Like All Bad Men He Looks Attractive

They Say

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This new work consists of one film split into two parts. Two parts which can be seen in either order, or separately if one so chooses.

In Like All Bad Men He Looks Attractive the mixed mediums are woven together on mini DV. The materials are one reel of 35mm film, and two reels of 16mm film. Inset into the 35mm film are plastic shopping bags, translucent plastic folders and plates, mylar drafts used as blueprints for bridge construction, viewmaster slides, paparazzi slides found at a tourist memorabilia shop on Hollywood Boulevard (including Zsa Zsa Gabor, Charlton Heston and George Peppard with a big white rabbit), slides purchased in the gift shops at the Getty Museum and at the Hearst Castle, "sign here" tabs from my accountant, the wings of a dying butterfly that I tried to rescue from the hot pavement of a grocery store parking lot, Hollywood movie trailers, 8mm home movies and stag films, 16mm footage, including an episode of Green Acres, viewmaster stills from 1970s TV shows, etc. Some things were not inset into the reel but recorded in the same manner and later cut in digitally. Panels or film "carpets", large mats made of 16mm film. Old magic lantern slides. The base film the elements are physically cut into is a workprint of raw footage of an unknown actor with a bandaged finger standing in front of the camera. He occasionally raises an envelope and reacts to a clapboard. I received this reel of film from a friend who's a bit of a packrat (like myself). Before I met him, his house had burned down and this reel was one of the few items which survived. The decayed parts are where the emulsion melted from the heat.

The digital transfer was hand shot frame by frame against a crafters lightboard with a 25 watt candelabra bulb because the plastic folders and other elements inset into the 35mm would not go through the telecine transfer machine. I decided not to set an exact frameline and moved the filmstrip casually past the camera. This process added a feeling of the material celluloid form bending and moving as fast stills in time, with light reflecting through and glaring against it. I shot each frame as a still - which then had to be loaded into the Mac and sped up. It is approximately equal to 10 frames per second, film speed. I alter this rhythm at different points in the film. There is also a cheesy faux shutter effect for the still shots which was built into the camera I used - it becomes a chaotic and erratic half flicker when sped up. Intercut into this are found VHS tapes I bought with my grandmother at the local Greek deli and produce shop. They were getting rid of their rental videos and for some reason I must have looked like someone who would buy the entire shopping cart full because the shopkeeper made a deal and offered all of them to me. I used footage from four of these films in sections during both films. While watching these tapes I decided this material would be an interesting element to add to my film. Much of it is cut at an interval of three digital frames (which is about 30 frames per second) after every 12 frames of transferred film. A friend did this while I sat by and watched and told him where to split the images because I was at that point not too keen on editing digitally and did not know how it would turn out. Regarding Penelope's Wake was pure in its filmic structure. The only digital editing done to that film was to clean up between reel changes and breaks in the film during transfer. By the end of the digital interweaving edits in the new films, I jumped in and did it myself and reworked some rhythm structures. As the work progressed, I became quite pleased with the possibilities and interactions of this new set of elements, and with the subtle contrasts and interactions of different mediums, times, and textures.

They Say consists of two reels of heavily edited (frame by frame) and overlaid 16mm film. It was then intercut with the grainy and scratchy melodrama rental tapes. I used a few 16mm found footage source reels as the main focus to play with narrative structure in a way related to but different than in my first work. I used a lot of footage from one narrative short film about a boy and a wild horse. When nearing the end I tired of editing it and decided to put it out into my garden and then dumped a few litter boxes on top. Contents - wood pellets and bunny poop. I forgot how long I left it outside - it rained a few times. Perhaps a week. It was later washed with laundry detergent and hot water.

I want my films to be open. The viewer creates the version of the film they will see by the way in which they view it. This is on a narrative/symbolic/metaphorical level as well as on a visual and structural level. The rapid intercutting and weaving of strands of different footage and elements creates a time space where one must mix what they are seeing for themselves. There is no one way to perceive the links of still images into an illusion of movement. One can, with a readjusting of their viewing, change their experience of the work throughout.


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DVD-Rs of LIKE ALL BAD MEN HE LOOKS ATTRACTIVE - THEY SAY are available for $25.00 each, postage included. REGARDING PENELOPE'S WAKE is available as a two DVD-R set, for $45.00, postage included. For shipping costs outside of the US - please email me at Payment can be by check or money order - or Paypal - Thanks.

Images Festival, Toronto, April 23rd

Chicago Filmmakers May 1st

Anthology Film Archives screenings Feb 20th and 21st

University of Virginia March 23rd

Screenings and appearances

Anthology Film Archives, NYC - Feb 20 -21

University of Virginia - March 23

Orphan Films Symposium, University of South Carolina - March 25 - 27th

Rotterdamn Film Festival - THEY SAY


Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley CA - Jan. 20, 2004 - LIKE ALL BAD MEN HE LOOKS ATTRACTIVE

Rotterdam Film Festival

Orphan Films Symposium

Knitted Light

Senses of Cinema review


Chicago's Onion City Film Festival screening

New York Film Festival Views From The Avant Garde screening information

The Times BFI London Film Festival screening information

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