August 19, 2004

The Clock Kept Reading Four Ten PM

4oclock.JPGAttending the BlackOut Film Festival last Friday at Office Ops in Williamsburg, got Cinecultist reminiscing about last year's thrilling day devoid of electricity. To honor the anniversary of that night, they screened 11 short films about the black out, some fictional, some documentary and some best just described as "art." The screening was set to be on the roof, which is a lovely space and has an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline but sadly, the August rains kept us inside. Let's just say those industrial fans didn't do much to keep cool a room full of sweaty hipsters drinking cheap bottles of beer but heck, that's how the black out felt too (sweaty and beer-sodden), so it worked for the overall aesthetic. [NYT article previewing the film festival.]

CC wishes we'd remembered more of the titles of the shorts, (we really ought to start carrying around the tiny notebook again) because some of them were quite good. In particular, Stars In The City that consisted of a man's monologue about the hot sex he and his girlfriend had on top of their roof was at once artistically intriguing, humorous and evocative of the moment -- qualities that many of the shorts shared singly but not too many had all of them together. Two of the films starred an actress Diane Davis, whose name CC tried hard to remember so we could go home and IMDB her. But no dice, this seemed to be a strictly amateur affair, friends of the programmers and unfunded submissions sent in with the call for projects.

What CC responded too most strongly though in the evening of shorts was the snapshot quality of the films. Especially the dv footage shot on the dark streets of revelers in the Eee Vee, made CC feel like we were watching vacation movies. Look, that's where the pizza place is on Ave A and Seventh Street that was the only place serving food the next day! Look at the people walking on the bridge or crowding on the slow-moving buses, we were there too!

Sometimes, while living in New York, even if you've been here for awhile, it's possible to slip into tourist mode. As you walk around taking mental snapshots of the landscape, you feel like you are both in the city and merely observing it. CC prefers to do this while wearing the iPod turned up really loud. We call it iPodding. It feels almost cinematic, like you're making a movie of the city with your gaze. The day of the blackout, because it was so freakin' hot and there was nothing to do inside, CC just iPoded our way through downtown Manhattan. It was beautiful to feel so apart of the city and yet to be also observing it so intensely. Watching these Blackout movies recalled that experience and made us a bit nostalgic for it.

By the way, this picture is one we took the day after the Blackout in Astor Place when it was no longer 4:10pm. That only really makes sense if we tell you. Clock says one time, but it's not that time. Oooo, creepy. More pictures we took and posted last year.

Posted by karen at August 19, 2004 10:04 PM