I just came across a blog devoted to one of my favorite parts of filmmaking. The Art of the Title Sequence is dedicated to great title design in cinema and TV. What a lovely idea. Currently the site is displaying an eclectic mix of designs old and new.

Below is something of a music video mixtape that I’ve put together.  The theme is “kissing.”


The Teenagers - Homecoming - (Dir. Kinga Burza)

New Order - Krafty - (Dir. Johan Renck)

Doves - The Man Who Told Everything - (Dir. Sam Brown)

Nine Black Alps - Bitter End - (Dir. Terry Hall)

Soon - Serenade the City - (Dir. Sir Taki)

Animal Collective - PeaceBone - (Dir. Timothy Saccenti)

Koop - Island Blue - (Dir. Jean Francois Julain)

Air - All I Need - (Dir. Mike Mills)

Kent - Karleken Vantar - (Dir. Johan Renck)

Sonic Youth - Sunday - (Dir. Harmony Korine)

Photographer David Michalek directed Slow Dancing, a large scale series of 43 slow motion video portraits of some of the most accomplished dancers from around the world. Using high-speed HD cameras designed for scientific research, the project expands 5 seconds of dancing into a 10 minute long installation. Slow Dancing has already made stops to NYC’s Lincoln Center and the LA Music Center. On the project’s website, you can take a closer look at the dancers and view clips from the installation.

 

Doug Aitken is a renowned multimedia artist who has worked with video installation, sculpture, and photography.  In 2006, he published Broken Screen: 26 Conversations. The book compiles conversations with artists in which they discuss their desires to work outside of conventional linear narrative forms. Aitken engages his fellow artists—including Werner Herzog, Ed Ruscha, Robert Altman, Kenneth Anger, Claire Denis, Amos Vogel, and Alejandro Jodorowsky—in discussion, as opposed to critical interviews. Below are some choice quotes:

“I almost feel like the process of filmmaking is a performance itself. The act of filmmaking becomes an extension of the performance on-screen.—Matthew Barney

“…I got fired again and again because people like Jack Warner, the cofounder of Warner Brothers, would say, ‘who has actors all talking at the same time?’ Well I haven’t had many experiences in real life where people don’t talk all at the same time. People don’t wait around for each other to shut up before they speak.”—Robert Altman

“…the notion of a beginning and an end is a rational formulation that I don’t use anymore. For me, life is not continuous. If I have a beginning and end in one of my films, its not a real beginning or end. These things don’t exist.”—Alejandro Jodorowsky

 

Controversial animation director Ralph Bakshi is best known for his cult classic Fritz the Cat. If you aren’t familiar with his work, think Robert Crumb as a filmmaker. Bakshi is also credited with elevating rotoscope animation techniques to new levels with his version of The of Lord of the Rings (1978) and American Pop (1981). The truth is that Bakshi is a rebel. He is literally the Cool World to a more mainstream Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

In recent years, Bakshi has spent the better part of his time working as a painter. He will be in attendance on Thursday April 17th for the opening of his work at the Animazing Gallery.

Phillips commissioned auteur Wong Kar Wai to direct a short film to show off their new Aurea line of flat panel TVs. The result is There is Only One Sun, a French language film that seems heavily inspired by Godard’s Alphaville. The director continues to explore how to juxtapose mod aesthetics from the 60’s with a technicolor science-fiction future. In true Wong Kar Wai fashion, cooler than cool characters struggle with the pains of love. 

Designer Jakob Trollback is curious about the constraints of the music video format. He experimented with the idea of creating a visual echo of a song’s expression, as opposed to a conceptual response. At last years TED conference Trollback introduced the results of his experiment which is set to David Byrne and Brian Eno’s “Moonlight in Glory.” 

When REM’s Losing My Religion music video began to air on MTV, a new chapter in music promos began. A brilliant young director with a taste for ornate art direction named Tarsem was the visionary behind the video. His theatrical style and Hieronymous Bosch-like sense of detail paved the way for a successful career as a commercial director. Having garnered a slew of awards, it was clear that he would begin to make feature films, and unique ones at that.

Tarsem Singh’s first feature film, The Cell (2000) received very mixed reviews and was often criticized for placing style in front of content. Regardless, the director proved his masterful ability to deliver a spectacle. And now, 8 years later he has finished his 2nd feature film The Fall. The project sees him again paired with renowned costume designer Eiko Ishioka (Bjork’s Cocoon, Bram Stoker’s Dracula) and appears to be slated for a Spring release. If the website is any indication, we should be in for a visual feast.

Martin Scorsese and The Rolling Stones are continuing to make film and music history with Shine a Light. If you’ve never been able to afford the Stones outlandishly priced concert tickets in the past, here is your opportunity to see the band perform at the legendary Beacon Theatre through the lens of Scorsese. The film releases April 4th and will be playing in IMAX for those of you interested in seeing Jagger and Richard’s wrinkles in super sharp detail. I can’t imagine whose genius idea that was. 

Film directors Werner Herzog and Errol Morris are both profoundly unique in the stories that they tell. Here is a conversation between the two in which they trace back their long friendship and discuss topics ranging from each other’s work to their experiences going together to visit serial killer Ed Kemper in prison.

Additionally, Errol Morris has a new documentary called Standard Operating Procedure releasing to theaters April 25th.  The film focuses on the events and photos surrounding the Abu Ghraib prison torture affair.

 

Jeffery Plansker is a commercial director and photographer. He has also directed music videos for the likes of Radiohead and Sound Garden. Plansker was approached by Sony to make a project to show off one of their newer HD cameras. He created a beautifully photographed short film in which image influences sound to create something of a score.  The film entitled Lion Still has Wings begins with a note that it was made using the “truncated turbo-pascal editing system,” which is apparently a random edit principal. More on the making of the film.