There is no one closer to the enchantment of film than the film projectionist - a craft that is slowly disappearing, as celluloid itself, and should be cherished as cinema treasure. Film, in its essence, is its medium. And the projectionist, therefore, its magician in residence. So consider this an interview with a master, Paul Perkins. Full unedited interview with film projectionist Paul Perkins, first published in edited version for Picturehouse Spotlight, May 2018.
Oscars 2021 was a public exercise in reclaiming one’s own art from the hijack of a devouring billion-dollar entertainment industry, the scaling down from mass production to manufacture, a deliberate recalibrating and reframing in order to preserve cinema’s place in culture, in society, and in our individual lives. To make a film is to be able to capture light, and colour it from the inside. Cinema is the art of tirelessly attempting the impossible, and therefore, it will always seem just slightly out of reach. Therein lies its power. Oscar night, it was on full display.
Examining the dark heart of laughter and the symbiotic relationship film has with its audiences, how it wires us to think and talk in certain ways, its cultural impact, and its myriad semiotic and cinematic legacies - this was my MA dissertation (Birkbeck, 2005), a bungy jump into the Serbian (and YU) 1980s cinema scene, specifically, four films, and two filmmakers. One day I might programme this whole bonanza into a fest, the way I writ it - from YU Black Wave to Balkan 'Black Humour Brand', and screen the selection in cinemas (Belgrade to London). For now, please enjoy the words, deliciously.
Lola On Film now reviews fine indie shorts in its Lola Loves Shorts series. Lost For Words is a meditation on both the current and metaphysical state of isolation, inner worlds imploding with the unspoken, the deeply entrenched, the painfully trivial, Elcid Asaei delivering a poetically political, quietly witty technicolour essay on just how much we are able to hate the people we love. [read more]
The human need for a pedestal is to look up to something that is desired, and ultimately, to be achieved. That particular social contract breaks when the chosen begin to look down at the rabble in complete disdain. If in doubt, read up on the French Revolution. And have some cake. The tyranny of being special purely for being wonderfully presentational. Suddenly, who makes that (free) speech begins to count again. [read more]
Short and sweet weekend ride through a cinematic landscape that is very slowly moving from niche to broader in the Balkans, yet with quality that never drops a beat. Merlinka is a bold and bright festival of good humour and defiance, with a sophisticated programme, a growing audience, and enough maverick charm to face both friend and foe in society with the sage knowledge that, in the end, love conquers all.
All you need to know about the state of publicity today is that the 2019 Oscars ceremony, the hottest gig there is, did not have a host, probably because no one wanted the hassle. The global equilibrium of self-promotion vs. self-censorship seems to have reached a screeching deadlock somewhere in the outer layers of our stratosphere, taking all the creative oxygen out of any public concept.
What I reckon the aftermath of Oscars 2018 will be is what I see every day - the sheer hypocrisy of an industry built on appearances will soak in all the good intentions, appropriate the sentiments, and pretty much do the same thing as always - profit, pander and exclude. But it will have a dent in its side, a vulnerability in its veneer - a slightly less relaxed attitude about being called out for what it does every day. Precisely. [read more]
Take two of Berlinale is that, organisationally, it is a festival of extremes. Gliding between its seamlessly sewn edges, sometimes one gets the forgotten sharp pin. [read more]
Social exclusion has many faces, the most obvious ones are the ones least discussed. For example, why is the audience cordoned off so that the performers and informers can pass by? Are they to serve the public, or to rule it? If they say they are inviting you in, walk in. See what happens. [read more]
Lola On Film is designed to deconstruct the spectacle, measure empty calories, offer nutritional insights on films newly released, as well as archival treasures, assess the state of contemporary film culture, explore new formats, and hopefully, illuminate cinema's place in society, as well as in our individual psychology. To follow Lola On Film, please enter your email address below, and press subscribe. [read more]