dasha shishkin

dasha shishkin, born 1977 in moscow, russia. currently living and working in new york.
i love the strikingly fierce and soft, washed out colours, the mixture of sketch and bold colour plains, of suggestiveness, nomination and directness, i love the character of collage, of illustration & the sense of layers layered on to one sole plane.

the onomatopoeic sound of the names of cities and countries

reminds me of the choo-choo of trains sliding through foggy nights in mountains breaking the acoustic atmosphere with their speed like a knife cutting butter. reminds me of something nostalgic, lost, long ago, from childhood. something beautiful and tragic at the same time.

reminds me of whispered stories told under trees in neglected gardens at grey sunsets in winter. i think of white, harsh light, of grey shoes of leather, of dark brown cracks in the surface of tea in an old cup, of somber, subtle thoughts of the past. of dark blue ink in water. of thick steam from cooking pots. of loneliness and old books. of cinnamon. of an old man smiling, sighing, remembering. of an abandoned cottage house in the woods. of a lost life, a lost love, a lost way of looking.

makes me think of jell-o, of wiggles and waggles and people dancing the twist, of little richard, of children bouncing balls in streets, of a mouth full of marbles or whipped cream, of happiness and joy, of a laugh that lasted so long it turned into something awkward, of the book "mrs piggle-wiggle", of tickleing friends, of turtles and canalization, of open fire hydrants in hot, sticky summers in new york.

reminds me of yoyos, of mashed potatoes, of mixes, of raps, of missy eliott, of elephants stomping fast, techno-like rhythms, of oskar with the tin drum, of quick-wittedness, of bollywood, of squirrels, of bongo drums, of teenagers in bands rehearsing in cellars, of yellow and orange, of the 70s, of furry carpets, of lava lamps, of john travolta, of a stinky, staunch character watching tv and smoking while annoyed of the neighbour´s noises, of duane hanson sculptures.

filming the institutions

frederick wiseman
gus van sant
laurent cantet
raymond depardon
filming solely one organised system. observing, not judging. watching the organisation produce subjects, behaviour, values, discourse, a certain speech, a certain regard.
filming the incomplete. the development. filming in sketches, drafts, processes, with an openess to the world. regarding a film as oscillating pores that equally let in and give away. against closure.
not knowing in advance but afterwards.
allowing the words and bodies to speak on their own.
framing but not directing.


delphine seyrig

born in 1932 as a daughter to an archeologist in beirut, lebanon. grew up in new york and later moved to france. first film: robert frank´s poetic beat piece "pull my daisy". then worked as an actress in the films of alain resnais, jacques demy, luis buñuel, william klein, chantal akerman, marguerite duras. as a director adapted valeria solanas´ manifesto "S.C.U.M." (society for cutting up men) and also directed the documentary "sois belle et tais-toi", a film on sexism in the industry, including amongst others maria schneider and shirley maclaine. helped establish the "centre audiovisuel simone de beauvoir" in paris, that archives and produces women`s work in film and sound.  
jesus, what a cool lady.


snow mole

invisible films and the critic

..."in the times of bigness, spectaculars, one hundred million movie productions, i want to speak for the small, invisible acts of human spirit, so subtle, so small, that they die when brought out under the clean lights. i want to celebrate the small forms of cinema, the lyrical form, the poem, the watercolor, etude, sketch, portrait, arabesque, and bagatelle, and little 8mm songs. in the times when everybody wants to succeed and sell, i want to celebrate those who embrace social and daily tailor to pursue the invisible, the personal things that bring no money and no bread and make no contemporary history, art history or any other history. i am for art which we do for each other, as friends.
...the real history of cinema is invisible history. history of friends getting together, doing the thing they love. for us, the cinema is
beginning with every new buzz of the projector, with every new buzz of our cameras. with every new buzz of our cameras, our hearts jump forward..."

..."perhaps it is the words “critic” and “criticize” that mislead us so often. whoever put it into our heads that a critic should “criticize”? i have come to a conclusion: the evil and the ugliness will take care of themselves; it is the beautiful and good that need our care. it is easier to criticize than to care; why choose the easy way? if the critic has any function at all, it is to look for something good and beautiful around him, something that can help man to grow from inside; to try to bring it to the attention of others, explain it, interpret it — and not to clutch at some little pieces of dirt, or mistakes, or imperfections. as if those little mistakes and imperfections really matter in the end..."

jonas mekas

protest or resistance

yesterday after i watched a documentary with my friend about the resistance group "mir" under the pinochet dictatorship in chile, we talked long about the idea of resistance, of groups, of the politics of politics and how to do something good without being the complacent benefactor or the ideologically blinded missionary, but a simple human among humans. one thing we got clear about pretty quickly, was that being against whatever is never going to lead out of the whatever, since it remains in the realm of the same politics, the same rhetorics, the same thinking. it's a dialectical pirouette, like the films that claim to be against violence, that in turn show so much violence, that they themselves are more about violence than anything else. probably, -i'm formulating this as a question-, protest is more effective than resistance. not belonging to at all, not participating in the system, not using the language, not accepting and responding to the calculations and paradigms at all. like bartleby. or the idea of the film production and it´s precise politics itself as already being the film and the political statement, instead of making a film according to the rules and ideology of the industry and then claiming a certain alleged political message, which i find rather shady.
how do you do it? 
just do it? don´t do anything at all? do it for yourself? do it for another?



bill traylor, balthus & anna karina

the absent gaze.

some quotes by marguerite duras

film is afraid of words as it is of being intelligent.

there´s either a lack of speech or a lack of silence. in the end it means the same, speech or silence.

i couldn´t have made "le camion" if i were in the slightest shamefaced. "le camion" required shamelessness. but maybe shamelessness is modesty.

...a lust to live without search for meaning.

the production of the film is already the film.

the only fixed point is the decisive cognition that there are no fixed points.

(all quoted from "le camion")

the ghost

softly as brown eyed angels rove
i will return to thy alcove,
and glide upon the night to thee,
treading the shadows silently.

and I will give to thee, my own,
kisses as icy as the moon,
and the caresses of a snake
cold gliding in the thorny brake.

and when returns the livid morn
thou shalt find all my place forlorn
and chilly, till the falling night.

others would rule by tenderness
over thy life and youthfulness,
but I would conquer thee by fright!

charles baudelaire

helen levitt, ginsberg & courbet

the way we touch.

the color of pomegranates

one of the films i love love love with every pore of my skin.

my greatest discovery was when i understood that i don’t have to do anything: all i have to do is to permit things to happen.
jonas mekas


to sue your husband with 50 cents

last april in yemen, an eight year old girl, who had been forced to marry a 30 year old man, took the 50 cents her mother gave her for clothing and instead used them to buy a ticket for a bus ride to court where she sued her husband and her father to get a divorce.


rather than film being a girl and a gun, why not make it a woman and nothing

letting the thoughts flow.

neon lights 
the killing of a chinese bookie
the universe
a unibrow
sergey paradjanov
the color of pomegranates
corn on the cob 
honky donkey
hunky dorie
doris day
brown bunnies
tap dance