Something strange in rural South Carolina

The Dragons of Jim Green is a feature documentary I edited and co-produced. We filled the theater for two nights at the Sarasota Film Festival premiere in 2012, and enthusiastic feedback at the audience QA's after the screenings. Dragons won the "People's Grit" award at the Indie Grits Film Festival in Colombia, SC. Here's some of the press we got on it:

"Sad, twisted beauty... otherworldly...wistful but visionary."
- Alexander Kafka, Oxford American

 “A serious, loving examination of… the enduring imaginative powers of the human mind.”
–Elisabeth Stephens, Radio SRQ

 “Rewarding, memorable…mine(s) much richer, and more complex, material.”
–Billy Cox, Sarasota Herald Tribune

 “Passionate and Sublime!”
– De Void

Florence, Venice, Chinatown.

Timepainting (2002)
Super 8mm film and Mini DV format video
4:41

Timepainting is an allegory about the demise of motion picture film, and its replacement by digital technology. It was shot by Margaret Phelan with a consumer Mini DV camcorder, and by me with a super 8mm film camera.

The film element consists of four rolls of super 8mm film, unchanged from how they were first exposed inside a super 8mm camera. Each roll plays out from beginning to end, as if they were being run through a projector in real time. (I am choosing which projection to show you at any one moment, which is where the art goes.) All this ends with the appearance of a quietly terrifying statue of a doctor with a bat-winged baby on his back. (This is from the beautiful and haunting cemetery in back of the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte,in Florence).

Then the video images make their appearance, superimposed over repeated "remembrances" of film shots from earlier. The piece ends after the world of grainy film has been completely transformed into the cold but lush world of digital video.

The soundtrack was created by mixing my own field sound recordings with distorted fragments of modernist classical and world music.

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Summer Solstice (2014)

An old friend, who we shall call Andrew H, is a filmmaker who I had worked with on a couple of experimental film projects. During the evening of the summer solstice of 2014, he and his girlfriend invited a bunch of people from NYC up to a very rural country locale in Ulster County, NY, where they were having an art exhibition inside a tree house they had built. It was a very small tree house, you had to climb to get up into it and capacity was about 4 people standing. But it overlooked a beautiful creek big enough to swim in.

Later there was a concert and a big bonfire. Locals from the area stopped by, knowing a party when they see one. It was a party I would've really liked to attend. Instead, I decided to bring my new GH4 camera and make this video. Probably not worth it, but I hope some people get something out of seeing a unique slice of urban/rural life in verité style.

The graffiti artist/rap musician is Ellis Gallagher, and the Music Producer/Guitarist/rock skipper's name I've unfortunately forgotten; I think it was Peter. But apparently he's hot shit in the music business. One of the locals that night stumbled into and damaged his guitar, and his Mercedes was damaged by a firecracker or something. Poor dude. He never should have taken that car so off road. Maybe he didn't know how rural Marbletown, NY really was.

The artist who is briefly interviewed and whose work is shown in and around the tree house is Andrew Poneros.

Relaxing in Hanoi

The seniors in Vietnam really know how to relax. It's also interesting how stylish these older men usually are, and quite amusing to see some of the exercises the older women do. It was an overcast but tranquil day in and around Hoan Khiem park, in Hanoi. This is from 2013.

Kyoto in the Autumn

Kyoto is an amazing place to see Autumn leaves. There are dozens of temples and hundreds of shrines with accompanying gardens which have been cultivated for their beauty for hundreds of years, always with a mind to how they appear at different seasons. Also in Kyoto is a macaque (snow monkey) sanctuary, where you are warned not to stare too long at the animals. I was to learn that having cameras pointed at them too long is also a no-no.

I shot this on a trip in 2014.