Wednesday August 9, 2006


awards ceremony
‘Audience Choice’ award winner Nastassja Schmidt, Julie Lara Kahn, and Brook Dorsch, at the Dixie Dingo Super-8 “International Film Festival”

Okay, so first of all, if Brook ever gives you a little film camera and asks you to make a little movie, only only only ever turn it on in full midday sunlight. OK, we’re talking about the film screening last night, and actually almost all the movies were pretty great. Taken as a group, they just about made up a poem about Miami. Nastassja Schmidt absolutely stole the show. She decided to sing Amazing Grace while her movie played. Now keep in mind that nobody saw the movies before they were screened, right? So, she starts to sing, the movie starts to play, and the screen is completely dark.

Somehow her movie was the most underexposed of them all, and with only one little flash spot of light (which—important—made it clear that the problem was with the film, not the camera), Nastassja sang to a dark screen. She seemed a little taken aback, but not at all thrown. So, ok, she’s an amazing singer, right? And she’s doing this incredible acapella version of Amazing Grace, with little slides and flourishes and stuff, and just as she gets to the “but now I see” line . . . the screen comes a live with just the briefest shot of light, something that looks like a chandelier, or an explosion, or a bouquet of flowers (of which the latter is what it was, she explained afterwards how she had mixed artificial flowers with real flowers, and it was supposed to be about how misleading hasty judgements can be).

So yeah, it was unbelievable. After that, nothing was going to compete, though Crispin Sylvester’s movie was great, and apparently lost by only one vote. Some more thoughts about the night:

  1. TM Sisters did some crazy good titles, which somehow made the whole thing feel a little like the Oscars, and managed to perfectly complement grainy B/W footage, feature dogs (the festival’s named after a dog, remember?), and still be in the TM’s trademark style.
  2. Faktura Pet Projects were taking donations and selling artwork to support animal adoption (the dog the festival’s named after was found and adopted by Brook and Julie).
  3. William Keddell’s amoeba pictures and 3d viewers are great. You’ve seen the picture on the Dorsch site? Well, then, you haven’t seen anything.
  4. Cinema Vortex was involved with the projecting and technical aspects of the whole thing, cause, you know, Best Buy doesn’t sell Super-8 projectors anymore. And for example how they transferred the TM’s titles to Super-8 was the mystery of the night for me.
  5. The Miami-Dade department of cultural affairs gave them a grant to throw this thing.

All of which brings me to say that the Dorsch Gallery has now completed it’s transformation into a full-on cultural center. This is the sort of event that the smartest non-profit in the world might try to do, but for a supposedly commercial gallery? I’d say it’s pretty singular. Just wait until the AC’s in place!

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  1. cohen    Wed Aug 9, 10:04 AM #  

    I believe Dorsch gallery is at its best, when it functions in this way. The better events I’ve seen there always seem to be risky. {Subtropics., Blowhard, Dingo, Rene Barge piece during a few Basel’s ago with a well lit bucket and a drop of water falling into that bucket.}Usually Dorsch commercial gallery takes more risks than place like say the Moore, or Locust projects,,, why is this?

  2. NicFitKid    Wed Aug 9, 12:29 PM #  

    Say, where do you even get Super 8 cartridges anymore, anyway? I’ve got an old camera that’s been packed away in a bin for years, and I’d love to be able to use it again . Well, okay, I’ve never even used it once; the last time it saw use I was probably three years old and running around the backyard without any pants.

    Oh, and I promise not to do the no pants thing if I find any film. Honest.

  3. alesh    Wed Aug 9, 01:29 PM #  

    Christ, i gotta do everything around here?? Like you’re actually going to order some and make a film?

    If you’re going to say you’ll do that, why not say you’ll also get a digital audio recorder, a boom mike, and a clapboard, and sync up some sound, Nic?

    ps the picture you keep trying to link to isn’t there anymore.

  4. NicFitKid    Wed Aug 9, 01:59 PM #  

    While you’re doing everything, where would I get it developed and then transformed into some digital apparition? Oh, nevermind, I’ll do a little searching.

    Digital audio recorder, boom mike, and clapboard are highly unlikely, as I am very broke. It’s a chronic condition.

    Whaddya mean my pic’s not there? I see it all the time (unless I’m projecting hallucinations on my monitor, which is possible).

  5. alesh    Wed Aug 9, 02:56 PM #  

    I’m pretty sure Color House does it; there are probably a few other labs around town. Christian would know.

    Bummer about the money situation. All it takes is one good scam, though. Try googling “scam.” Maybe you’ll find something and never have to worry about money.

    You may see your picture all the time, but everybody else sees an “Access Denied” error message.


  6. mkh    Wed Aug 9, 03:03 PM #  

    Actually, I still see Nic’s underwater stormtrooper pic. But maybe I’m just on the same drugs he is.

  7. alesh    Wed Aug 9, 03:31 PM #  

    The requested URL could not be retrieved

    While trying to retrieve the URL: http://localhost:10141/img/224/5295/320/bluehead.jpg

    The following error was encountered:

    * Access Denied. Access control configuration prevents your request from being allowed at this time. Please contact your service provider if you feel this is incorrect.

    Your cache administrator is webmaster.
    Generated Wed, 09 Aug 2006 19:31:32 GMT by (squid)

  8. NicFitKid    Wed Aug 9, 03:45 PM #  

    Well I don’t know anything about this localhost:10141 character (he sounds a little suspicious), but he definitely doesn’t have my pic. This is the hallucinatory link that I see everywhere:

    Copy-paste and confirm if I’m stark raving mad.

  9. alesh    Wed Aug 9, 05:07 PM #  

    HA! Crazy. I was getting redirected to that page for some insane reason (MAYBE MKH can guess??). Even on Rick’s sight!!

    OK so I pasted that link into my browser, your face popped up. now when I go back and click on your link, it works.

    Looks like my computer unlearned something.

  10. Bonnie Seibert    Wed Aug 9, 07:46 PM #  

    this Dixie Dingo fest was a mess ! Most of the films were too dark to even see the images. The sounds was weak, the AC was not working, so the fans also made the frail sound hard to hear.
    The overall concept would be great, if the technicalities were fixed.

    In the future, they need to test all of the equipment, and be sure to instruct the “filmmakers” thoroughly how to use cameras.

    Miss Schmidt was the only one who had any kind of concept for her film, and exposed it so badly, it projected all black. But her idea, as explained, was great. And she can sing!

    The opening titles looked amateur, what’s this blather about “the Oscars”?
    Who wrote the 1st post on this list?? A hired PR flack ?!!

  11. RL    Wed Aug 9, 09:15 PM #  

    Dorsch Gallery in the past

    has had some amazing events.

    Sorry to say

    this just was not one of his best.

    I was disappointed.

    I have to agree with #10
    The overall concept was great
    The films were two dark to see and
    wished I could have seen more of what was filmed.
    It left me felling sorry for the filmmakers

    To bad about the technical problems.

    In the end I did have fun in the heat and
    would still go to the next one if they would fix
    the technical problems.

    The Dj was great.

  12. alesh    Wed Aug 9, 11:17 PM #  

    OK look:

    I’m not going to defend the AC not working. I don’t tolerate the heat very well, and it’s just insane (on the other hand, it was a relatively cool night – it could have been worse). Some of the lights (ie on William’s stereoviewers) should have been unplugged during the showing; that’d have made the video easier to see.

    As for all the other complaints, I suggest that you missed the spirit of the thing. Inconsistent/dark video is PART of the idea of doing random Super-8 and letting the technicalities fall where they may. You want clarity, you shoot digital. That’s not what this was about.

    If you found evidence of a “concept” only in Nastassja’s film, then I suggest you either weren’t paying attention, or you have little feeling for art. From my recollection, more then half the videos had strong organizing principles.

    They were too dark, yes. I guess it just worked for me – I saw as much as I could see, and the rest was implied. Maybe ‘cause I was sitting up front . . .

  13. I was there    Thu Aug 10, 06:57 AM #  

    I was wondering who selected the music that accompanied each film….nobody mentioned this to my recollection.

    This event was really geared to hardcore super 8 enthusiasts with an understanding that sometimes even crappy films are good. Barron Shearer’s found super 8 film was a great example.

    Next year I would like to see some color film, and yes, working cameras would even the playing field. I gave the event a 10. It was quirky.

    If you want a cool airconditioned totally in focus avant film experience go to MOCA’s Optic Nerve August 18 at 7 and 9pm.

  14. cohen    Thu Aug 10, 03:29 PM #  

    optic nerve isnt all avant film at all,,, the selection is pretty random,,, this year the panal had some one from a huge ad firm helping selet,,,, whatever you want to read into that. moreover avant does not exist.

  15. I was there    Thu Aug 10, 04:30 PM #  

    What do you read into that?
    When did avant cease to exist?
    Why does random negate avantness?

  16. Bonnie Seibert    Sun Aug 20, 10:14 PM #  

    I went to Optic Nerve and was pleased. I really liked “Something Awful”, “How Do You Call It” and the first one with the white circle.

    I think my expectations of both events were highly shaped by attending “local films”, “student films” and “amateur” screenings at some film festivals in the area. So, I think I was expecting films at that level, technically.
    But, they don’t all have to be slick video or digital to be interesting. I can appreciate rough, to some degree.

    My earlier post here was in reaction to lack of background on the Dixie Dingo event, and I had invited 2 filmmaker friends from up in Ocean Ridge to attend. They did not. And I was really glad, because for that long drive they would have been really disappointed. b.t.w. Their latest documentary, “Dog Beach” is showing at some film festivals, by Leming & Lower.

    Also, my criticism at this blog was to make sure any event is not represented as something its not, since this could be a helpful forum to those of us unfamiliar with a given event.

  17. alesh    Mon Aug 21, 12:52 AM #  

    I think you’re basically right, Bonnie. Meanwhile, what’s up with Critical Miami missing the shit out of Optic Nerve? Not so much as a mention. And not for lack of knowing about it – i got the mailer at least once.

    Anyone else have a report?

  18. alesh    Mon Aug 21, 07:31 AM #  

    Aha! i thought i remembered this: a second showing at the goldman on the 26th!