Today I have been looking at Doug Aitken’s short film ‘Black Mirror’ and it’s like someone has just opened the faucet to my imagination. It’s an amazing piece of filmmaking. I’m watching it thinking ‘That’s It! That’s It!’ His use of sound, picture, voice, his approach to narrative form, it’s all there, just what I’ve been looking for. It’s a well-wrought example of a short film that experiments with narrative form in a way that I connected with on first watching. I was completely entranced by his use of character and setting, the way in which he juxtaposes images, and the way in which he disrupts the narrative flow. Suddenly, I understood what the course material was getting at.
‘LIFE in the 21st century can feel like an infinite loop of security checkpoints, rolling luggage and brief electronic exchanges, at least to a constant traveler like the artist Doug Aitken, whose latest work, a video installation called “Black Mirror,” explores the placelessness and alienation of people in nonstop motion.’ (New York Times)
It’s the type of approach I would like to try to adopt in my own filmmaking. But I’ll need to study Black Mirror in much more detail to find out what Aitken is doing, how and why. Only then will I be able to develop my own ideas in a meaningful way that is both challenging and inspiring.
Last night I was looking at Jonas Mekas’ films. Amazing! Today I was looking at Doug Aitken’s Black Mirror. Amazing! A whole new way of looking at moving image making has just opened up in front of me.
Images: Stills from Black Mirror, 2011 © Doug Aitken
Black Mirror (2011) Doug Aitken [YouTube website] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUfn1X2i_cM (Accessed on 2 April 2017)
Spears, D. (2011) ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’ In: The New York Times [online] At: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/arts/design/black-mirror-video-by-doug-aitken-in-greece.html (Accessed on 2 April 2017)