JOHN BRESLAND
Dead Christ
DEAD CHRIST by Brian Bouldrey
10:03 Video at TriQuarterly
The Seinfeld Analog
THE SEINFELD ANALOG
09:25 Video at Split Lip
Zero Station
Dust Off
DUST OFF with Eula Biss
06:30 Video
Watch My Feet
Mangoes
MANGOES
08:33 Video
Hook
HOOK with Brian Bouldrey
07:52 Video
On the Origin of the Video Essay
Ode to Every Thing
ODE TO EVERY THING with Eula Biss
05:19 Video
Les Cruel Shoes
LES CRUEL SHOES
04:30 Video
Hanoi Jane, Mon Amour
HANOI JANE, MON AMOUR
Essay at TriQuarterly
TriQuarterly Call
CALL FOR VIDEO ESSAYS & CINEPOEMS
06:30 Video produced for TriQuarterly
Mommaqatsi
MOMMAQATSI with Janis Bresland
11:18 Video
Reading DeLillo
READING DELILLO
02:15 Video
Future Ex
Beetles are Coming
CONVERSATIONS
“The trick is to avoid redundancy between images and words. Better to let the visuals and the language do their own delving, and even to contradict one another, as our real-life thoughts and experiences tend to do. When there's distance between the image and the word, there's space for the viewer's imagination.”
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“The digital medium is not just print, it's images and sounds. It's inevitable to me that there will be permeability between those three modes. It's hard for me to imagine the idea of writing 20 years from now being the same because it is not just going to mean words on a page. It's going to mean words and sounds and images.”
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“Because I think of video as a public medium, I gravitate toward those themes that affect me more broadly as a citizen. Those themes involve our tendency, as Americans, to segregate ourselves on the basis of wealth... Complacency and indifference in American culture are rich themes for me because I see those aspects in myself.”
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“Orwell did this all the time. He would meditate on some idea—like our consumption of coal, say, as he does in The Road to Wigan Pier—then go on to implicate himself. When you read Orwell, you're witness to a first class mind, sure, but also actions and behavior that are flawed, lagging. For me, the most exciting essayists confront their thinking in a direct way, and they never come up clean.”
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“It's not hard to imagine a change in the writer's relationship to language in the decade ahead. Our literature, I believe, will become less logocentric. And English Departments, God bless them, will have to contend with this new literature—or risk becoming more museum-like than they already are. I'm not saying this change will come at the expense of language. Language will never go away because language is the foundation of thought. Language, for me, is thought. And writing is how we think. But that's the sticky part, that word—writing. What is means to write is changing before our eyes.”
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“I wanted [this essay] to be experienced as audio. That's where it belonged. It's a confession. And I also knew while writing it that when we speak of memoir in such a way, when we brand it confessional, we're effectively shelving it among lesser art forms. But I was nonetheless drawn to the form. It worked for St. Augustine—and really, who would hesitate to lend their ear to a penitent?”
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“In my own work, I try to be mindful of something I read in The Gutenberg Elegies by Sven Birkerts. He describes the act of reading so perfectly. "We don't just read the words, we dream our lives in their vicinity." He's talking about the magic of reading, how readers co-create meaning. I don't believe that readerly magic can be replicated in any other medium. But I do think a hell of a lot more space can be made in filmmaking for the viewer's imagination.”
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“When I think about the visual arts in the 19th century in the context of now, of today, I can't help but wonder if we're the ones who are deprived. Because our postmodern brains are instructed by the code of cinema, we tend to look at images with one expectation: that they move. For years I used to wonder why, after trawling though museum after museum, I felt so disappointed and helpless. I eventually figured out that I can't look at, say, a Modigliani nude, without a sense of disappointment that she doesn't get up, pull a shot of espresso, maybe do some light calisthenics.”
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“Maybe we're hungry for films that make us do more than feel. We want to think, too, and we want to act on our convictions.”
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