ken jacobs

Cinema gurus: Ken Jacobs and more

Cinema gurus: Ken Jacobs and more

While reading an excellent article by Manohla Dargis in the New York Times about experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs and his upcoming show in Los Angeles, I was struck by the fact that we take cinema for granted. Cinematic language has been developing at breakneck speed since Edison arrived on the scene, yet rarely do we acknowledge that we “speak” cinema, an ever evolving, ever changing complex language of shots and cuts. And it’s even more unusual these days to look at the material of cinema itself, the light and shadows, the grain of the celluloid (or pixels of the video image). That’s why filmmakers like Ken Jacobs, who have spent their life devoted to just that, slowing down the experience of cinema and embarking on penetrating explorations of the basic primary experience of it, are like film gurus. They remind us of the magic, the invention, the wonder of what has become at times over commercialized and mundane. One look at images coming from Ken Jacob’s Nervous Magic Lantern and as Dargis explained, we have no idea what we are watching…

New American Realism?

New American Realism?

While many acquisition execs, journalists, and film goers were often confused by what to make of the tangled mess of films at this year’s Sundance Festival, New York Times critic Manohla Dargis seems to have already named this year as a movement. In “New American Realism Emerges Amid Grousing and Hummers [www.nytimes.com],” Dargis identifies a certain perspective that permeates the better films this year: