June 2004

What’s (still) experimental?

Three projects that are pushing the boundaries

For filmmakers, being experimental isn’t as easy as it used to be. Fifty years ago, tossing aside Hollywood’s conventions of narrative, acting, cinematography, and format exposed plenty of directions in which to push the envelope. Maya Deren challenged viewers by confusing them. Stan Brakhage manipulated his film by hand to create images never seen in the real world.

Beating the Cheat

Steven Okazaki cues his own truth

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Make it a rule – don’t ever watch six Steven Okazaki films in a row. It started at around 9 am when I hunkered down and suddenly found myself on a journey led by stories of Japanese American survivors of internment camps; stereotypes of Asian men in America; big businesses displacing native Hawaiians in their homeland; and weary heroin addicts in San Francisco.

Coming Clean

The many challenges of making Dirty Work

David Sampliner and Tim Nackashi’s debut documentary film Dirty Work premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2004 and is currently on the film festival circuit. Dirty Work follows the lives of three men—Russ, a bull semen collector, Darrell, a septic tank pumper, and Bernard, an embalmer—who passionately pursue distasteful, indispensable professions.

Portland, Oregon

An indie scene unclouded by Hollywood

Legend has it that when settlers came west by covered wagon more than 150 years ago, those seeking fame and fortune headed south to California, while people seeking seclusion and autonomy ventured north to Oregon.

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