23/ december 1st, 2010 _ FUNDING (from sao paulo, about a few ideas on how to do it differently, kickstarter, colombian project, arlt, onda vaga…)

sao paulo, brazil.

I have been in town for more than 2 weeks now. Sao Paulo is i guess a very specific vision of the country and its culture (it’s my first time in brazil), and i dont want to generalize its situation in regard of the entire country. But a strong feeling emerges already - feeling of a golden age for culture and creativity.

I have been giving workshops in a cinema school, and learning a lot in the process. It’s a great, rewarding experience, to share not ideas on how to make films with a beginning, a middle and an end (i have no clue) but ideas on how to make things differently. And god knows there is a lot of ideas to shake when you are in a cinema school…

I already thought for a while about the amateur way of creating, in a world where so many people have now access to simple and cheap tools - how many musicians, filmmakers, photographers, nowadays compared to just 10 years ago? (which then raises the question of who is there to see, to listen? but that’s for later).
Those ideas could be translated into this - we entered this moment in our generation where the whole momentum of creation is being more and more displaced from the result to the earlier process of simply making. A movement which goes clearly against the established art as the past century defined it. Craftsmanship then? That’s what i was trying to explain to my students those past days - making films not for the films, but for the making. Nothing new in a way, except on such a scale.

And it’s the scale which changes it all, and open new possibles. What effect can have this young generation on the creation process? To re-organize the needs, and offer new production possibilities. Directions i have been trying to develop in the past years and especially the past months - to experiment on other productions processes, trying various ways to ‘fund’ my work. Call it a quest for ‘new business models’ but there is not much of a ‘business’ in a classical term.

One constant question which comes back, each time i would give a conference or interview, is the monetary factor - how do you do to travel, make films, and almost without money involved?
There is a few ways to make things happen. My favourite is based on an everyday exchange, a sort of potlatch where my films would be exchanged against places to stay, something to eat, etc. A vision of cinema with a strong amateur aspect to it.
But this is definitely a very radical way of making things which can be applied mostly to very low costs productions, where most of the time not many people are involved. There is also other projects which can’t be done without a certain amount of money.

Which quickly leads us to Kickstarter. The website is the best example (not the only one) of an amazing and powerful tool for creation nowadays, a revolution which comes to fit a very obvious need.

I just launched my first kickstarter project a few days ago, with my friend Lulacruza, for a spectacular adventure in the various sounds of Colombia. Here’s the link to participate, and here’s the video to explain the project.

This is the kind of tool that Brazil needs to implement as soon as possible. In my past days in Sao Paulo, i have been continuously meeting people working with brands, in commercials, and (almost) all of the time their reason is the same - to fund more personal, artistic projects.
Easy to get the point and hopefully try for many young minds to make things differently.

I won’t go into more details, i am as usual in a rush, but take a look at the rewards that Kickstarter can allow you to create - a quite unique relationship is established between people, and you can even command me a film with your favourite artist. Fun hey? but seriously, i would do it.

Something else. I didnt film much french music in the past 5 years. The whole distance on its own culture was needed i guess, or maybe just the right people.
I heard about ARLT from some various friends. We met this past summer and it all made sense. I love them, enjoy this little poetic wander through Paris, and read a very nice text about them here.

Last, some other great people, from Buenos Aires this time, Onda Vaga. This video is number 3 of 4 parts, you can see the rest of them here - http://www.blogotheque.net/Onda-Vaga,5770
I will go back to Buenos Aires in 2 weeks, just for a few days, to make a screening and have a good time.

Many films to make in Brazil, in Sao Paulo obviously (most of you will soon discover my favourite brazilian voice, Dona Inah) and all around the country - will be slowly walking up to Colombia, where i have to be by march.
Until then, good adventures, fellow nomads. Yalla.

16 Comments

22/ november 9th, 2010 _ (from copenhagen, about an island, kong nay…)

time flies. this blog is turning into a sort of non-used base for thoughts. i guess direct intimate talks win.

have been travelling, learning talking listening.
i have been experimenting a bit on how to show films. did a wonderful serie of home screenings in Montreal. experimented also on the process of recording itself, but its just a beginning and it will see some more lights in a few months with the start of PETITES PLANETES, my new project.

today marks the launch of the first teaser for AN ISLAND, a film we made with the danish band Efterklang this past august. check anisland.cc for all the infos

i think we are all very happy with the result, a 50min film who tries to experiment also a lot on the relationships between images and sounds. the film will be released in a very unique way, in next february. all of its content is under creative commons.

before this film, i did a few other short films with Efterklang
a nice soundcheck film in NY:

and a participation in the Temporary Copenhagen project:

apart from the great danes, as i haven’t been uploading many things recently (but i shot a lot), here’s a film that not many people saw, of the great Master Kong Nay, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

a film which marks a limit in my approach of traditionnal music. i learned a lot from this shooting - and the limits of exchange - and it’s one of the reason why i am soon starting my label.

brazil is coming now. a long trip down there, hopefully to find some miracles. or to create them, after all. yalla.

10 Comments

21/ august 24th, 2010 _ BURNING (from seattle, about mogwai’s live film)

BURNING is finally released! Ah this is exciting. i really like this film a lot, and i hope you will.

When Mogwai asked me to shoot a live film with them, it was supposed to happen in Japan. Finally, it had to be in Brooklyn, at the Music Hall of Williamsburgh, over 3 nights. Yeah, a bit less exciting, but hey it wasn’t really the point. The point was: how to film Mogwai? How to take up the challenge of filming, not only a band on stage (i already expressed many times my lack of interest for the exercice), but MOGWAI!?
Who ever saw Mogwai? a band you would feel more than see - i spent most of their shows eyes closed. How to add images to their sounds, and why?
I asked old pal Nathanael Le Scouarnec to work with me on this. He did most of the edit on the film, and i have to say it’s a mindblowing work. The combination of its edit skills and a cherished b/w aesthetic, makes Burning, a 50 minutes experience hopefully reaching towards abstraction at some point. Ah but, it’s a film you have to see on a BIG screen with a BIG sound, deal?

you can order it here: http://mogwai.co.uk/
and here’s a collection of a few teasers, extracts…

a very nice long teaser made for Spin mag

the second teaser, around Batcat

Scotland Shame as in the movie

and Jim Morrison (the song, he was unavailable on that night)

adventures in images and sounds. brrrr. enjoy! see you somewhere sometimes.
yalla.

1 Comment

20/ june 28th, 2010 _ la radio mondiale (from paris, about tomi lebrero, pablo malaurie, alina orlova, david moore, fernando milagros…)

ah the roads. been intense those past months, more than ever, reaching an interesting position where it all flows in a very easy way. the quest of sounds. am very happy those days.
i guess i just wanted to make a little pause, passing by paris, and share in this post my favourite recent sounds collected here and there, with people i love. i hope you will enjoy.

first, this film with tomi lebrero which is in a way the perfect one to introduce anybody to what i have been trying to make in those past years. might be my favourite souvenir from any of my trips.

then, another film shot on that same week in buenos aires. with pablo malaurie. it’s the first part of the take away show posted today on la blogotheque. what happens during the second song is quite fantastic. superb mix by fer isella and edit by my favourite argentinian team.

passing by paris in april, i met the floating alina and did this little portrait of her. beautiful beautiful person. wonderful mix by vincent cosson.

i met david last summer and since then we became very good friends. i had to give him a little film, we did this very nice one in a snowy new york winter. thx to daniel for the great edit and to brian for the mix, full of an incredible wind.

to end, nothing’s better than the poetic and mighty valparaiso, where i spent an afternoon with fernando. pablo did the mix, gates the edit. thx guys. a longer film with more of the chilean encounters is on its way.

on the road forever. next stops, poland, england, denmark, usa… and preparing a long trip in south america, brazil in november. be well and adventurous. yalla.

3 Comments

19/ may 18th, 2010 _ take away show, numero 100 (from barcelona, about Soema Montenegro)

BOUM! just reached the number 100.
It’s an ending, and a new beginning hopefully. So many changes in a little bit more than 4 years! I learned so much doing those little things, short simple acoustic documents evolved towards intimate portraits of persons i love. From Paris a night in a bar near Porte de Clignancourt, to an afternoon crossing Buenos Aires. Thanks for watching and, hopefully loving those sounds.
But let’s go back to the basic - please discover the amazing Soema Montenegro. My favourite singer, encountered in Buenos Aires in february 2010.

Here’s a beautiful text by mi amigo Pablo Bobadilla, without whom nothing would have been possible. You can read a french text here.
________

Soema is a nerd. A magician. A wise woman. A child. A surrealistic poet. A healer. She can reproduce with her voice the sound of the cats when they are seeking for a lover and cooks the best chipás that I ever ate.

Today I’m her live producer. The first time that I organized a concert for her I noticed that she was worried about trying to sing directly into the mic. During the soundcheck she remained still but when she went into the song, she closed her eyes, stepped back and sung loud and freely. Then she noticed the mic again and tryed to stay in front of it. I believe that the mic was turned on only for one whole song. With the sound operator we decided to turn it off for the rest of the show. She never knew about it. I filmed that concert and focused my eyes on her shapeless shadow, the movements of her hands, and her voice filling up the space. I thought about the beginning of the music, a cavern, a fire, a gathering. I started working with her as part of my work on Noseso Records, a small label of experimental music. Zelmar Garin, one of the founders of the label wanted Soema to record her music, but she had no interest on doing an album.

They recorded it at Zelmar’s house. When I listened Uno Una Uno, the album, I immediately wanted to organize concerts for her. She sold 1000 records. Alone, far from the press and the big stages.

Throughout our work we developed a close bond of friendship, based on our mutual nerdiness, our dark skin, love for cooking, making puns, changing the meaning of the words, we spent hours walking, talking about the language, methaphysics, feelings, and the way we are flowing trough life. She always has sparkles in the eyes and her smile shines as a full moon. Another shiny good friend, Stephan Eloise Gras, carried a bunch of Noseso Records albums to France and so Vincent Moon listened to Soema’s first record.

When he came to Argentina, Vincent took a train with me to Haedo, where Soema and Jorge’s house is, we drank tea, looked into each other eyes, looking for a language in which we could talk. Vincent scratched his head under his beret and sometimes would write a short note on his Moleskin. We went to eat icecream, walked around the neighbourhood and Vincent and I came back together by train. She didn´t sung that day. He only heard her singing when he filmed her. Vincent speaks a terrible spanish but he got the essence of the music of Soema: a love story.

A radio host once asked her where she was born, because of her native face he thought that she was from the north of Argentina. She told him how she was born on Laferrere in the outside of Buenos Aires, sung a song and once she finished the host said:

“Let me ask again, on which planet were you born?”.

Luckily for us, she was born and lives tenderly on this planet.

Jorge (her boyfriend and bandoneonist) and Soema are musicians devoted to the music, they both studied in a conservatory for many years, keep learning and teaching, and their work has no show - their performances are more like a ritual. They travelled through the jungle, went up to the Puna, learned from old native women and their new album will be named Passionaria.

Jorge is the co producer and the musical arranger of this new album, Soema says about their collaboration: “I feel that I hear voices and words and that Jorge listens all the landscape that those voices and words bring, he has the gift of materialize the intangible with sounds…To me that is a good definition of what a musical arranger is”.

We are working now on a tour, that is more like an existential trip. Soema invites to an initiatory and informative travel through the history of the song: she proposes to study the roots in their places of origin, as she presents her solist project which is nourished with all that she studied before. A tour with the objective to learn and share.

According to Soema: “To refer to Latin-American ethnic and popular song means to forget the historical linearity, which becomes confused, and to submerge itself in the singular depth of this continent, its people, its races. The history, directed towards the development and progress, appears empty. Today we know that many of the facts and historical events that happened in that continent generated and generate the loss or the disappearance of the knowledge and the richness of the cultural native practices. I wish to offer a new glance to the institutions that educate and train the singers and the musicians from the Argentinian or Latin-American folk point of view. These institutions offer to the musicians some tools that they can discover by themselves. By doing this they allow themselves to seek and experiment the ethnical and folkloric Afro-Americans roots. I propose to build a true exchange with other institutions that are also working the vocal experimentation and investigation under this angle.”

It’s hard for me to listen to other music after hearing her playing live. I got introspective and yet having listened her songs many times I got surprised as if those songs where born in the same moment that she is singing them. Soema`s music is natural as a scream during a childbirth and still awakes our amazement. That lead us to questions and to think, to walk a croassroad where philosophy and metaphysics meets.

Talking about Soema with my partner Darío Martínez, we remembered a phrase of Brian Eno: “The idea is to produce something that result strange and mysterious to the listener as the first music he has heard”. I believe that any listener can feel this with Soema`s music , and Soema herself too. To me her music is like the sunrise: ancient and new everytime.

Yalla. Once more.

15 Comments

18/ march 22nd, 2010 _ images, you, sounds (from phnom penh, about the Luyas, and Creative Commons)

While in Phnom Penh, working on a very special web project, let’s remember Canada.

Montreal, October 2008. The POP Montréal festival throughout the city and its venues. Every night packed with concerts, drinking, and running from venue to venue, city map in hand. On the marquee tonight: The Persuasions, a mythical American acapella group from the 60s. The Ukrainian Federation packed, Richie du Fire losing control in the middle of the crowd, the group who got off the stage and passed around the mics, low rhythmic voices and high melodic voices, the concert which finished with an amazing song by one of the organisers of the festival. One of the most amazing concerts of our lives and the apotheosis of POP Montreal that year.

But. Victor had insisted that we not miss the concert at 11:30 at Casa Del Popolo. It was the Luyas, his favourite new band, a band buzzed about by most of the people I met. Casa was only a few blocks away, but it was already too late. From the middle of the crowd, Victor signalled ‘It’s Jessie!’. The girl had a red, yellow, and pink dress on. And she talked to me about a magic guitar. And she talked tirelessly.

Reykjavik, November 2008. Jessie had told me she’d be in town for the Airwaves festival. Not with the Luyas, but with Miracle Fortress, her buddy Graham’s band. I found myself in Iceland on the trail of a docu-fiction project, Sun (Set & Rise) which, bit by bit, was breaking us down with each subsequent day. We spent a lot of our time drinking, catching shows, drinking even more, making the most of our nights to forget the drudgery of our days. At a Yelle concert on our last night, during a stage diving session, in a room packed with young Icelanders shouting the lyrics at the top of their voices, a surreal moment: I broke my back, lost all my stuff, thanks to Jessie, who crushed me into the ground before disappearing into the cold without even singing me a single note.

Perpignan, August 2009. The magic guitar Jessie had talked about was in fact the work of Yuri Landmann, guitar-maker extraordinaire, the only person that my friend Gaspar and I had decided to invite to Pedro Soler’s festival Guitares au Palais. Through his instruments, we’d encountered the Malian Sidi Touré, the Dutch group The Moi Non Plus, who are the force behind Subbacultcha in Amsterdam, the vagabond Noel Akchoté, who improvises with astonishing ease. And Jessie Stein, who – discreetly this time – brought the sensation of a faraway night through her accent and her soft voice. I only saw her briefly; my head, too, was somewhere far away.

Montreal, October 2009. It had been one year since I’d discovered the Luyas and Jessie Stein. One year of replaying the melodies in my head, dreaming about this girl and her distinctive voice. One night, as we biked together, I told her, “Every time I hear you sing I get the impression that I am across the ocean, even if I am close to you.” It is this sense of nostalgia for an unknown country evoked through her music which makes me crazy for her.

POP Montreal invited me to organise another screening, but this year I was also invited to film a series of selected local acts for Arte Live Web. This series was to include the Luyas, of course, whom I had long wanted to film. We had hoped that I would be able to join them in the previous winter’s snow, but fall proved to be more welcoming.

The Luyas is Jessie, Stefan (the percussionist/drummer from Bell Orchestre), Pietro (formerly of Arcade Fire, as well as Bell Orchestre and Torngat), and Mathieu, the group’s newest member. Jessie proposed that we film on the sidewalks of the Jacques-Cartier bridge and on the island in the middle of the Saint Laurent. Crossing Montreal by bike felt easy, light and airy. I had thought that Jessie would be more stressed for this little film, considering how many times it had been delayed, but to the contrary she brought a constant humour and a capacity for off-the-cuff improvisation. A joy to follow from in front of and behind a camera.

Film to meet, record to remember. That afternoon remains the apotheosis of numerous voyages, the perpetual quest for sound, of many different experiences. To see these images again brings back an entire week of musical encounters, like the confluence of emotions in a single final explosion.

The last song of this film, shot in and around a playground, is probably the sequence which most represents these final months of my travels – entirely improvised, from the beginning to the end, a moment of pure musical magic the likes of which I had never filmed before. And the last phrase, hilarious and which will stick with me for a while: “It looks like dirt, but it’s death.”

New York, February 2010. The night deepens, Jessie has had too much to drink and she talks nonstop. Under the table, she takes my hand and I remember when I fell in love with a girl who talked about a magic guitar, who played music while looking straight into your eyes, and who sang like a child far across the sea. Sometimes simple encounters change lives.

That is the text i wrote for la Blogotheque’s post, and to which some replies (as usual on this website and many others unfortunately) featured little hateful nerds trying to socialize. Makes me feel pretty sad overall, and not optimistic much about a possible society based on sharings, but anyway, i hope you will love this band just as i love them!

Another thing, i now put share my work under Creative Commons - meaning, all my little things should be available under the CC by-nc-sa licence - check the little logo somewhere on this site to know more. Or read this very nice interview (well, i might sound a bit pretentious which i am only too rarely those days) on their blog - http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/21398
thxxx to Cameron Parkins for that.
Another interview for a nice website - http://filmnewsbriefs.com/2010/03/fnb-innovator-vincent-moon/

Very hot in Phnom Penh, earth movements are very intriguing here too. We learn everyday right?
Yalla.

26 Comments

17/ march 10th, 2010 _ to remember? (from paris, about a new website as a brain, and Kazuki Tomokawa’s trailer)

A little bit more than 4 years ago, i found myself in a bar near Porte de Clignancourt, around a beer with the Spinto Band, a camera in hand and not much in mind. It was the very first essay of a ‘Take Away Show’ - we called it at the time a videocast. ahah.
Started with my friend Chryde as an attempt to offer something a little bit different on internet, as a way to add content to his own website La Blogotheque, but especially as a simple way to spend time with our favourite musicians, pretending to do something professional and important - while the goal was just to be there, in intimacy with music. I wonder if all those great people working for the musicians really believed it was serious…

Anyway, time flies. And while i am typing those words back in the room where i was 4 years ago, our lifes have changed quite a lot, and the amount of sounds and images recorded went into quite insane proportions. I lost control of my memory, left Paris to live on the road, jumped into everyday adventures and forgot sometimes to think about what happened. The need of an archival place was getting more and more important, to offer to all those encounters a nice little place, and basically for myself to use it as a photo album, as a notebook, as a virtual suitcase. Here it is finally:

http://www.vincentmoon.com

You will find there more than 200 films, from the past 5 years and more, including some very old works with photos, and some longer formats - all my work is viewable there for free, and from now on all of it will be under Creative Commons. I hope you will like it, don’t hesitate to send feedbacks and ideas to ameliorate it (a research box is on its way…), i will update it continuously, even when films are not online, and sometimes, like the little films i did in Chile and Argentina, i will post some preview versions. Last thing, eternal thanks to Jerome Pidoux who made the website looks amazing.

Apart from that, La Faute des Fleurs, our portrait of Kazuki Tomokawa, is finally finished, in its 2nd version, a bit shorter (70 minutes) than the one we screened at the CPH DOX festival last october - and which won the Sound & Vision award, yes ladies and gentlemen. Here’s the official trailer for the movie, which should be released by the end of the year, after being screened in a few film festivals here and there. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about it, but you can find more informations here _ http://kazukitomokawa.com/ _ and there _ http://lafautedesfleurs.com/

That’s it for now. Good energies and travels coming. On my way to Cambodia, spending a month in Phnom Penh for a webfilm project. New adventures. Be well! Yalla.

7 Comments

16/ january 14th, 2010 _ to film? (from la paz, about health, mogwai, rem, lhasa…)

From La Paz, Bolivia, in quest of Luzmila Carpio, and some other andean sounds. A little post about live music films, their useless aspect, and ways of approaching Croatan in troubled times.

2010 starts in a very very weird way, clues to an instable year to come - praise this. Feels a bit weird writing on a blog. But let’s keep it unsentimental, let’s not make the machine human, it’s a lie. Not losing time on words, more for walks and wanders. Oh yeah thoughts about cinema and music, remembers, again and again, repetitions of the same. Progressive souls, conservative bodies hum. Let’s have a little noise.

HEALTH is one of my favourite live bands. Probably one of the most stunning live acts you can see those days. While thinking about doing something with them, the difficulty of organizing a very last minute show outside the Nouveau Casino, for what was their last show of the tour, made us just stay inside. More to come i hope, but this little 12 minutes edit should represent quite well their energy, and is by far my favourite ‘live stage’ piece. Please listen with headphones, and watch in the dark.

I have done a few films about live music on stage, though, and while never entirely satisfied with the results, tried to reach a certain ‘abstract’ feel, documenting less and less the moment, trying to reach more that ’space’ of images and sounds intricated, as ‘Outer Space‘ once changed my life - what do i see, what do i hear?. The main critic to bring in front of the live films is the poor ambition of its social interaction - the process doesn’t make us different, doesn’t change us. I wrote a lot about it in this blog but the point is still there - what’s left of the experience, apart from a recorded souvenir?

History of live music films gets pretty far back - ‘Jazz on a summer’s day‘ by Bert Stern, first film to really approach live music. The past 50 years have seen their bunch of documents of music on stage, everybody got his favorite, amongst Woodtock, Gimme Shelter, or the often-praised Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense by Jonathan Demme. A few ones tried to carry more than the objective boring aspect of relating a night (Meeting People is Easy, Instrument…). Not my role to make an history of it anyway, ride the wave.
Let’s put it clearly - it’s a dead end. An absolute wrong direction in terms of cinematic feeling and hybridation of creations, which unfortunately too often takes the attention of poor viewers dedicated to the ‘importance’ of the event. We are all conniving hey.

When Mogwai, with whom i already collaborated on a short piece the year before, Adelia I Want to Love (co-directed by Teresa Eggers) asked me to film their NY shows to make a live dvd, the challenge was very exciting though - Mogwai being definitely the band you can not film. Mogwai is sound, Mogwai is emptiness of image, Mogwai is something in your head when you close your eyes. What could we (with co-director and amazing editor Nathanael Le Scouarnec) add to a Mogwai live experience, to such an organic feeling?
The challenge was of course lost before - but the result, ‘BURNING’, a 50min movie to be released soon with a live album of the scottish band, is something i am really happy with - we tried to push the limits of representations to a certain radical point, an almost hypnotic experience. A film to be seen on big screens with big sound for sure. Better than a 3D experience dudes.

While premiering ‘This is Not a Show‘, the REM live movie i made with Jeremiah, in Minneapolis a few months ago, someone asked me why this esthetic, strong black and white, huge contrasts. LOTS of blacks he said.
I guess it’s all about the ‘loss’, the dissimulation of informations, the lack of elements, of details - in a way, to get back to that shadowy relationship with the live act you have when you really go see a show - do you really always open your eyes during the show? or do you try to reach in yourself something else to make a connection?
Where is the memory? What do we need to remember after all?

2010 started in a very sad way - we lost Lhasa. She has been a huge influence on many people around the world for the past ten years, changed many lifes. She had this unique thing in her, deep in her soul - her voice seemed to carry many other souls, many stories untold. She will be forever in hearts and minds of many people. I will be forever grateful to her, David-Etienne and the people in Montreal for the little films we did earlier in 2009. It changed my life to meet such a beautiful person.
2010, we lost Rohmer, Sandro (oh god how i loved him), Bensaid, Mano Solo, Dennis Stock, Jay Reatard, many others already. The world is accelerating, bringing deaths with him.

2010, ok. We know you are the tipping point.
To the andean spirit. Yalla.

12 Comments

15/ december 21st, 2009 _ exploring the world? (from santiago de chile, about lhasa de sela, and montreal energies…)

It’s been a while, again. Writing on this blog was at first a very exciting process for me (i started it at the end of march), but then i quickly admitted that my own thoughts on images and sounds were more something i wanted to share eyes in the eyes, around a late night drink, than through those screens. The ‘little things’ i make as films fit well those screens, the ideas and life which goes with them, not that much.

Before the end of this year, i wanted to post a last little thing about some films i made in 2009 that not many people saw, before heading to new projects and encounters. I have been on the road for just a year now, since i decided to leave Paris and move to New York, then realized the in between was more my thing. Nomadic as an experience on your own body, everyday as a new adventure, full of new souls, sounds and images. Loving it more and more, not ready to stop. Always keeping in mind, ‘how do we explore the world today?’
Merry Christmas, happy new year, 2010 i believe in you!

I spent quite a good amount of time this year in Montreal, where live some of my favourite people in the world, and this is the main reason of this post today - to just tell them how much i love them. Amongst other great musicians, Lhasa de Sela and Jessie Stein (singer of the Luyas, see below) are persons who taught me a lot in 2009, so praise for them.

It was in may this year that i went to spend a few days with Lhasa in the canadian city. I did a bunch of nice live videos, so here’s a selection of 7 songs from a night in Montreal, a little gig we organized at Patrick Watson’s loft.

Lhasa and my friend David-Etienne who manages her invited me to shoot some stuff prior to the new album release - her third album, the quiet and beautiful ‘Lhasa’. We spent together 5 days, during which i shot a little portrait of her, that i hope to be able to edit someday, when i will get time and/or money. But the core of the project was to film her live with her band, in small intimate settings.

I organized the set in such a way that i would be able to move easily between the audience and the band - a central circle, plus another larger circle, and enough room to move fast and catch all musicians in one shot. All the films were shot only once of course, without any other preparation, and i feel really happy with the result - reaching a certain improvised choreography almost ; )

More than anything, those shows, which marked Lhasa’s first shows in a very long time (we did in fact 2 nights, in 2 different places), blew me by the intensity which she would put in it. No words can really describe what i felt - one of the most amazing performer i have ever seen for sure.

I have been defending the idea of using only one eye, one angle, for a long time now - even if on some occasions i had to use multi-cameras. But this night was a perfect experience for me, as well as for the audience i think - how to disappear with a camera in hand? Maybe by being as much present as possible. Thanks to all the people present there to make this possible, especially Patrick, David-Etienne and Matthieu Parisien for the amazing sound.

I came back to Montreal at the beginning of october, for the POP Montreal festival, once more. Thanks to Patricia Boushel, Sean Michaels and Nora Bouazzouni, we made a little serie of videos on young local bands, produced by Arte Live web and Art TV. I was excited to spend some time with people i didn’t know and wanted to explore the city following them. I am quite happy with the result, especially those 3 videos. Special thanks to Lucas Archambault for the great work on the edit.

The Luyas are probably my favourite band those days, and this video is just a short version of a longer take away show to come. They are fronted by Jessie Stein, que j’aime more than anything. This afternoon we spent together is probably my favourite moment of the past year.

I met for the first time My People Sleeping and Braids for those little films. I especially love the first song by My People Sleeping, as this long one shot was really made in one take, without even knowing how they would sound. I hope you will enjoy!

and a few others i also made there:

Clues: http://www.vimeo.com/7674428
Witchies: http://www.vimeo.com/7682103
The Mittenstrings: http://www.vimeo.com/7683006
Little Scream: http://www.vimeo.com/7685824

apologies to Adam and the Amethysts, and the Black Feelings, for not having been able to do something enough good with them. And about Tune Yards, something was shot, we will one day convince her label to let us use those videos…

I also shot an absolutely embarassing video with Phoenix in Paris, and received lots of nice words for that. Weird.

Happy new year to you all, from Chile now.
2010 is gonna be full of surprises again. Yalla.

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14/ october 23rd, 2009 _ a scream (from paris, about kazuki tomokawa and La Faute des Fleurs)

Intense times. Constantly surrounded by sounds and images, by shows and informations. Where such expressions as Tomokawa’s screams and moves ends up then?

This take away show, one of my favourites, was made around the time we (teresa eggers, gaspar claus, and i, supported by an incredible japanese team) spent with him in march this year. 2 weeks in Tokyo and Osaka, for a bigger project, a 80min documentary: ‘La Faute des Fleurs - a portrait of Kazuki Tomokawa’.

Here’s a story:

August 2008, an email from Japan, a certain Naohito Koike, who tells me about his favorite musician, Kazuki Tomokawa. And of his desire for me to film him.
The months pass, I come across that message again by chance, I realize that I had not finished to read it – in the last line, he notes specifically that he is organizing a concert of this Tomokawa in question in Osaka, in February 2009, and that he wishes to invite me to document the event. We are in December, two months before the show. My friend Gaspar told me some weeks beforehand of this same ‘musician’ that he had just discovered via an experimental blog.
Two months later, Tokyo, invited by the good grace of a single fan. Yes, a fan, an amateur, a guy who liked my work and that of Gaspar, and who wanted to initiate a meeting. A meeting which can change your perspective on cinema and production in the 21st century.

Between time, the idea of the film evolved, it presented itself from then on as a portrait in length, a hour and some, on a character on which the rare elements collected here or there on the net say more or less the same thing: “cult musician, unknown”, “screaming philosopher”, actor and gambler, drinker and painter, intense and poetic. A cinema-oriented person dreams of this man, who, like in the now-famous anecdote, refused to play the role of Captain Yonoi (eventually held by Ryuichi Sakamoto) in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence by Nagisa Oshima, for a strange story of northern accent.

Two weeks in Japan, in the company of Kazuki Tomokawa, change a life. It is not necessary to understand the language (though the language is very poetic in his mouth), but just to experience the man live his daily life – intense, generous, hilarious, a grand life. And radical in his approach to creation, like all the great Japanese musicans these days. This ease with which he comes back to the extreme is constantly doing battle in the body of Tomokawa-san.

This Take Away show, filmed the day after a great show in Osaka, only reveals one side of his personality. I kept the bulk of what I shot for a film that I’m finishing right now, and which will be presented at the CPH DOX festival this November. “La Faute des Fleurs - a portrait of Kazuki Tomokawa”, will recount the lives of the young man from Akita, who left for Tokyo at the end of the 1960s to sell poetry in the streets, under the joint influence of Chuya Nakahara, the Japanese Rimbaud, and of his younger brother Satoru, who killed himself in Osaka during the 1980s. From these proletarian beginnings to his constant combat to deliver more words, of concerts fueled by declarations of war and of worldy love. Between Tokyo and Osaka, a city both cursed and intriguing, that gave us a February evening one of the most beautiful moments of our life.

you can see the 3 parts in an extended version here.
I am finishing those days ‘La Faute des Fleurs’, a new movie, a portrait of this unique character, 80min. Soon somewhere. You can follow the next steps (and we will post soon some outtakes and live sequences from the movie) here:
http://kazukitomokawa.com/

Yalla, see you in Barcelona for InEdit next week, or the week after in Copenhagen for CPH DOX. Gooood times coming.

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