Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
TIRANTI TRANSIT (2005)
Tiranti Transit is a short film by Italian director, Alessandro Fantini. It was interesting approaching this film because I can see so much of my own work in the film, both the triumphs and the failures.
The film's in Italian, and I didn't have access to the English dialogue, but I think it's so well made that you don't even need to understand the dialogue. The primary concern is building a mood, and what lingers with me after viewing the film is not the story, it's more this feeling of melancholy and warmth. In that respect, it's a very prototypical European art film. I haven't seen that much of his work, but it's reminiscent of Antonioni, with a decentralized narrative and a focus on aesthetic qualities.
I think that's what makes cinema so powerful, a Wong Kar-Wai film wouldn't work in any other medium because it's not solely about the story, or solely about the aesthetics, it's about the fusion of music and visual to create a singular feeling. The score in this film is fantastic, moody and Blade Runneresque, it's a large part of why the short works as well as it does.
The best moments in the film are at the end. There's a fantastic shot where the woman opens a door inside and there's a cut to a wide open road, which we then see her standing on. It's a great moment of surreal cutting, using editing to make a transition that's not possible in reality. This leads up to the really nice ending of the film.
My big issue with the film, something that's true of a lot of low budget, digital works, is that some shots just feel like home video, and that takes you out of the story. It's the biggest concern in working with digital, I absolutely love DV and would gladly shoot it over film, but it means that you need to better, to ensure that each shot has the care you would spend for a filmbased take. Even David Lynch had some really sloppily composed shots in Inland Empire, it's tough to nail every shot and a few here just didn't quite work. But, it didn't fully take me out of the story's mood, and I was able to quickly shift back in and reengage with the story. Maybe some color correction would resolve that issue, or more likely, just a higher end camera.
The other thing I wasn't sure about was the zooms. Some of them were great, but some felt a bit arbitrary. Some filmmakers use the zoom lens in great ways, most notably Robert Altman. I feel like with the zoom you either have to be really slow, or really fast. If you use the default camera speed, it can feel rote. But, I'm not sure if I'm reacting that way just because I know about cameras and can see how it worked. However, I'm still glad that he tried it, because some of those zooms made for great moment.
I'd rather watch a film like this than a polished Hollywood movie that doesn't have any energy in the shooting. I'd rather have a few shots that don't quite make it if it means having some of the fantastic compositions that appear throughout the film. As I've said many times before, I'd rather see a film that aims high and doesn't quite make it than something that has no ambition and nails it. So, the flaws of this film don't mean that it's not a great viewing. This film is a world you can slip into, and I really enjoyed my time there. And, the ending had a primal power that I found very affecting and well done.
If you want to view the film, it's on line here, and there's more information on Alessandro, including some fantastic art, right here. at his site.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
130 pages, 7.44" x 9.68", perfect binding, white interior paper, full-color interior ink, white exterior paper, full-color exterior ink
The Sinovial Gaze-The Art of Alessandro Fantini embodies the first attempt at gathering more than a decade of creative and hallucinative experiences lived by the “multimedianic” artist Alessandro Fantini in an unique visual ride along more than one hundred luxuriant color illustrations. The book depicts the progression of Fantini's quest for the medianic rendition of his most inner pulsions and visions. Since the early 90s, with the discovery of the oil painting and the surrealist concepts, his artworks higlight a turbulent tension towards the cinematic and narrative syntaxes that will soon led him to deal with shortmovies, novels, comics, videoart and music languages. The book is structured into three sections which explore chronologically the pictorial and graphic dimensions of his visionary craftmanship.
Among the featured artworks there are the David Lynch's portrait displayed for the first time at the Brick Lane Gallery, the erotic oil on wood board "O.B.E" featured in the Fantini's selfportrait printed on the Jean Michel Jarre's AERO album booklet, and the tribute to Stanley Kubrick personally donated to his wife Christiane Kubrick. Comments and notes by the artist himself, Jean Michel Jarre, Charles de Lauzirika, Claudio Castellini, Lorenzo Fantini.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Il Varco Semilunare - The Semilunar Passage
Alessandro Fantini releases his first art book devoted to documenting 15 years of graphic enquiries and preliminary medianic sketches, flamboyant apparently illustrative pencil and black ink drawings and portraits spreaded over 140 pages with more than one hundred black and white plates. Commentaries, poems, newspapers excerpts and memories by the author himself support this intense journey through the AFAN's ambiguous and everlasting creative anamnesis. Available on Lulu.com at this [link] in the italian language soft-cover edition. The english version will be published sooner.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
No. You're wrong. The image displayed on this post doens't mean that I'm converting my blog to a conventional advertisings container 'cause I renegaded my art purist philosophy. Actually this is one of my advertising visual creations submitted for the on line contest launched by Emporio Armani some months ago on the web for which I also created a video that I linked on this blog at the end of april. Even though I admit that I enjoed a lot to deal with the language and the mediatic code and rythm of the commercial (I've experimented something similar last year with my cryptic teasers promoting my novel "Endometria" on YouTube and Libero Video) exploiting the edenic and atavic charm of a protected harbour of the adriatic coast surveilled by a paradoxical as well as "biotech-like"oil platform raised on the sea horizon, I cannot say the same about my reaction to the proclamation of the winners of the two contest categories. Annalisa Nappi, who simply put "together" the two cylindrical parfums in a "ready-made" composition, could make even Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp or Piero Manzoni feel ashamed of their art . There isn't much more to say than the next time I will take care to suppress my imagination, so let's discover the winning director. Who's Joseph Cardo? Had he the credentials to join this contest open to every artists not linked to the Emporio Armani staff as the rules cleary stated? Could his video be defined "genial" or, at least "original" and faithful to the submission rules and therefore worthy to win the first prize and becoming the lucky director of the new "Get together" advertising campaign? Answer to the first question: Joseph Cardo is a very well known international fashion photographer who has already the neverending curriculum of a consumed professionist who made advertising campaigns, videoclip, calendars and portfolio for Vogue, Glamour, GQ, Traveller, fashion houses like Basile, Burani, Krizia, Cardin, Coveri, Balestra and has created the cover photograps of the last Vasco Rossi cd (if you don't know who's this pop-singer then you're lucky to not live in Italy). All in all he had the same credentials of the other 2799 artists to submit his creation 'cause as far as I know it seems that he hasn't sisters, brothers or cousins among the Emporio Armani staff (I suspect he didn't need them anyway). Thing changes when we consider the format requested by the contest rules. Why? The pdf of the video guidelines I downloaded from the contest website reported the following line: 4/3 lenght: 30 seconds maximum whatever the medium (video, flash, animation, etc.) - wmv, mov, avi, mp4, mpeg, mpg and 3gp. If you check out the Cardo's video you wil notice a strange anomaly: indeed the video format is 16/9. C'mon, what's the problem? It will be easy to convert it to 4/3! Sure, but many of the contest participants believed that the guidelines were inviolable and that if 4/3 means 4/3 it cannot means also 16/9! But maybe many of the participants don't know that usually in Italy rules are made to be slightly changed or, to use a more polite and modern word, to be "reformed" according to the needs of the people (sometime very few people). In any case, we have to recognize that the powerful, state-of-the-art imagery propelled through the 30 seconds of this commercial was so astounding that Giorgio Armani himself has been so amazed that he forgot completely the guidelines, the concept of the "Get together" parfums campaign, and maybe he forgot the contest itself. A boy with a very "boysh" and "urbanlike" beard of four days ( it's a fact that the urban traffic don't allow you to reach so easily the bathroom) wanders in a dark and cinematic "losangeleslike" street playing "hide-and-seek" with a black street lamp smelling the air pollution of the city (do you really think that a scent can defeat the smog of a city like that?). Then, in the other half of the split-screen suggested by the vertical line of the street lamp (a genial mention of "When Harry met Sally" and "The Rules of Attraction") a pale and "prearaphaelitelike" girl with the sensual expression of a "Milkorova" mannequin waves her head in a pre-orgasmic rush. The end is really superb in its unpredictability: after touching the girl's neck and trying to kiss her, the "boysh boy" comes back to play "hide-and-seek" with the same street lamp of the first seconds. Simple and direct, don't you think? A great lesson of pop semiology! If you happen to walk alone in a desert city street by night and you meet a girl (oh God, is she true? or is she Amy Winehouse just escaped from a party?), all you will be able to do is to rub your body against a street lamp instead to talk with that mermaid and invite her in your hotel room. That's the risk of smelling the not "so healthy" contemporary fragrance of an urban road so strangely desert. Therefore the last, most important question is: did Armani really need to create a web contest and wait for three months to engage Joseph Cardo in directing his new advertising campaign? Is there someone in his staff that could remember him that there are email, phone numbers and agents to call a professional fashion photographer like Cardo? But to tell the truth, now everyone knows that the real Advertising campaign was the Contest itself, so now the genial Giorgio can count on 2798 different commercials produced for a same product spreaded all over the web, all of them commissioned for free! That's the definitive proof of his succes: he's really the son of the Machiavelli's country! All my respects Mr. Giorgio and thanks for having get me together with your unpredictable fragrances.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
May has been surely one of the most prolific and lifegiving month that I have experienced so far. Not only I found out new ideas and visual concepts for my next movie project while I was painting the new canvas that I completed just this morning, but I has been able to finalize and register to the Writers Guild of America my first screenplay entirely written in english. Now it's time to build the foundations for both my upcoming works: this afternoon I'll put the acrylic white ground on the blank cardboard canvas in order to prepare it for the layers of oil veils which will unfold the new treshold of the Central Memory I discovered during the shooting of my music video "Body Locked" (hoping to reprise the writing of my new indipendent movie in the evening).
Recently I read again "The Naked Lunch" by William Burroughs and somehow I realized that under this paranoid patch-work of lushious and morbid archetypes there are still hidden substrata of moods tied to other everlasting epitomes of biological fury such as "The Songs of Maldoror" by Lautreamont, "The Colour out of space" by Lovecraft and "The atrocity exhibition" by Ballard. Maybe my renewed interest in the struggle between the metamorphing pulsion of the cells and the annihilating power of Time derived from the return of some childhood reminiscences. Indeed when I was a child I used to hide myself in the darkest spots of the shacks behind my house in the attempt to prevent my brothers or my mother from forcing me to attend catechism or other boring afternoon activitites. So I spent those anguishing minutes among the shaded straw contemplating the swarming population of insects which embodied the court of the pregnant mother cat crouched in the shadow. Saturday after saturday I noticed out the fast inflation of her abdomen and the frightening growth of her pink breasts which were starting to emerge from the hair like heads of little mices. The evening I discovered that six little pink and weat cats were sucking those turgid breasts I felt a sudden sense of panic and loss. The mother cat blowed angrily as she saw me coming in the dark straw, while keeping suckling with a wild tenacity her sons. Ants and flea crowded on the delicate skin of the pets joining the tumult of that feast of growth and multiplication. Since then this climate of terror and fascination has always been strictly linked in my mind to the mutation of the flesh and the feeling of mistery that surrounds the monstruous marvels of biology.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
From time to time I need to clean the palette. The day the oil color incrustation begins to resemble a Pollock's delirium or a Burri's patchwork I've to baptize this morbid orogenic surface with sprays of alcool and waves of fire. When the matter becomes soft again I scrape it off with my putty knife. It's a hard and stressing physical work, but the feeling is very close to a sensual act. It simbolically forebodes the upcoming creative challenge of the large canvas, just like the alchemic "Genesis in test-tube" described by J. C. Barchusen in his book "Elementa chemicae", during which Azoth is put many times inside the bottle together with the fire in order to let the soul oozing.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Digging to the White Void
Time of deep and bright uncertainty.
I bought two new canvases this morning.
I've got a plethora of new ideas and hallucinative concepts, partly under the influence of my study of the Andrew Wyeth's art book “Memory and magic” and the rediscovering of the ancient mastership of Van der Weyden and Brueghel I loved so much during my first adolescence. I've always been enchanted by that Wyeth's distinctive virtue of feeding the shadows with the sparkling coldness of the Maine rural deserts, as well as the Brueghel's luministic approach of rendering the epic sharpness of gargantuan buildings and chaotic crowds of ant-like people so close to those filling Times Square and Piccadilly Circus.
I have been particularly impressed by the famous Wyeth's “Christina's World” since the first time I saw it on a book many years ago, during a gloomy afternoon spent in a precious domestic loneliness. When I accidentally saw it again in 2004 I have been pushed to filter that sense of geometrical eternity and eerie epiphany in the canvas “Are you Carmilla?”, based upon my recurrent nocturnal anguish crises.
On the other hand, the upcoming paintings can be cosidered like two aerial pillars founded on the revelation of a female mood I recently recognized in the gesture and the “clarvoyance” of a young actress gaze. This is the first time I feel that a girl unknown to my daily world could reveal me much more than any person I have ever met in my “physical life”. It's a perception that reminds me some lucid dreams where an astral entity was trying to rescue me before I fell into an abyssal void. Maybe that's the reason for my being so firmly determined to begin these new picture, since it will be the only medium that will allow her to talk to me. Visions keep being the unique way to know the true roots of our reality shadow.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The art video "aVoid" directed by the young moviemaker, painter and writer Alessandro Fantini will be premiered in Rome at the Digital Awards 2008, the section dedicated to the black and white art video filmed with digital camera, during the "16mm Film Festival" hosted by the theatre Colosseo Nuovo on friday 28th of march. Enrico Ghezzi, author of cult italian tv programs such as "Blob" and "Fuori Orario" and renowned film critic is the president of the Digital Awards commission which has selected the video of Fantini, shooted at the end of 2007 among several locations in London and in middle Italy. For further information about the event visit http://www.16mm.it