The Phenomenon Turned Nostalgic

Uncategorized Mar 17, 2005 No Comments

Pardon our French, but fuck a fucking duck! In a story on page 3 of Tuesday’s Sydney Morning Herald, we read the startling news of a whole new creative medium, something called “Super 8”. Apparently young people are making films with a technology that started out as a “home movie” medium but has become the latest creative tool for a generation of young image makers. The Sydney Moving Image Coalition gets together in warehouses for screenings of new material and archival Super 8s made as long ago as the 1980s, some even older. As the article explained:

“Thirty years ago a little black Super 8 camera was the gadget dad could not do without. Then 1986 came along, bringing the digital video camera with it, and suddenly the Super 8 camera was relegated to a box at the back of the garage.

“Dig it out and dust it off, says Louise Curham, a film artist. Super 8 is back.”It’s got a magical feel to it,” said Curham, co-convener of the Super 8 appreciation group the Sydney Moving Image Coalition.”I love the colour, I like the granularity, the movement of the image.”

The article also explains that although the medium has it’s limitations, these restrictions can actually spur people on to be more creative:

“The beauty of Super 8, Curham said, was that any amateur could become a director. “Super 8 doesn’t treat the public like an idiot but it gives people with no experience the opportunity to produce something absolutely beautiful.”A co-convener, Al Young, acknowledges that the medium has its limitations – such as the need to post film to Switzerland for development – but not all limitations are bad.”You can only shoot three minutes at a time,” he said.”To me that’s an artistic challenge – it forces you to think about your shots. The limitations actually make you more of a filmmaker.”

Turning to art school lecturers for backup, the SMH found two old timers who could add weight to the new scene:

“Lecturers at some of Sydney’s top art schools report a growing interest in the medium. “Students love the tactile aspect of the film, more so today than in the past,” said Geoff Weary, Associate Dean of the Sydney College of the Arts.”There’s an increase in students who want to work with real film.”

John Gillies, a lecturer and program co-ordinator at the University of NSW College of Fine Arts, is equally enthusiastic about the medium. “The images it makes can be really extraordinary,” he said. “When you shoot Super 8, in 20 years time it’s still there; the image is perfect. But with digital video it’s dead in five years’ time.”

The Art Life

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