Alice Cohen Animator Interview & Music Video Retrospective

“What appeals to me is the potency in the image — the object itself, or the mysterious atmosphere it holds. A truly beautiful image has the power open up this whole inner world; it’s like a visual “key” that unlocks and fires up your imagination.” - Alice Cohen

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DamNation Documentary Film Review (USA, 2014)

“Dams don’t just blend in as part of a landscape anymore. Knowing what I know now, it’s impossible for me to look at dams in the same way as I did a few years ago — or even rivers, for that matter. Dams and hydropower represent a pivotal part of U.S. history; there’s no denying that. But just like any other resource development in the U.S., we took it too far.” - Ben Knight, Director of DamNation

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Kenzo’s Dawn In Luxor Video (Directed by Kahlil Joseph; Music by Shabazz Palaces)

In this slow-moving dream world, long-time collaborators Kahlil Joseph and Shabazz Palaces focus their eyes on a number of figures inhabiting different spaces: a blue-faced boy sitting on a beach; a figure scampering across a dark room; a strong woman standing tall in the breeze. It’s a fashion video that flies in and out of synth washes and the rhymes of Shabazz Palaces, who encourage you to fly with them along metaphysical spaceways. Egyptian hieroglyphics are spliced between scenes — and combined with the veiled figures and African artifacts, one has to wonder what Joseph’s secret message is.

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Class Enemy (Razredni Sovražnik) Film Review (Slovenia, 2014)

Nusa (Masa Derganc), every student’s favorite teacher, goes on maternity leave and is replaced by Robert. Robert is everything that Nusa isn’t — a man who believes in rigid authority and an older style of teaching. A private meeting with a struggling Sabina (Dasa Cupevski) sends her out of Robert’s office in tears, and it is the last memory her classmates have of her. Sabina later commits suicide, and the class, left struggling to comprehend their own emotions, squarely places the blame on Robert. Rok Bicek’s debut feature-length film, Class Enemy, is an interesting exercise in grief, and Bicek undertakes the painstaking task of showcasing how it hits the cast of characters differently. Luka (Voranc Boh), who has just lost

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Four Corners Film Review (South Africa, 2014)

The narrative of Four Corners is equal parts Tsotsi and City of God, set in the sprawling South African ghetto of Cape Flats and following the people that struggle to survive it. At times, the dialogue is sparse and the acting is relatively wooden, but the overall message, and the despair of the situation, makes it an engaging film worth noting. Selected as the official South African submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, Four Corners missed out on a nomination, but remains a bold undertaking by director Ian Gabriel, who chose to tell the story in Sabela, the secret language of certain gangs in South Africa), Tsotsi taal and Afrikaans. Four Corners Theatrical Trailer

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Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) 2014 Preview: Films We’re Excited About

Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) 2014 is here, which means another few weeks of impressively-curated film-going madness for everyone in the Puget Sound Region. Below, we’ve once again given you our top selections for the year, grouped by world region. Stay tuned in the weeks to come, as we offer updates throughout the festival’s progression, with general thumbs up and thumbs down summaries of the films we will painfully and enjoyably slog and float through, as well as one-off full-length reviews. Happy SIFFing!

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Experimental Music on Children’s TV (EMoCTV): Mike Haley’s Retrospective Blog

“I think exposing kids to as much shit as possible is really important, just so they know it exists. If you only ate apples, and only got your kid apples, then their favorite fruit would be apples. But that’s just because they haven’t gripped a mango, or banana, or plum yet. Maybe they’ll hate every other fruit and truly dig apples. Or maybe they don’t really like apples. You see where I’m going with this?” - Mike Haley of Experimental Music on Children’s TV

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A World Not Ours Documentary Film Review: A Look Inside Palestinian Refugee Camp Ain al-Hilweh

Regardless of your feelings about Palestine, A World Not Ours is a must watch for those interested in themes of landlessness, family, and what it means to be privileged. Through the narrative lens, we get a glimpse into life inside a semi-permanent Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon. It is, of course, neither possible to dissociate the film from the political implications of the setting, nor does the film attempt to do so. Yet the glimpses of life that we see offer insight into what it means to be marooned in another country with few rights, into what family and community mean in such a setting, and the pressures of this oppressive life. The camp is called Ain al-Hilweh. Early

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Top Vintage Polish Film Posters: A Comparative Interview w/ Eye Sea Posters & The Affiche Studio

Generally brightly-colored and psychedelic in nature, Polish film, theatre, and circus posters from the mid-1940s through the 1980s have played a major role on inspiring modern poster art and graphic design. Supported at the time by the Polish government and arguably transformed into the prime form of art in the nation, Polish posters are known for their ability to hint at deeper meanings and personalities through allusion and metaphor, initially seen only as bold strokes of visual fancy. Their history is a complex and dynamic one worthy of many more words, influenced equally by Communism and politics as the state of the international arts scene of the time.

In this comparative interview, we speak with two creative studios — Eye Sea Posters, based in the United Kingdom and dedicated to poster archiving and reselling, and The Affiche Studio, which is based in the United States and dedicated to poster restoration — on just what makes Polish posters so compelling, to this day.

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Female Coming-Of-Age Tales: A Three-Way Film Review of La Sirga, They’ll Come Back, and Tall As The Baobab Tree

Defined by Merriam-Webster as, “The attainment of prominence, respectability, recognition, or maturity,” “coming-of-age” is widely considered a point in every young person’s life when they walk the precarious edge between being a child and being an adult member of their community. This edge might be magnified by any number of given plot turns – be it a forced exile, an unexpected abandonment, or the opportunity to fight for something of great importance; in the feature directorial debuts, La Sirga by William Vega, They’ll Come Back by Marcelo Lordello and Tall As The Baobab Tree by Jeremy Teicher, the coming-of-age narrative is central, poignant and profound. Vega, Lordello and Teicher not only tend to their subjects with compassion and intimacy, they

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Philosophical Influence Timeline: Alejandro Jodorowsky – The Holy Mountain

Call it a spiritual treatise, a visual masterpiece, or whatever you like — but Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film, The Holy Mountain, has inspired musicians dating as far back as members of the Beatles, who played an instrumental role in funding and distributing the work. In this timeline of artistic individuals inspired by The Holy Mountain, we work backwards from the present day to the year in which the film was born, passing many music videos, songs, and philosophical shout-outs along the way. The creation of this timeline began with the intention of finding commonalities between the individuals who value Jodorowsky’s works, but the trend that emerged was much more varied than expected. More than anything, this timeline highlights the fact that though Jodorowsky influences many artistically-experimental thinkers, how they are influenced can sometimes be surprising, and is often completely unrelated to the author’s original intention and beliefs.

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Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) 2013: Best & Worst Films Round-Up Reviews

There is an inherent danger with really diving full-force into a film festival that has a scope as large as the Seattle International Film Festival. Often, the movies are top notch, well-selected and well-curated, and fit perfectly within the framework of that section of the festival. Other times, after sitting through self-indulgent artsy dribble that someone, somewhere, found interesting enough to greenlight with millions of dollars, you realize sadly that two or more hours of your life will never return. Now that we’re through SIFF 2013, we’ve decided to give the rundown of what we appreciate and what we will never need to watch again. The African Cypher (South Africa) Directed by Bryan Little * TOP PICK * Films like

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