Monday, October 7, 2013

In the 1920’s, surrealism was an “anti-rational” artistic movement derived from Dadaism. I chose to explore the filmmaker Man Ray because I found his aesthetic very provocative and interesting. I noticed that he used rhythmic editing a lot in his films, which was thought of as highly experimental in the 1920’s. After watching a few of his films, I created a film of my own inspired by some of his techniques and themes. In Man Ray’s film The Mysteries of the Chateau of Dice, I noticed that he focused mainly on setting and travel. He portrayed this by filming the scenery pass by him as he sat in a carriage moving along. As a modern-day version of this, I chose to film the scenery of streets and traffic passing by me in a moving car. I also filmed the scenery as I walked down the street, another way to give that sense of travel. Another film that inspired me was The Return to Reason, which was very abstract in its images and editing styles. I noticed that he played around with certain patterns and movement, and most of the time you couldn’t even tell what was being filmed because of the close-ups or blurriness. Through the whole film, there was always some kind of movement of shapes, silhouettes and shadows. I incorporated a lot of these aspects in the film I made, but added my own spin on them. For example, I filmed the beam lights of the traffic passing by. However, I set the focus on the camera to where you couldn’t tell what was being filmed and it just looked like moving blurry circles. I also chose to give the audience that same feeling of movement throughout the film. My editing style was influenced by Man Ray, particularly because of his use of repetition of certain clips and his fast paced cuts. Overall, I feel that my film is a good modern-day representation of the styles and techniques found in Man Ray’s films.