Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sam’s Video Jam #2. June 30. Sam’s Burger Joint

I can start off by saying that this was probably the first time I’ve actually enjoyed going to a film/video screening. I’m sure the non-traditional venue makes for a more relaxed viewing. The sound was great, the room was certainly not the typical cramped bunker, and the videos were pretty entertaining.

The better of the selections include: Jordan Belson’s 1961 “Allures”, an exercise in psychedelic graphic composition and early synthesized music put together masterfully; a new video by PES called “Western Spaghetti”, a stop-motion animation with a Pop bent; and “Live in 2005” from Animal Charm, a compilation of our favorite flavors of eye candy. Animal Charm use found low-fi graphics and video to put together a treat for our twisted tastes. This video works on the idea that the outmoded spawns the absurd which breeds hilarity. It seems we’re all warped.

Other than that, the selections seemed to play more to humor than any other artistic sensibility—a growing trend. I was deeply saddened that the set ended with a luscious video by Vanessa Renwick which turned out to be a political tool. These contemporary brute-force political statements are a powerful tool—powerful enough to kill any aesthetic pleasure found in a piece. The majority of the videos could have been picked for their soundtracks more than their cinematic qualities, but I can’t completely fault that possibility. A mash-up classic, some dreadful narratives, and David Lynch as headliner round out the night.

Utah Snyder and Mike Stoltz have put together an entertaining show. The next installment of the pretension-free video jam session is July 28th.

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