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Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Review of FPS Fest

If you didn't make it to FPS Fest in Williamsburg Tuesday night, you missed a great bunch of people and a terrific show of photographers' films.

The evening began with Shinichi Maruyama showing a short work reel full of dripping, dropping, and splashing liquid that was hypnotic, yet calming. It made me think about how difficult it is to shoot a perfect rush of liquid.

Alexx Henry's "Living Art," was a behind-the-scenes look at a shoot of Ironman Chris Lieto for Outside Magazine. What I liked best was the discussion of the future ways in which printed media will incorporate moving image. It was totally fascinating to me and I'm still thinking about that.

Noah Webb showed "A Thousand Bees," assembled from 4,500 still images. It was completely different from all the other work, inventive and full of vibrancy. It was like a collage come to life.

Andrew Hetherington
brought a great dose of humor with his short "Meet The Hetheringtons,"a verbal/visual back-and-forth between Andrew and Tim Hetherington (no relation). It just goes to show that an idea is the most important element you can bring to a project. It's not always about crews and equipment. Kudos to him for that.

"Sleeping Soldiers," Tim Hetherington's multi-media piece followed, incorporating a triptych to juxtapose sleeping soldiers with the battlefield, in this case Afghanistan, where Tim was embedded with a U.S. platoon.
At times it was as if we could see the dreams of the soldiers, as landscape blew across their sleeping bodies, until we were shocked awake by a frantic, stunned soldiers' pain. It was beautiful, inventive and powerful.

I introduced the trailer of Louie Psihoyos' "The Cove" and will say again: See this documentary! You can read my two part interview with Louie Psihoyos here.

There was more humor from Bob Scott and his camera review. Clever, funny and a great use of short film with numerous possibilities.

It was distressing to me that two of the women presenting films, KT Auleta and Candace Meyer were the only ones who interjected sex into their work. I am disappointed that all they offered up was that Madonna-influenced "if I treat myself as a sex object then I'm the one with the power" bullshit. Where are the strong, interesting, accomplished women? Where is the content with real value, instead of portraits of girl-women in baby clothes?

All in all, congratulations to Dripbook, Resource Magazine and all the others who made this possible and presented something that speaks to the future, and more creative possibilities for photographers. Maybe it's Brooklyn, but I felt like this was the opening of a dialogue that will continue for those creative people who are moving forward with the desire to make themselves heard.

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