Film Review: ALL FALLS DOWN, (USA, Experimental/Documentary)

Heavily experimental and presented stream-of-consciousness style, ALL FALLS DOWN recounts the thoughts that flood one person’s mind while they engage within themselves and the world around them. Our narrator, who speaks through a computerized modulated voice, recounts their strong emotions for houses, their sense of home, their feelings of being trapped, their issues with gender, body image, fear, isolation, loneliness. Strong, highly interpretive and encapsulating what it truly means to be an “experimental art film” ALL FALLS DOWN is cinematic bravery. The narrator taps into the deepest and darkest thoughts that resonate throughout the human consciousness and lays them fully onto the screen. In watching ALL FALLS DOWN, the viewer must share in the sense of profound discomfort that the narrator appears to convey. A true artistic film, with real artistry behind it, ALL FALLS DOWN is a strong, engaging and emotive cinematic experience.

Review by Kierston Drier

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ALL FALLS DOWN, 6min., USA, Experimental/Documentary
Directed by Oberon StrongALL FALLS DOWN presents a digital hell-loop centering around the idea of the transgender antagonist coming to terms with the ideas of home, anxiety, intimacy, our inevitable death, longing, and the conversation between obsolete and current technologies.

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Film Review: THE LONGING RITUAL, (USA, Experimental/Animation)

An American four minute animation, THE LONGING RITUAL is really a piece about visual design and graphic aesthetics. The film is composed of a basic series of repetitive shots- similar colors, shapes and designs, set against a series of motifs of the natural world, such as flowers or a person running. The effect is graphic design turned cinematic. The creation of, and circulation of the natural world embedded against the geometric world. Visually tantalizing and unique, THE LONGING RITUAL does not leave its meaning blatantly obvious. It is rather, an expression of textures, designs and colors intermingled with elements of the natural world. A  contemplative piece about the world we live in, and the space our art takes up within it.

Review by Kierston Drier

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THE LONGING RITUAL, 4min., USA, Experimental/Animation
Directed by Scott TurriMost recently, in my latest series The Longing Ritual the focus has been on the nature/culture continuum, in particular the search for real experience and a connection to the natural world

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Film Review: BLACK BIRD, (USA, Experimental/Fantasy)

BLACK BIRD, an American four minute mixed media , this is a film that begs you to interpret it. Several animated blackbirds fly through a live action urban setting, with the outside world curiously shown upside down.  Symbolic and metaphoric, this piece may be one person’s journey through an urban metropolis on their way to freedom- or it could be a comment on the lost connection between nature and civilization. Yet still- it may be one person’s metaphorical journey through life and into death. BLACK BIRD won’t tell you- it will ask you to guess. One thing is for certain, between the engaging audio, the stunning visuals and the entrancing concept BLACK BIRD is a piece not just to watch, but to experience.

Review by Kierston Drier

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BLACK BIRD, 4min., USA, Experimental/Fantasy 
Directed by Haonan WangThe journey of a man escaping the concrete jungle of the modern city with help from spiritual black birds.

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Film Review: TRAINS – RADIO CUT, (UK, Music Video)

A three minute UK film, TRAINS is utterly gorgeous to behold. Spectacular natural vistas are animated through the energy of music. As pebbles vibrate off the ground, being acted on by beautiful music, we are hit over and over again with breathtaking moment after breath taking moment- mountains, streams, train tracks against trees…only to discover these vista exist within a piano being played.

What does TRAINS tell us? That music acts as both a journey and a key. It unlocks us  to a world with a deeper appreciation of nature, and it takes us on a journey through it. In this bright and highly polished visual metaphor of a piece, music acts as the DNA of the cinematic story, binding together the visual images and giving them context. The world of the cinematic story is generated by the music and created within it.

TRAINS is simply beautiful to watch. Boasting high production value and beautiful composition, do not miss TRAINS, it is stunning.

Review by Kierston Drier

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TRAINS – RADIO CUT, 3min., UK, Music Video 
Directed by Jola KudelaEverything is a form of vibration,
One needs to hear it and transform it into music
The world is a piano and the piano is the world
The musician becomes the creator of the world

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Film Review: EPINEPHRINE, (USA, Experimental/Music Video)

This six minute American film about music, dance and politics. Intercut between left-wing political issues (marchs, voters rights, reproductive rights) are modernized dance sequences performed by female dancers and a young woman on her computer. As beautiful to look at as it is engaging to think about, the main goal of this piece seems to be drawing attention to the world of the female millennial. The issues affecting women in media and in politics seem to permeate every aspect of one’s life. The dance sequences themselves seem to act as a sort of metaphorical interpretation of that anxiety and introspection that is created by the constant stream of information being hurled at females through screens. Behave this way, behave that way, look like this, act like this, stand for this, fight for that… It is a story rewritten anew with every generation as we dance forward in a world careening in uncertainty: Who am I and what is my place in this world? EPINEPHRINE attempts to answer that, in a film full of sound, movement and compelling modern events.

Review by Kierston Drier

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EPINEPHRINE, 6min., USA, Experimental/Music Video
Directed by Kat ScottA millennial girl influenced by internet age is absorbed in queer beauty, but experiences a visceral response to addiction. After crumbling, she is liberated by various social movements as a source of independence.

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Film Review: SAMFAELINI: BUSBY BERKELEY’S DREAM ABERRATIONS, (UK, Experimental/Music Video)

Busby Berkeley was an American music choreographer and film director famous for his visual work that can be likened to a kaleidoscope on screen. Utilizing showgirls, dancing in unison and creating complex geometric visual patterns- Berkley’s work was a cornerstone of an age. Enter BUSBY BERKLEY’S DREAM ABERRATIONS, a film that tips its hat to Berkley’s aesthetics while exploring a completely different world. Unlike Berkley, who utilized the external body to create shapes and patterns, BUSBY BERKLEYS DREAM ABERRATIONS uses internal images of the body to make the same visual effects. The affect is a piece that draws it’s visual inspiration directly from Berkley’s formative designs and elements, but utilizes a different human palate to create it’s work. Done in black and white and set against lively jazz music, we do not see prancing legs and fanned arms- but internal organs, mountains of teeth and decaying hands. Done is hyper contrasting black and white, the piece has an almost decaying look and feel to it- but is yet lush and so visually arousing and engaging that one cannot help but fear blinking- lest we miss something. The effect creates horror, thrill, and heart-palpitating excitement. It is two minute wonder not to miss.

Review by Kierston Drier

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SAMFAELINI: BUSBY BERKELEY’S DREAM ABERRATIONS, 2min., UK, Experimental/Music Video 
Directed by Ramon BlanquerExplores different phobias in the form of early Hollywood’s extravaganzza, where rejection and attraction for mystery will dance in harmony unveiling a coordinated series of familiar shapes performing the abstract.

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Film Review: CALO MESA – TECHNO HIPPIE, (Experimental/Music Video) 

This three minute USA film is a homage to retro music and neo-classic musical cinema. A simple set up with two dancers, a musical piece and a old-school style video feedback, creates a series of bright images while re-creating a nostalgic feel from generations past.

What is excellent about TECHNO HIPPIE is how beautifully is draws ties together two different worlds. It is a film made and constructed in the twenty-teens, executing the stylings and techniques of decades prior. An homage, a love letter, and tribute to a style of musical cinema we do not see anymore in our current ingestion of media, TECHNO HIPPIE shines a light on the past through the music of today.

Review by Kierston Drier

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CALO MESA – TECHNO HIPPIE, 3min., USA, Experimental/Music Video 
Directed by Jon MeyerMusic video using nothing but old school video feedback manipulation with two dancers.

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