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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Saturday, March 31, 2012
How can the techniques behind shooting film mold the way the audience interprets the film’s intended message? If local spaces are microtopias, then what would the global marketplace be categorized as? These were the main two questions going through my head when watching the film Cotton Road, directed by Ithaca College alumnus Laura Kissel.
The film technique:
The cotton moves; the machinery moves, but the camera is still, like a painting, rather than the rougher shooting seen in many other advocacy films. Kissel explained this was purposeful. She is trying to invite her audience to engage more deeply. She does not want to tell the audience what to think. When you visit a museum you are given the time to interpret the visual. The purpose behind these shots, and their lingering, gives room for this same type of reflection and deeper thought.
The big picture:
Microtopias encompass the idea of sustainability. Yet, I believe the ideals and basis of capitalism will never fit into this same sustainable value because capitalism relies on the idea of surplus. Resources and labor are exploited, not given their actual value or worth, allowing for more money to be made from these products. The image burned into my mind from this film is one of a room full of young Chinese women with coats on diligently working on sewing machines. And it is fact they are not making the minimum wage we see in the United States. Maybe the global marketplace, as is now, would then be categorized as a macro-dystopia? Can a capitalistic society ever be reshaped to fit the sustainable mindset of microtopias? What do you think?
"Is it good; is it bad? I don't know, but we are part of it," said Kissel on consumerism and the complexities of the global marketplace.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Blog posting written by Chloe Wilson, Television-Radio ’14, FLEFF Intern, Ashland, Massachusetts.
On Friday, March 30th in Room 220 in the Park School of Communications, a “day of dialogue,” FLEFF Lab Friday, will occur. Multiple conversations are scheduled throughout the day, but one you don’t want to miss is the How to Get Your Break panel.
I spoke with Steve Gordon, the facilitator of the panel. He is a current Ithaca College professor in the Department of Television-Radio and was previously the Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs for Viacom Productions.
We covered a range of topics in our discussion, but one major point that stuck out to me was how relevant FLEFF was. Gordon talked about his experiences at multiple festivals, including Cannes and Sundance, but said that FLEFF was one of the most unique and intellectual.
Regarding the theme of microtopias, Gordon discussed the idea that it was about expanding already existing environments. It was a different view that made complete sense to me, and I recommend going to visit Gordon during FLEFF Lab Friday and asking him about it!
Regarding the How to Get Your Break panel, Gordon said that the members of this panel are “the best the panel has ever had.” With filmmakers Laura Kissel, Jim Miller, and Shelly Niro, along with industry pros Kevin Lee, Carlos Guttierrez, and Rodrigo Brandao, I have to say I agree.
You can see a more extensive schedule of FLEFF events here, FLEFFers. Happy FLEFF to all!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Top 5 Movies to see at Cinemapolis
1. Cotton Road- Systems thinking fascinates me. The idea of globalization and the connectedness of everything together is something I cannot wait to learn more about- especially when I am learning from Ithaca College alum Laura Kissel!
2. Arlit: Deuxieme Paris- This film about uranium mining and environmental racism in Niger completely embodies the beat I hope to cover in my future of journalism: social justice and environmental issues. I am specifically interested in how these issues apply to Africa so this documentary will be super interesting for me! I am also thrilled to introduce myself to filmmaker Idrissou Mora-Kpaï. I want to learn what inspired him to investigate into this topic and her experiences while filming.
3. Veins of the Gulf- I believe we need to acknowledge social justice and environmental justice issues domestically. I think many try to pretend it is not happening in our own backyard, but we need a more local mindset. I am interested to see how this film portrays Hurricane Katrina, an event I have seen covered extensively in media but not through an environmental lens.
4. Bejing Besieged by Waste- Currently, there has been such a focus on China as a growing global economical power. Yet, we don’t think of the impacts this has on the impoverished Chinese people every time we look at a “made in china” sticker. I am excited to see the questions and discussion this unknown narrative provokes at the after parties at the Wine Center.
What movie are you most excited for and why?
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Blog posting written by Isabel Galupo, Cinema and Photography '14, FLEFF Intern, Towson, MD
FLEFF Week 2012 is coming up fast, and the list of this year's festival guests is up on our website!
While every FLEFF guest brings something dynamic to the table, here are five guests that I am especially looking forward to meeting and learning from!
1. Cynthia Henderson: An Ithaca College Theatre Arts professor. Cynthia Henderson has countless acting and directing credits in the United States, Europe, and Africa. As I am pretty unfamiliar with theatre, I am hoping that Professor Henderson will shed some light on the intersections between live performance and social change and the ways in which live performance and film interact with and contradict each other. I am also extremely interested in her work on "A Wrinkle in Time" at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, as that is one of my absolute favorite books!
2. Chris White: As a cellist who actively performs both classical AND non-classical music, Chris White straddles the line of tradition versus innovation. White seems, to me, to epitomize the purpose of FLEFF; to make sense of (false) binaries and create new meanings out of tension and polarity. As the founder and director of New Directions Cello Association & Festival, I am sure that he has a lot of great insights about how to create a hub for like-minded artists and intellectuals to learn and grow together.
3. Matthew Podolsky: A graduate of Ithaca College with a double major in Cinema and Photography and Environmental Science, Matthew Podolsky helps run the non-profit organization Wild Lens. Podolsky's very obvious interests in documentary production and the environment speak directly to FLEFF's mission, and I am excited to hear about his experiences as an IC alum.
4. Toivo: From Trumansburg, NY, Toivo is a six-piece band that boasts of a hodgepodge of musical influences, such as Finnish and Tex-Mex, suited for dance traditions from all over the world-- waltzes, tangoes, polanise, two-steps, and many, many more! Much like Drs. Brad Hougham and Debbie Martin in their presentation about "The Concert for Microtopias," Toivo seems to embody the very "FLEFF-y" idea of creating meaning from conflicting musical forces. I am very excited for their performance, as I don't think that I have ever heard traditional Finnish music before!
5. Laura Kissel: A documentary filmmaker and Director of Film and Media Studies Program at the University of South Carolina. Her short biography on the FLEFF website already had me asking questions; I am excited to learn about her use of "orphan films" in her critical media work. As Kissel is heavily involved in academia, I hope that she will be able to provide faculty, students, and other FLEFF attendees advice on how to balance institutional demands with creative needs.
Which artists are you most excited to see during FLEFF week 2012?