“It’s between frames where cinema speaks.” -Peter Kubelka, 1967

“Hollywood,” sometimes known as “the dream factory,” makes ritualistic-dramas in celebration of mass memory–very like the rituals of tribal people […] But the amateur photographs the persons, places, and objects of his love and the events of his happiness and personal importance in a gesture that can act directly and solely according to the needs of memory.[…] He is free, if he but accept the responsibility of his freedom, to work as the spirit of his god, or his memory, or his particular needs, move him. It is for this reason that I believe any art of the cinema must inevitably arise from the amateur, “home-movie” making medium.” – Stan Brakhage

The Death of the Artist

‘When works of art become commodities and nothing else, when every endeavor becomes “creative” and everybody “a creative,” then art sinks back to craft and artists back to artisans—a word that, in its adjectival form, at least, is newly popular again. Artisanal pickles, artisanal poems: what’s the difference, after all? So “art” itself may disappear: art as Art, that old…

Cinema of the North

I’m very proud of my second foray as an essayist for Minnesota Playlist, a widely-read web publication for the performing arts community in Minnesota. I love using this Video Haiku blog to develop ideas about, for example, The Hinterland and the Myth of the Magical City… and then, it’s an honor and a privilege to be given a public platform where…

Nature 365

Jim Brandenburg, a big-deal nature photographer, is posting his own stunning videos of life in Northern Minnesota every day in 2015, as part of a project called Nature 365. It was only a matter of time, I guess, before a pro got involved in a web video haiku project – in my opinion he’s definitely the man for the job,…

Wu Wei

“Our culture is very good at pushing people to work hard or acquire particular technical skills,” Dr. Slingerland says. “But in many domains actual success requires the ability to transcend our training and relax completely into what we are doing, or simply forget ourselves as agents.” The New York Times on the art of trying not to try. On one…

The Genius and the Loser

…two sides of the same coin? I wasn’t previously familiar with this filmmaker, but I followed a link on facebook and stumbled across his work: This two-part essay video is a more narrative and less quantitative approach to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule, and it echoes what successful people from Ira Glass to Craig Ferguson have said publicly at various points:…

The Archetype of the Prodigy

“Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.” -advice from Merlin to Arthur, “The Once and Future King,” by T.H. White This piece in the NY Times Magazine features interviews with various highly successful…

Myths and Lies

This article at Salon.com is one of many dozens out there right now working to dismantle the “Myth of American Exceptionalism.” I have absolutely no quarrel with any of the information or most of the opinions in it. I believe it’s absolutely necessary to come to terms with the massive systemic injustice, cruelty and extreme inequality in America right now,…