heroes@cqm.co.uk on Sun, 14 May 2000 07:50:26 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> More on Victim of Geography (video)

Hiya all...

Thought you might appreciate a few words published in last months Euro-DOX
magazine from a bignosed/big mouthed serb/scottish/english and would you
believe even now (according to my translator Ali) alabanian looking

Kick over the statues ehhh!!!?

And remember if you can't change the world, then change yourself....

Respect and dedications to you...

Doug A


Point of view feature

Recently on my return from Kosov@, I was bemused to find in my mail the
feedback from the market at last year's Amsterdam Documentary Film Festival
IDFA for our film "Victim of Geography". The comments themselves ranged from
the praise-worthy and forward looking  (which I shan't go into here) to
those of people who quite obviously have a problem with not only the content
of our film but also with the way it was made. People who perhaps feel that
they have to uphold the traditional values of documentary making and story
telling against any upstart (young or otherwise) who wants to either tell
their story differently or use technology to make their films work in new

Too fragmented too many images!

Too much of a film about the moment rather than a real story.

Too Video! (Now isn't it really about time that we all stopped using this
word as a derogatory term in this the digital age?)

These comments both angered and saddened me, because if there's one thing
that I've learnt above all else from many of the subjects in the films that
I make (who have survived the tragedy and farce of the nineties) is the
importance of living for the moment.

If I can't make films that set-out to capture that feeling of
unpredictability and use the technology at my disposal to reflect on that
search for the moment, then I might as well stop making films for the
documentary market altogether. But then I got to thinking - Just who really
is it who is out of touch here?

Does tradition and convention really have a monopoly on emotion, passion,
revelation, confrontation and all those other human and craft attributes
that are so important to the alchemy of any good documentary?
And just who is it that wants to live in a (radical) past, rather than an
even more radical and far from certain future?

In many respects the impact of the camcorder on a Y2k generation of
filmmakers is as significant as the Lieca was on a 50's generation of
photographers and the Bolex on a 60's generation of cinema auteurs. Because
it has enabled anyone with with an independent spirit to go out into the
world, take risks and make films that show the world their way. Films that
reinvigorate or more to the point re-invent the documentary form and which
often by example fly-in-the-face of the increasingly proscriptive/market
orientated commissioning process.  Films that might also (in the
not-to-distant-future) by-pass TV and Cinema altogether and find a global
audience on the worldwide web.

As Y2k filmmakers, we perhaps all have as much in common now with good
underground DJ's as we do with any of the auteur film makers to whom we may
aspire.  Because we too can now use the technology to mix, match and sample
from the past and in the process produce a new type of music that introduces
a different rhythm into people's lives.

Too many images?
Too many moments?
Too Video?

Here's one upstart filmmaker who'll be looking and listening to the DJ's
more in the future..

[Written for Euro Dox magazine April 2000 edition]

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