just Just Withnail's short films

Started by Just Withnail, June 16, 2010, 12:57:38 PM

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Just Withnail

Quote from: WorldForgot on October 03, 2021, 12:50:30 PM
Beautiful film!!! Your consideration of our online irreal ontology iz potent. I love the visualizations in the first act and even more so how they juxtapose the rest. Great work. Very inspiring.

Thank you so much, WF! Those visualizations grew very organically throughout the process (as did the whole film, really, after the first week we basically put away the script and followed the edit). The visualizations were originally just supposed to be pure split screen image montages (like that one scene with the fire burning next to her), but it became apparent in the edit, as the concept of the film grew, that I needed it to act much more like a phone interface, much more dynamically, so that led to using the idyllic sunset backdrop (as an ironic, flat counterpart to the Norway parts), and when I realized I'd need the graphic to somehow arrive in the screen slowly in the first shot things started to get interesting. I first faded it in but that bored me, so I did a super simple sideways animation set to that Debussy tune from her phone, an animation that I thought was so goofy and funny and from then on I knew approximately how the form of it needed to be. We eventually evolved those animations into something more dreamy with the help of a 3D-animator, but I think the simple goofiness is still there.


Quote from: WorldForgot on October 03, 2021, 12:50:30 PMI'm currently working on a short film myself with a bunch of inserts and digital visualizations. This feelz like a wave that's close to cresting in terms of representing the modern dilemmas of multiple obligation-planes.

Hell yeah! I'd love to see this when it's done. I'm glad there's been some attempts to embed digital life into the form of films, rather than just always showing screens. This stuff is in our bones now.

Robyn

Speaking of funny, I really like the humor in general.

"I have a growing economy" lol

Maybe I am crazy now (I haven't watched her movies in a while), but I thought there was a slight Josephine Decker vibe in this... not sure why, tho

I'll probably watch this again in the next few days.

Drenk

This is terrific. As usual, I am overwhelmed by your work. It's absolutely on my wavelength.

There's a lot to talk about, and even if I tried to keep notes mentally of all my thoughts, I was too taken by the film to keep track of the rush, which is another way to say that I loved it.

I'll start with the main character—how I perceive her self and her main motivation—as a way to get into the details of the film: K is trapped in a digital and neoliberal hell, a predicament that may be responsible for her scattered mind, and is therefore looking for personal change as if it could change reality/her reality. It seems like an impossible task. But what else is she gonna do? Change the world? Change your life and therefore change the world? Change your life/ or change the world? You feel more in control of your individuality, there are easier margins for changes there, but I kept thinking: "There's nothing you can do to stop that noise in your head".

Movies are where you watch stuff. Right? Nobody will debate this definition?  :yabbse-grin: And digital space is a distraction from stuff, yet is also stuff...So how do you depict distraction? This is hard, and that must have been a headache, but this works there with the integration/invasion of digital space in the screen, mixed with the hectic editing. The animations added eeriness. I always come back to that word with your work: the eeriness of reality and of mental spaces and the way they intertwined. I loved the shreds of her phone.  I think we talked about scrolling through Google Maps in this thread, so I enjoyed everything with the maps! Abstract fish. Abstract world...

What's great about Norway is the respite, yes, it slows down—wider and longer and slower shots—and then the unease creeps back in. Her mind is her own screen. That's when I started to see the struggle as an everlasting struggle, which makes her decision to become vegan as a desperate attempt to change her life as sad as funny. I'm not mentioning how this is *also* a love story, and a fucking romantic and harsh love story. The drama is in the thousand beautiful details your fisher's eye keep catching. In the actors bodies, the situations, little lines of dialogue. It rang true. It felt true. I remember the way he laughs when K is freaking out in the boat, and how you know this is the way he's always laughing when something similar happens. All the irrationality makes sense. There's flesh and blood in the game. I'm never bored.   

The restlessness of her interior monologue coming back in Norway is fantastic, there's also the beginning of a "minor" psychotic break with the other, mystical voice. I was reading the subtitles but it went so fast that, especially in the first twenty minutes, I was often missing stuff. But it made sense. And I had her voice as background noise. I liked the ending, there were subtle changes but it leaves us hanging in the struggle...And that rings true, too. Oh. And a character being so dispersed that she can't feel herself present, whatever that means, is also at the center of a novel I've written, which ends on the same word, or the same idea, anyway...There instead of Here. Because this is constantly shifting from Here to There, so what does being present means exactly?

Okay! Going to bed now! I'm missing a lot, obviously. It leaves space to discussion.

One more thing: shoutout to the sound design! It holds all the pieces together.



Ascension.

Just Withnail

Quote from: Drenk on October 05, 2021, 08:52:37 PM
This is terrific. As usual, I am overwhelmed by your work. It's absolutely on my wavelength.

Thank you so much, Drenk, your thoughts are eye-opening for me!


Quote from: Drenk on October 05, 2021, 08:52:37 PM
I'll start with the main character—how I perceive her self and her main motivation—as a way to get into the details of the film: K is trapped in a digital and neoliberal hell, a predicament that may be responsible for her scattered mind, and is therefore looking for personal change as if it could change reality/her reality. It seems like an impossible task. But what else is she gonna do? Change the world? Change your life and therefore change the world? Change your life/ or change the world? You feel more in control of your individuality, there are easier margins for changes there, but I kept thinking: "There's nothing you can do to stop that noise in your head".

I'm glad you pinpoint the neoliberal aspect as I feel it seamlessly ties into her digital hell. Whether the neolib-digital hellscape is ultimately responsible for her scatteredness, I'm unsure, but it certainly makes it much much worse and feeds off of it.


Quote from: Drenk on October 05, 2021, 08:52:37 PM
Movies are where you watch stuff. Right? Nobody will debate this definition?  :yabbse-grin: And digital space is a distraction from stuff, yet is also stuff...So how do you depict distraction? This is hard, and that must have been a headache, but this works there with the integration/invasion of digital space in the screen, mixed with the hectic editing. The animations added eeriness. I always come back to that word with your work: the eeriness of reality and of mental spaces and the way they intertwined. I loved the shreds of her phone.  I think we talked about scrolling through Google Maps in this thread, so I enjoyed everything with the maps! Abstract fish. Abstract world...

Regarding the depicting the distraction, I had for a while (not connected to any particular project) been trying to think of ways to depict the way digital life both narrows and widens our attention, they way they first screen out (I guess it's more like a superimposition) life around you before plunging you into something completely different. Thinking of value-neutral way of showing how digital life acts on our attention, one way I thought could be interesting was simply to have the sides of the screen narrow in everytime we hear the buzz of a phone, and then the sides being filled with graphics as the phone is picked up and attended to, and then the graphics take over. In the beginning of editing the feature it became clear that I wanted something more aggressive, that K's intensity really needed more whipping up, and that I wanted to show the brutality of digital life more. I also didn't want to show the phone at all (I think there's only one half-close shot of a phone in the entire film), and internalize it much more, make it of a whole with her thoughts, make it inseperable from them. The graphics themselves could be a bit of a pain sometimes, but mostly it was just a lot of fun, and playing around with them added momentum both to the work and the film itself. Thinking of them like a devil whipping her up.


Quote from: Drenk on October 05, 2021, 08:52:37 PM
What's great about Norway is the respite, yes, it slows down—wider and longer and slower shots—and then the unease creeps back in. Her mind is her own screen. That's when I started to see the struggle as an everlasting struggle, which makes her decision to become vegan as a desperate attempt to change her life as sad as funny. I'm not mentioning how this is *also* a love story, and a fucking romantic and harsh love story. The drama is in the thousand beautiful details your fisher's eye keep catching. In the actors bodies, the situations, little lines of dialogue. It rang true. It felt true. I remember the way he laughs when K is freaking out in the boat, and how you know this is the way he's always laughing when something similar happens. All the irrationality makes sense. There's flesh and blood in the game. I'm never bored.   

"Her mind is her own screen." Oh man, I love this. Yes, when in this "blank slate" utopia, with no digital distraction, no people, she ultimately ends up getting back into the same distracted state of mind. Though the fishing trip shook her to her core, cut through the veil of Maya and all the bullshit, but then how to go on from there? The further away in time and space from that moment in the boat, her old hectic ways of being slowly intrude, until her project has succumbed completely to the neolib-digtal flow again.

I'm very happy to hear the romance clicked for you!


Quote from: Drenk on October 05, 2021, 08:52:37 PM
The restlessness of her interior monologue coming back in Norway is fantastic, there's also the beginning of a "minor" psychotic break with the other, mystical voice. I was reading the subtitles but it went so fast that, especially in the first twenty minutes, I was often missing stuff. But it made sense. And I had her voice as background noise. I liked the ending, there were subtle changes but it leaves us hanging in the struggle...And that rings true, too. Oh. And a character being so dispersed that she can't feel herself present, whatever that means, is also at the center of a novel I've written, which ends on the same word, or the same idea, anyway...There instead of Here. Because this is constantly shifting from Here to There, so what does being present means exactly?

The mystical voice - the Guide as I ended up referring to him as - was a way of showing that she's still a bit removed from herself. Another voice is guiding her, and as the fantasy landscapes of Norway are replaced by the chaos of Berlin the voice that guided her towards her newfound idealism silently slips over to guiding her towards her previous life. Her wishes to change not deeply enough embedded (yet?).

Yeah I'm definitely expecting a lot of the details in the interior monologue to get lost, but that's completely fine, I think you did it the right way. There's stuff to find in there, but the overall chaos is the most important. If it works like a drone, or a motorik beat, then that's the most important - a monotonous forward drive.


Quote from: Drenk on October 05, 2021, 08:52:37 PM
One more thing: shoutout to the sound design! It holds all the pieces together.

I'll tell the sound designer and the musician (who also did a lot of the sound design)! It was so great to experience the music as it came in, seeing how K's thoughts would literally seem to change and sharpen once a proper track was put under the imagery. I used a lot of krautrock and kraut inspired stuff for the temp tracks: Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Thomas Dinger. The mood of those are felt, I feel, but in a much more dynamic soundscape.

Just Withnail

Hello everyone!

I just recently finished a short, in case anyone's interested in watching, send me a PM and I'll send the link and password your way :)

This is a very personal one, and my first documentary, that I'm both scared and eager to show the world.

Just Withnail

Hey all!

KATJA DREAMS OF WAKING UP comes to streaming in the US on December 5th, courtesy of Fandor and Cineverse!

It will also be available on iTunes and Apple TV.