Spring city thoughts: Cartwheels on sand. Treetop coffees (byo thermos). Tandem bicycles downhill. Tackling people into rivers. You need the right conditions though: sunshine mainly, and that’s only starting to kick in now, Melbourne style. Likewise the convergence of online distro and DVD burners has meant the conditions for starting your own DVD label have never been better. From short filmmakers through to licensers of major films, here’s a few cats trying to carve out a pixel-niche.
One of the better known collectahz, compilahz, screenahz, promotahz and juss-plain quality selektahz of short filmz da globe over~! Deyz bin doin this fo 8 yearz now, amen to dat. ( sorry, headphones b.wired to the mp3 jungle revisits of one soundmurderer – www.rewind-records.com ) Microcinema have a feast of these short films for festival curators or film-fiends to browse and order online, and are continuously pumping their ‘Independent Exposure’ compilations out to various microcinemas and alternative venues / festivals. Latest news is they are starting their own DVD label – which both means you can catch a great selection of weird-assed global flix – but tis also a great place to submit any of your own filmz for selection.
Other Cats : Lo Wave, Addictive & No TV
By no means an exhaustive list, these 3 are prominent enough to mention at the moment. Addictive TV from the UK produce the Mixmasters series and are now up to their 5th episode of VJ meets DJ action, alongside earlier NASA space footage remixes and ambient releases. No TV have 3 releases out : a compilation of vj muso collaborations, a VJ remix of the award winning animation Barcode, and a HI-LO euro-tour collage of strange dancers. Lo Wave(.com ) throw together more of an gritty urban experimentalism, compilations with enough artskool fever to satisfy even the horizontal_stripiest and chunky_fringest of your cafe friends.
With recent releases of both Style Wars, the seminal early 80s hip-hop doco, and the cosmic afro majesty of Sun Ra’s ‘Space is the Place’, obviously Plexi have taste, and a bit more distro_clout than your mate with his burner in the bedroom. A step at a time though.
Amongst a dozen of Plexi’s well considered releases, there’s a couple of others worth mentioning:
Fruit of the Vine
If you liked Dogtown and the Z-Boyz, a rosy snapshot of California skate birthing, consider this it’s innerwest cousin. A gritty yet beautifully shot super 8 film by Coan Nichols and Rick Charnoski, Fruits takes you through a tour of what was once the holy grail of skateboarding – pool-riding. Curved concrete and emptied swimming pools get their edges grinded by the punksters of the day, we witness the pool-air taking shape and much of the the outlaw behaviour that goes along with the ‘search and destroy’ ethos of the era. Plenty of extras on the disc, and well recommended for peeps remotely fascinated by the sk8r thing.
Mysterious Object At Noon
On the other hand, if a Thai film made using the surrealist myst.jpgstorytelling technique known as ‘exquisite corpse’ is more your style, then have Plexi a film for you~! (E.C. = many writers contributing to an ongoing story one sentence at a time, largely oblivious to what came before) Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, what we got here is a fascinating glimpse of Thailand village life which unfolds in ways which suggest a story rather than spell it out. In the process we maybe learn more about the people than a straight documentary might’ve hoped to reveal.
All Plexifilms are distributed in oz-thru stomp.com.au