Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Anya: (In and Out of Focus) by Marian Marzynski

Polish-born, American-based filmmaker Marian Marzynski's full length documentary of his daughter's first 30 years (beginning at age 5 when the family moved to the United States). Marzynski, who is perhaps best known for his work about the Holocaust, here chronicles his daughter's coming of age in America as the child of immigrant parents. Documenting her life on camera for 30 years turns a father’s love into a test of his daughter’s patience and honesty.

Daily Weather Reports by David Lynch


Wisconsin Death Trip by James Marsh/Michael Lesy

"Writer/Director James Marsh's first feature, WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP, is an intimate, shocking and sometimes hilarious account of the disasters that befell one small town in Wisconsin during the final decade of the 19th century. The film is inspired by Michael Lesy’s book of the same name which was first published in 1973. Lesy discovered a striking archive of black and white photographs in the town of Black River Falls dating from the 1890’s and married a selection of these images to extracts from the town’s newspaper from the same decade. The effect was surprising and disturbing. The town of Black River Falls seems gripped by some peculiar malaise and the weekly news is dominated by bizarre tales of madness, eccentricity and violence amongst the local population. Suicide and murder are commonplace. People in the town are haunted by ghosts, possessed by devils and terrorized by teenage outlaws and arsonists."

Excerpt from: http://www.wisconsindeathtrip.com/

Walden by Jonas Mekas

"Poet and hero of the American counter-culture, Jonas Mekas, born in Lithuania in 1922, invented the diary form of filmmaking. Walden, his first completed diary film, an epic portrait of the New York avant-garde art scene of the 60s, is also a groundbreaking work of personal cinema."

"Since 1950 I have been keeping a film diary. I have been walking around with my Bolex and reacting to the immediate reality: situations, friends, New York, seasons of the year. On some days I shoot ten frames, on others ten seconds, still on others ten minutes. Or I shoot nothing.... Walden contains material from the years 1964-1968 strung together in chronological order." — Jonas Mekas

Excerpt from: http://smironne.free.fr/NICO/FILMS/wal.html

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Film 203/380: Diaries, Memories & Metaphor

June 14, 2010 – July 24, 2010

Monday & Wednesday 9-12:45 Mitchell Room B75

Instructor: Kellie Bronikowski

Contact: kellymb3@uwm.edu

Office Hours: By appointment only

Film Department Office: Mitchell B70 phone: 414-229-6015

We create metaphors to compensate for what we have lost." - Sherman Alexie

Course Objective: The purpose of this class is to turn the camera on yourself, taking that as literally or non-literally as you wish. This class is about not only growing as a filmmaker, but as an individual, exploring how you can create work with everything you already have, your life experiences. I’m also encouraging you to push yourselves to shoot in ways you haven’t shot before: experiment, explore, and examine your art and yourself. Each day will start off with one or two ‘memory prompts’ initiated by a different student each class and myself.


Journal- Minimum of 12 entries dealing with recollections of memories. Sketches, film ideas, poetry, dreams..ect..are also encouraged (in addition to the 12 writings)! Fleshing out your thoughts to the fullest extreme is what I’m looking for here; get very detailed, for example: do you remember the smells? The colors, the space, the sounds, feelings…anything and everything is of importance.

Non-Moving Art Piece- Find an art piece that you consider falls into the category of ‘diaries, memories and metaphor’ from the collection at MAM. Then type up a short response as to why you think this work falls into the ‘diaries, memories and metaphor’ theme/what are the specific themes of your chosen piece? This could include a brief paragraph on the artist’s background/bio that may have had play into the specific piece of work you chose. Paper must be double spaced and a minimum of one full page. Please include a still image of the art piece with your paper.

Final Project- Create a film, video, installation, soundscape or performance piece of your choice dealing with the theme of Diaries, Memories & Metaphor. Content, execution of idea and time put into making the piece will all be factored into the final project grade.


June 14 (M)Introduction to course. Class intros. Discuses end of course screening.

Screening: N is for Nurse(2.5), One Last Time(4.5), Sisters(4), Held in Tranquility(6.5), Optic Nerve/Barbara Hammer(18), The Memo Book/Matthias Muller(28), Anya: In and Out of Focus/ Marian Marzynski93)

June 16 (W) – Everyone bring in two or three ideas they’re considering for the final project.

Screening: Daily Weather Reports/David Lynch(excerpts), , (Nostalgia)/Hollis Framptom(excerpt), Walden-Reel 5/Jonas Mekas(excerpt), 37th and Lux/Leighton Pierce(4), Water Seeking its Level/Leighton Pierce(5.5)

June 21 (M) In class reading: Luis Bunuel Biography, Wisconsin Death Trip

Screening: Wisconsin Death Trip(excerpts), Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time/David Greenberger(excerpts), Window Water Baby Moving/Stan Brakhage(12), The Alphabet/David Lynch(4)

*Everyone who has old footage, new writing, photos that they’re planning on using in their pieces for that class bring it in to show.

June 23 (W)– In class reading: Franz Kafka Diary and Thoreau’s Journals

Screening: The Passing/Bill Viola(60), An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

*Bring it raw footage/audio. whatever you have ready

June 28 (M) - In class reading: Jack Kerouac ‘Visions of Gerard’ Excerpts

Screening: TBD

* Bring in more raw footage and/or edits

June 30 (W) - Critics: Everyone brings in work in Progress

July 5 (M) - * No Class, Observed Holiday. Campus is CLOSED*

July 7 (W) - Individual Appointments

July 12 (M) - Critics: Everyone brings in Rough Edits

July 14 (W) - Meet at Art Museum Non-Moving Art Piece Paper Due Present to class.

July 19 (M)TBD

July 21 (W) - Final Projects Due/ Journals Due In class screening of projects and Potluck. Wrap up outside class screening details.

Class Screening: ______ @ ______________.

Grading Breakdown: Journal (15%) Multimedia Example (15%) Final Project (50%) Participation (20%)

*Required supplies: External hard drive, mini dv tapes and/or 16mm film, mini disk tapes, Riverwest Film & Video (824 E. Center St., 414-265-8433), etc.

Course book(s)/ Recommended texts/Readings: In class readings will be handed out in class and/or available on D2L.

*Equipment Eligibility/Access/Checkout: Different equipment will be available depending on if you’re pre or post portfolio. Summer hours from the Equipment Room will be _____________ .

*Facility Access & Work Permits: Students using department facilities must have an updated Work Permit, which will be distributed in class. The Film Department facilities are normally open from 8AM – 4:30PM, Monday – Friday. Some of the studios have card-swipe access. For some studios/rooms without swipe-card access, keys may be signed out in the Equipment Room or B-70 office. When the Film Office is closed, access to rooms is available from department staff or UWM Police, following posted guidelines. After hours, access to Mitchell Hall is available for all students enrolled in the “hand reader” lock system, via the northwest entrance (below the loading dock). Students register at the PSOA Box Office on the 1st floor of the Zelazo Center.

Late Assignments: No late assignment will be accepted.

à Additional Course and Departmental Policies:

Special Needs and Questions:

If you will need accommodations in order to meet any of the requirements of this course, please contact me as soon as possible.

Feel free to visit me at my office during office hours to discuss assignments or any questions or requests you have

Use of Copyrighted Material: Use of copyrighted material is strictly prohibited unless the images, sounds, texts, etc. are being significantly altered and it is clear in the opinion of the instructor that the original material is being studied, analyzed and commented upon by the student. Grades for work failing to satisfy this requirement for copyrighted materials will be significantly lowered. The instructor reserves the right to determine what constitutes fair use of copyrighted material. A helpful resource concerning copyright and fair use is available at <http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/cprtindx.htm>. The campus Learning Technology Center, located in the east wing of the Library, can also provide consultation and resources concerning these issues.

H1NI Influenza: In the event of disruption of normal classroom activities due to an H1N1 swine flu outbreak, the format for this course may be modified to enable completion of the course. In that event, you will be provided an addendum to this syllabus that will supersede this version.

Leighton Pierce

Thursday is "a short, quietly lyrical video about the small pleasure of domesticity. This video was shot in 100 foot segments each Thursday, a day when the filmmaker was in the house minding the baby, although the baby does not appear in the video."

37th & Lux is "a brief impression triggers an emotion echoing with memories of the past and anticipations of the future. This quiet communication, a composition of image, sound, and text, reflects that feeling and invites its continuation. This “video letter,” originally intended for an audience of one, resonates with associations that many can embrace.

Wood is "looking outward, this is a segment from a series revolving around the relationship between my son (10 yrs old) and daughter (4 yrs old). Their relationship is too complicated and too dynamic to understand. That I know. This piece doesn't try to explain anything other than the fact of an overlapping acoustic environment and proximate activities.

Water Seeking its Level "Dad and daughter at the water race of an abandoned monastery. The scene pivots on her words:“Look dad,” she says. He IS looking while he waits for the resolution of the moment-- water through her fingers."

Evaporation is "Dissipation, dissolution, changing states. It is easy to apply these concepts to something like water; much more difficult when considering emotion and family relationships."

Excerpts from: http://www.leightonpierce.com/

Optic Nerve by Barbara Hammer

" 'Optic Nerve' (1985) is a "powerful personal reflection on family and ageing". Hammer uses the process of optical printing and re-scanned images to influence the viewer's visual and intellectual trips. This is Barbara Hammer's interpretation of her visit with her grandmother in the nursing home. She conveys to the viewer an institutionalized environment. With extreme color, light, motion and sound she reflects her grandmother's loss of touch with reality. With the use of imaging overlays and dissolves, she lets you see what is happening in her grandmother's mind."

Excerpt from: http://people.wcsu.edu/mccarneyh/fva/h/OpticNerve.html