Digital technology festival stays relevant

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Digital technology festival stays relevant

When the touring Resfest Digital Film Festival was first launched in 1997, it was a cutting-edge event. Digital technology was poised to take on the film industry.
Digital technology is becoming the norm in the film industry, but Resfest has in no way lost its relevance. If anything, it has become more relevant, as organizers strive to find subject matter that stretches the imaginations of viewers.
Resfest 2004 comes to Korea on Wednesday at Yonsei Centennial Hall with a retrospective on British director Jonathan Glazer. The 1999 Resfest included a Glazer music video for Unkle.
Since 1999, Glazer’s renown has only grown. He was behind the videos for Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity,” Unkle’s “Rabbit in Your Headlights” (which won silver at the Design and Art Directing Awards), Radiohead’s “Street Spirit” and “The Universal” by Blur.
His innovative commercials for Nike, Stella Artois and Guinness have won D & AD awards for Most Outstanding Direction and Most Outstanding TV Commercial.
His feature film debut, “Sexy Beast,” was followed by “Birth,” starring Nicole Kidman. The festival’s opening-night film examines Glazer’s career, with behind-the-scenes footage included. The film will be shown again on Nov. 21 at 5 p.m.
This retrospective is just one of 300 films being shown at the festival, which runs until Nov. 21. The festival opened this year in New York City on Sept. 9. There were 1,500 submissions for international programming (the festival travels to 33 cities in 13 countries). In the program guide, festival director Jonathan Wells writes, “we found many works that reflect our strange and uncertain times.”
One example is “Bushwhacked!” which highlights “filmmakers’ response to the political climate.” Bryan Boyce, Eric Henry, Michael Moore, Archer Beck, Guerrilla News Network and others have created shorts that festival organizers describe as both funny and troubling. Considering that this festival was put together before the election, audience reaction should be interesting.
Another new addition is a section on “visual jockeys.” VJ events are being held at most of the festival’s stops worldwide, but unique to the peninsula is a seminar led by Korea’s own Ziro, Ooozoo and Parpunk and Japan’s Naohiro Ukawa.
Soh is looking forward to this section, as it will be what he calls “the first comprehensive introduction of VJs in Korea.” The two main seminars are on Nov. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Nov. 20 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Works by Shynola, a four-man collective consisting of Gideon Baws, Chris Harding, Richard Kenworthy and Jason Groves, are being screened at midnight on Nov. 19. Shynola’s body of work ranges from music videos to shorts and animations.
The Shorts section includes works that mix animation with live action for visually stunning pieces like “We Have Decided Not to Die” by Daniel Askill.
The second Shorts section includes comedies like “The Man Wihtout a Head” by Juan Solanas and “Sunday” by Duncan Skiles.
The third Shorts section focuses on portrait-type works, including films on rock stars and New York biker gangs. These are to be screened Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.
The feature-length film “Sprout,” a surfing documentary by Thomas Campbell, screens at midnight on Nov. 19.
The festival ends on Nov. 21 with “Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme,” a documentary by Kevin Fitzgerald that looks at the lifestyle, music and history of improvisational rhyming.


by Joe Yonghee

For more information, visit the Web site www.resfest.co.kr, or www.resfest.com.

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