Phil Cooper - London Camera Operator and Film Maker

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.

A L A N D E L R I O O R T I Z | St. Vincent: Lone Star

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!

R I C H A R D M O S S E | The Enclave

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!

S H A N E M E A D O W S | The Living Room

The Living Room is a short film by UK director Shane Meadows, of Dead Man’s Shoes and This Is England, about his friend and musician Gavin Clark. Gav’s idea is to play a series of gigs in people’s living rooms, and we watch as he and Shane go on a journey to make that happen. The end result is a charming, down to earth film about a regular guy. Great little watch!

D A V E M A | Trona

Always pushing new and insightful content, Pulse Films are at it again with equally-brilliant director Dave Ma. This short film ‘Trona’ follows the narration of a gentleman Bobby Chastein describing his life story spent in the dusty rural town of Trona, California. Although it’s shot in the modern day, you get the feeling the place hasn’t changed since the days of 1955, when the narrater arrived. As far as I can see this is art for arts sake, and I love it.