Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Split Log 05

The birds are chirping, although there’s no sign yet of the sun. I envy them their circadian rhythms, behaviour as secret information. I have become convinced that my own rhythms have become faulty, my feelings – which perhaps I should have left at home – ebbing and flowing with the unpredictability of the capricious Dalmation winds. Meanwhile, my information sources are wholly orthodox: books, videos, the internet, the flawed recollections of other people. They are reforming as quivering inaccuracies in my mind and, occasionally, as words on the internet or out of my mouth.

Saturday, we officially – but without ceremony – inaugurated the Unfound Peoples Videotechnic at Kino Klub Split (a temporary lodging for a roaming academy). The opening lecture, titled Mythology of the Self, seemed to be well-received by our historic initial cohort. It was a relief just to get through the damned thing without running out of things to say or being assaulted or, worse, called-out. I hope it was of some use, but in developing a total filmmaking education program (indeed, it is billed as a radical de-programming reprogramming program) this first lecture can only be regarded as the damping of the nib. It was far too factual, if my opinions were admirably smeared into the raw information, and with too many references to the ‘real world’. In preparing (destroying) a limited edition .pdf of notes for participants to take away with them, I began to find a greater poetry in omission and deliberate obfuscation; words, as some wise old chap once said, are given to us to hide our true meaning. I’m running an artist’s workshop, not a cooking show.

My own studies, however, focussing presently on the Kino Klub movement, are drawn into a peculiar dichotomy of word and sound-image: the Klubs’ golden era, the hub of their collective thematic resonances, was half a century ago; the movies of the time are largely wordless, but are explained in a tornado of written manifestoes, articles and histories which variously overlap, correct and contradict each other. It’s most inspiring, all this writing, and a curious analogue to what would have been the equivalent had I ‘been there’ – conversation, both languid (lazy young revolutionaries pushing ideas around with twigs on the beaches of Split) and quasi-diplomatic (the minuted, numbered and catalogued ‘discussions’ of Zagreb’s smoky projector rooms). Of course, I wouldn’t have understood a word if I’d ‘been there’. Maybe that would have engendered a more appropriate feeling. Certainly, I’m enjoying (and understanding) the films more on a collective level, starting to feel I know the filmmakers (which I never will) better than I know the films (which I have watched repeatedly). Projections…

Your corrections are welcomed in the Comments box.

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