A look at Chris Burden's video art piece made from the surviving Super8 footage of having himself shot with a rifle.
In late 2015, when I started thinking about putting together a program dedicated to the Arts. Not all docs, not all narratives, not all live action, not all animation. Something that took Art as the focus and played within it. It worked! I thought it was a real fun program last year, and like a studio exec with a solid film on his hands, I thought I'd try it again this year, since there were a lot of films with Art as a focus.
I had no idea who much win this would produce.
The 2017 program The Truth in Art is not only the best program concept I've ever had, and we discovered an amazing array of films that just flat-out work. Roughly half docs and half narrative films, they all play within the realm of the Arts, and one that deserves special mention is Real Artists.
Sophia is a filmmaker. She's good. Really good. Anne is working hard to get her to join Semaphore Studios. Anne lets her in on a secret - the secret of all Semaphore's success is based on an illusion of creativity. I'll leave you there.
I know it's not fair to compare new works to existing works, but I'm going to any way. Real Artists is based on a Ken Liu short story. I love Ken Liu, a fellow Hugo-winner! I like him a LOT! The story is so great, and here, director and writer Cameo Wood rises to the source material, and using the perfect level of CGI and precise and wonderful cinematography, she establishes a visual styling that brings her work up to a level that is unbelievable. The acting is so smart, not showy nor staid, and the script is taut. Is it better than the story? A fool would answer that question not realising that they are two very different worlds and it is nigh-impossible to compare, but within their realms, they are on the same level within my view.
The other thing this brought to mind is the wonderful short animation Technological Threat that I wrote about here. There is a very similar thread between them, though the animation takes it into comedy and Real Artists into drama. I can't stress enough how wonderfully they both are in their arenas, and if I was programming a shorts section for a festival or museum around the theme of "Workers & Technology - Fear & Loathing" I would include both.
This is a magnificent film, and one that I am certain will bring much thought, not only about what you see on the screen in this film, but in every film you encounter from here forward...
Real Artists shows as a part of the Shorts Program 3 - The Truth in Art showing at the Century Redwood City on Thursday March 2nd at 330pm, Saturday March 4th at 1030am and Monday March 6th at 930pm. It also shows at the Hammer Theatre in Downtown San Jose on Friday, March 10th at 145pm.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.