisp which, when lab washed, exhibits the blackened pattern of its ruin or, reversal film, scratches the emulsion to eventually bleed it white. Light, again lens concentrated, pierces white and casts its shadow patterned self to reflect upon the spectator.”

Metaphors on vision, Stan Brakhage.

The loudness of that noise

Unnecessary noise.
Lots of noise.
Noise commencing in my ears.
So huge a noise.
A noise like thunder.
Din and noise.
Objective noise.
Noise without noise.
The noise of conflict.
The loudness of that noise.

The void is not an absence, it is an infinity

“As many philosophers have noted, a void as such is not possible: a void is not the absence of any content but simply the absence of anticipated content. This is why for Bergson, ‘the idea of the absolute nought’ is ‘a self-destructive idea, a pseudo-idea, a mere word’; the void is ‘only a comparison between what is and what could or ought to be, between the full and the full.’ Deleuze echoes this sentiment in his second Cinema book, where he explores the implications of cinematic emptiness. For Deleuze, ‘an empty space, without characters,’ can have ‘a fullness in which there is nothing missing.’ And the idea of the emptiness as a kind of fullness was explored in art before the experimental monochromes of the twentieth century. For example, as Paul Schrader points out, ‘Emptiness, silence, and stillness are positive elements in Zen art, and represent presence rather than the absence of something.’ Monochrome paintings and films simply carry on this tradition, reaffirming Rauschenberg’s assertion that ‘a canvas is never empty.’

a film like Blue does not use the monochromatic screen to merely posit nihilism and emptiness. Rather, Jarman’s blue screen is a site of multiplicity, limitlessness, eternity. As Jim Ellis puts it, Blue ‘recalls Klein’s understanding of the void not as an absence, but rather as an infinity.’

Motion[less] Pictures: The Cinema of Stasis, Justin Remes.

The uneventful events constitute the fabric of our existence

“When seeing a James Bond film … one expects only the exciting parts of Bond’s life to be portrayed: shootouts, explosions, sexual liaisons. One can imagine what the audience reaction might be if—in the interest of realism—a film devoted a substantial amount of time to Bond sleeping, eating a meal, getting a haircut, and using the restroom. Yet these uneventful events constitute the fabric of our existence. One is reminded here of the narrator’s insight in E. M. Foster’s A Passage to India: ‘Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obligated to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence'”.

Motion[less] Pictures: The Cinema of Stasis, Justin Remes.