A while ago I made a list of things I have done in the service of filmmaking. Add being stranded in Romania by a Icelandic volcano to that list. Last week I traveled to Bucharest to attend the NexT International Film Festival to represent AUS.LAUF.
I have been to Romania before, and it became one of my favorite places to which I have traveled. This trip only further cemented my opinion. Rather than wax poetic about why like like Romania so much, here are a random list of words that I associate with the country and more specifically, Bucharest:
Soup, books, cubical, chaotic, humor, antique, dogs, deserted, vibrant, cheap booze, 35mm, cables, serpentine, hopeful, history, meat, enigmatic, individual, philosophy, inviting, good coffee...
The NexT festival was great. Everyone involved was very kind and everything was well organized. It was very interesting to see AUS.LAUF with a big audience for the first time. The response was quite good. I really enjoyed meeting the all of the people involved. Romania has an excellent growing film community.
After a few days in Romania I heard that I would be prevented from flying home by a volcano. Also, on the same day, someone dyed all of the fountains blood-red. If a plague of frogs had come by, I would have thought it was the apocalypse. I traveled home by train instead.
It's a common phenomenon for blogs to go silent during the Holidays. The cold weather, combined with holiday events and 'beginning of the year malaise', cause the blogosphere to settle in for a long winter's nap. Ok, I have no evidence for this. It's just an excuse for my laziness.
So here is what has happend since my last blog post in list form.
- Silvester in Zürich.
- Celebrated Karla's Birthday.
- Starred in this Photo.
- Got a Haircut.
- Flew to Washington D.C.
- Layover in New York.
- Visited my mom in Maryland
- Was on the Mall for Obama's Inauguration(blog post to come)
- Visited the attractions in Washington
- Hung out with VA friends from High School
- Flew to Montterrey, MX
- Visited Karla's Family
- Worked the Espresso machine at the family cafe.
- Got Sick
- Flew home
- Went back to Work
- My Documentary announced at the DCEFF
- Had a super lazy weekend
Phew! All caught up!
I just got back from the apple store opening in Glattzentrum on the outskirts of Zürich.I finally feel like I live in a real city. Ok, I'm exaggerating, but it is nice to finally have a real Apple store here. I wonder how this will affect Dataquest. Anyway, the store opening was straight from the apple playbook. When the lines of people waiting were finally let in, we were welcomed by all of the employees cheering like mad. I got a free t-shirt. Here is a video and some photos:
Let me tell you about my 2nd favorite art movement -- Dada. I am currently sitting in the Cabaret Voltaire, where in 1916 a group of young rebels formed this movement. The key players were Trystan Tzara, Andre Breton, Jean Arp, Hugo Ball, Sophie Tauber, most of whom were veterans or refugees from WWI. They were so disgusted by what they had seen during the war that they decided humanity did not deserve beautiful or meaningful things. In their opinion, humanity did not deserve good art.
DADA remains within the framework of European weaknesses, it's still shit, but from now on we want to shit in different colours so as to adorn the zoo of art with all the flags of all the consulates.Tristan Tzara, The DADA Manifesto
This is the core of the Dada movement. Dada art is Anti-art. Dada artists would take random objects and proclaim them as art, and write down anything at random and call it literature (a technique later called automatic writing, where this site gets its name). They would also clip words out of newspapers, arrange them in random order, and call the results poetry. They strived to create things that had no meaning, no aesthetic value -- nonsense. If you experience Dada art, it often seems ridiculous or funny. I find it very interesting how this seemingly silly, carefree form of art stemmed from its creators' disgust with humanity.
One can argue, and I do, that Dadaism is the ultimate form of rebellion. There are no rules. Not even rules about there being no rules. Quoth the Dada Manifesto, 1918:
I am writing this manifesto and there's nothing I want, and yet I'm saying certain things, and in principle I am against manifestos, as I am against principles...Moving on. After a while of creating Dada art, the dadaists started to see surprising meaning inside their nonsense artwork. This gave Andre Breton the idea that there might be brilliance hiding in the subconscious mind just begging to be set free. In the random acts of dadism, the mind's conscious filter was removed, allowing the subconscious to escape. With this idea, Breton went on to form my 1st favorite art movement: Surrealism.
I am writing this manifesto to show that you can perform contrary actions at the same time, in one single, fresh breath; I am against action; as for continual contradiction, and affirmation too, I am neither for nor against them, and I won't explain myself because I hate common sense.
The Cabaret Voltaire is a special place to me. The first time I visited Zürich, it was the one place I wanted to see (It happend to be boarded up at the time). The next time I visited for a few months, before I moved to Zürich, I spent a lot of time at the Cabaret trying to soak up its history. It was at the Cabaret that I saw H.R. Giger speak, which planted the seed for my documentary H.R. Giger's Sanctuary.
While sitting here I picked up a flyer. Apparently the city doesn't want to renew the lease on the Caberet and there is a referendum to try and stop them. I don't really understand the details due to my poor German skills, but I hope that the Cabaret Voltaire continues to be preserved (If you do understand German, you can get more info Here and Here). It would be a shame if it was shut down to become yet another Starbucks or something. On the other hand, the dadaists might have seen their complete annihilation as the ultimate success of their movement.