Another nice little number here from Alan Del Rio Ortiz - the same director to do St. Vincent’s little doc for Nowness – this time with band Porches. Despite having no real narrative to follow, the film keeps you fixed with it’s abstract imagery, neon-coloured lighting and patches of 8mm film. Lovely.
Here’s a sweet little documentary about the quiet life of the couple behind London’s iconic blue plaques. These plaques identify the buildings which certain famous people lived or worked, and there’s only two people in the UK who make them – an elderly couple living down in rural Cornwall. Put together by Huck Magazine, it’s a charming little insight into a tiny family business which millions of people interact with each year.
Illustration agency Handsome Frank are back with yet another charming little short, this time about artist Joël Penkman. Shot on film (or atleast convincingly graded to look like it), it’s presented in beautiful 4:3 format and given a charming vintage feel, and gives an insight into Joël’s work methods. Check out more from HF here.
When I heard someone had finally made a documentary on the effective civil war going on in Mexico at the moment around drug trafficking, or narcotráfico, I was pretty excited. The filmmaker Matthew Heineman focuses the story on vigilante groups either side of the border, one fighting gangs on the front line in the state Michoacán, Mexico, and the other in nestled in rural Arizona, awaiting any smugglers attempting to make their way over. Overall it’s a pretty fascinating look at this very current bit of culture. It’s shot beautifully, more film-like than traditional documentary, and if anything is a little over-Americanised in it’s approach (British opinion), but well worth a watch nonetheless.
M A X D U N C A N | Ai WeiWei On Beijing – From the Guardian Cities/Tate Series ‘The Artist and Their City’
I love simple little docs like this. Shooter Max Duncan, based in Beijing, has produced this honest portrait of artist Ai WeiWei introducing us to his city Beijing, and neighbourhood Caochangdi. An interview with the artist provides voice over which narrates us through the film, as we see the places and influences he speaks of. Check out his huge upcoming retrospective in the RA in London if you have time, too.
After a brief hiatus I’m back and thankfully along comes this lovely little doc on pop star St. Vincent right on time. Produced by Alan Del Rio Ortiz, it introduces star Annie Clark (St.Vincent) in a candid way, documenting her spending time in her native rural Texas, singing at a local baseball game and walking in fields. A voice-over from Annie herself narrates the piece and guides us through her life. Great little watch!
I saw this exhibition in Foam Museum in Amsterdam in 2014 and was completely blown away by it – I’ve somehow only just come across this bit of promotion by art & culture magazine Frieze. The artist Richard Mosse discovered this rare type of 16mm infrared film that Kodak developed for military purposes which – simply put – shows greens as bright pink. He decided to take it to the Democratic Republic of Congo to document the on-going but rarely talked about civil war, and in collaboration with cinematographer Trevor Tweeten and audio composer Ben Frost created the most immersive exhibition I’ve ever been to. Hanging as separate projections, the story of these places slowly unfolds in a kind of visual/audio journey, the two combining in harmony whilst shifting positions around the room. For a much better idea of what I’m trying to describe, watch above!
A great short piece here documenting the mind of a serial-inventor Dominic Wilcox. Director Liam Saint-Pierre presents his film in the really interesting style of showcasing the man himself in a traditional documentary style while his wonderful ideas appear in animation form. A really great watch!