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Update #25: The January Workings.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope this year is treating you calmly and is a slow and gentle introduction to the new year.

So, what have I been up to?

As of this year, the usual working is in order, house hunting and slowly working on getting this year into a productive start. I have 3 pieces I am working on currently, clowning, a performance art project and multiple photography shoots. Driving lessons are slowly plodding on with my test at the start of the new month, and hopefully, some more news and developments when it comes to the logistics and approvals from councils for my projects to be performed, developed or practised. I have also very lightly touched on NFTs to see and learn a bit more about the phenomenon. This in turn has influenced me to continue a new set of works called 'Obliques', using 3 cards from oblique strategies to create work in a more abstract and challenging way, with the same focus' and strategies taken by people who do automatic writing.

Think: Inside the work/ Outside the work

Slow Preparation... Fast Execution.

Do nothing for as long as possible.

I've also been working on more photography and finding new ways to showcase entire reels, I've taken an interest in this a lot more than I anticipated and quite enjoy the therapeutic aspects of it, from the manual way of winding the camera, to the anticipation of receiving the photos at the end unaware of how different they will look, a mixture of the anticipation and unexpected nature is something I enjoy, as well as a little something physical at the end to keep. As the days become longer and warmer, I am hoping I can be out and about more with the camera, and hopefully with some more lenses. I am also experimenting with souped film a lot, I currently am shooting through a roll of Black and white films, and will soon be using a souped roll which I feel will have some very gnarly results.

It's interesting to see what I get drawn to as a photographer also, buildings to rubble, or people to crowds. A lot of my focus I've seen currently is the chopped parts on sunlight pasted onto buildings. I think the focus on architecture is interesting, and the contrasts opposed to nature such as trees.

The geometric shapes which are cast, although not present in the photo, are still visible by the way they black the sun on buildings next to them. I am hoping to extend my focus' into people-based city photography as well.

Below are some of the new methods I have made to showcase the reel in its entirety, from some of the favourites in the roll to the dead space between photos. I've found this to be more engaging for people to look at whilst drip-feeding and peaking interests of those to see the full image.

I hope in time I will be able to develop a large selection of rapid slideshow photos for the whole year, as well as moments and highlights of my favourites through the year, showing some learning and experience as well as some of the experimental photography I will be doing. As said before, I still have a lot of tests when it comes to souping film roll, I have an idea of 50/50ing some roll, one half being souped, dried and then the other half, creating a 50/50 split on souped roll (Theoretically, this is still a process I am yet to work on.) Who knows, I might be onto something here.

I am still looking at new places in which to spend evenings in which to grow and develop my skills, as well as network, this is proving tough currently as I am currently working a lot more than anticipated saving for things like lessons and hopefully a little bit more of an easing when I move into manchester in the future, I saw an artists meet up in manchester sometime in the late February which I am intrigued to travel to and share ideas and receive feedback on ideas I put in.

This is something I wanted to make sure I am doing more often as I am only doing these more monthly, I wanted to make sure I watch and review at least 2 different films every month and give my honest opinion on them, the more obscure the better...

The two films I am reviewing for this month is a film called 'Cow' By (GIVE THE NAME HERE) and A24's 'The Green Knight'

COW - Directed by Andrea Arnold

Cow is a very interesting and rather unconventional filmmaking process in which the filming was done by one person with a handheld camera at the eye level of the main focus of the film (You guessed it) cows.

The film follows the life of a cow and calf, both currently in and circulating in a dairy farm and the conditions, lives and lifestyle in which the cows lead, all shot at eye level of the animals to aid in a more giving you perspective from their eyes as opposed to a third-person perspective.

I would say it isn't actually too much to say about this film, I went in with the expectation of 'well, it's a film about a cow what can I expect?' and left feeling that that statement was wrong.

With the eye level filming, I felt it was very effective at conveying the emotion of the cows we followed, from the sense of slight freedom to the claustrophobic atmosphere, to the certain situations they endure day to day as dairy cows.

This film also didn't pull any punches when it came to the visceral parts, whilst also maintaining a rather neutral opinion on the matter, leading the audience to come up with their own perspectives and furthermore, (And arguably more effective,) create dialogue as a catalyst for open discussion about the film and what it contained.

Some special mentions about this film is I found that the sound design was pretty flawless, as it was filmed at eye level with a camcorder, it was impressive to see the sound design team create and replicate the sounds, as well as mastering the original sounds such as the mooing of a cow, the machines and squelches of mud, the breathing (which was a rather impactful way of understanding a cow's emotions) I did find it interesting on some of it when the cows were being milked, that it was only female pop-singers that echoed about in the area, whether this was a creative decision of coincidence and me trying to connect dots between.

The passing of time was also well conveyed using nature as a tell for the season such as migrating geese, fireworks in the distance, the sound of birdsong with a mid-shot of leafless trees. All subtle yet informational cuts convey at what part of the year the films are currently set on.

Of course, I do have to commend the camera work in this as well, considering that it looked to be like they were almost in with the cows for over a year keeping at their level and manoeuvring in places which could have been dangerous such as within a heard of cows and the back of truck carriers. This is something I haven't seen often in films, and I understand why, but it makes for some excellent filmography.

Would I watch this film again? No. Would I recommend you watch this film? Absolutely, I feel it is an excellent piece of media in which to get a perspective of where dairy products come from and a glimpse into something mundane which we never really give too much time to think about. Do be warned if you are a little squeamish however 8/10

The Green Knight A24

Taking us through a retelling of a classic Arthurian poem of Sir Gawain, we follow a journey to become an honourable knight after encountering a gree knight and playing a game within his conditions in which he must repay a year later in his green cathedral.

This, as many other A24 films is no exception when it comes to their track record of having incredible cinematography, colouring and shots which are not only informative, entertaining and professional but also incredible captivating and are their own beauty within themselves.

As someone who enjoys their fair share of fantasy and old folklore tales, this film was exactly what I wanted from a film, following a flawed but likeable character, meeting strange and wild people and creatures, ranging from the worldly to the otherworldly.

I would say however this felt more of a focus on characters and development of characters rather than action, whilst it has some really well choreographed tense moments, seeing the connection people have to the world, each other and the underlying themes of honour, time, and the deadliness of pride are all something in which all of the characters in this film have a connection with through it.

This film also has some really stunning visuals, as well as some awesome SFX and curveball moments when it came to facing the otherworldly, it was completely intoxicating and enthralling from start to finish in which I was engrossed into the world, and seeing how the foreshadowing at the beginning would take place.

I have nothing but one thing that I feel I could point out which I felt was an issue, I noticed a continuity error during the film in which Sir Gawain is riding on a path, on this path you can see somewhat noticeably that the path has/is used as a path for cars and other automobiles to drive down on, as it was more beaten and barren in the same width as cars are, this took some of the immersion out for me but that is the smallest of nitpicks I have about this film, otherwise, I would consider it of a really high standard and a really good watch. Would I watch this again? Absolutely, and are intending to shortly.

That'll do for this month, I'm reducing the number of updates I am doing as work ramps up and my time curate limited, also, to relieve the pressure of keeping on top of the updates and struggling to find stuff to write about. All about smooth sailing this year, and getting stuff done more than writing about stuff I should of done.

Hope you're all well and I'll see you end of this month.


-S (06/04/22)

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