Film Review: SAINT ETIENNE – MAGPIE EYES, (Music Video)

SAINT ETIENNE- MAGPIE EYES, is a three minute music video paying homage to youth. Full to bursting with highly polished and glossy production value, boasting bright beautiful young performers and backdropped against a classic urban setting nostalgic to many. The film follows three teenage friends and their beautiful summer day in a city-suburb, as they walk, talk and explore the world around them- all set against music. The result is the classic cinematic food of an age-old story. It is the story of youth. It is the story that captures the leap between children and adults. For a few magical moment between childhood and adulthood we are  suspended in air as teenagers. And while that suspension is uncertain, and scary- it is also alight with possibilities. SAINT ETIENNE attempts to capture that moment- and it does so admirably. For three magical minutes, we are all teenagers again.

Review by Kierston Drier

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SAINT ETIENNE – MAGPIE EYES, 3min., Music Video
Directed by Tash Tung

Magpie Eyes reimagines the 90s band as teenagers in the modern day and follows them around the sleepy market suburb of Stevenage, UK – the first of the government’s post-war Utopias. The film celebrates a distinct sense place and what it’s like to grow up in a British suburb, mixing stills and moving images of the local kids in and around the New Town architecture.

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Film Review: YOU’RE DEAD WRONG, (Canada, Music Video)

A thriller music video with a classic twist,YOU’RE DEAD WRONG is a wonderful Canadian film that will have you on the edge of your seat right until the final frame. Carefully cushioned between a our vocalist from Stellar,  a story unravels of a woman taking violent action against partner- who clearly deserves it. But what looks like long-time coming revenge turns out to be a well orchestrated lover’s game.

Beautifully shot, well composed and packing a tight story into six minutes, YOU’RE DEAD WRONG is a strong and vibrant music video, with great talent behind it!

Review by Kierston Drier

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YOU’RE DEAD WRONG, 6min., Canada, Music Video 
Directed by Craig LoboThe debut single from the band “Stellar”.

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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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