Every shot is a different facade of a New York City pizza parlor — shot from across the street.
I was inspired by the rigorous typologies of German photographers Bernhard and Hilla Becher and also director Chantal Akerman‘s unobtrusive 1977 film News From Home – which features long shots of New York City streets accompanied by VO of her reading letters sent by her mother in Belgium
Pizza the Musical is a short film I created and directed for The Museum of Pizza – a monthlong popup exhibition in Brooklyn, NY. I wrote the piece in collaboration with maestro Sarah Fiete who also composed the music. Produced with the good people at Ghost Robot.
In this divided world, I wanted to bring people together around the greatest thing ever. Pizza: The Great Unifier. From kings to peasants, everybody loves a good slice. Despite it’s universal appeal, pizza preferences vary greatly from person to person. And goodness can pizza opinions get passionate! What style is best? — New York? Detroit? Chicago deep dish? What’s the proper way to eat a slice? Fork and knife or folded in half? — Or perhaps the most divisive issue of all: Does Pineapple have ANY place on a pizza?
Pizza the Musical sets about to answer these questions. And shows the world how “we’re all just one pizza in a pan.”
Sound on. This underground hike was extremely worthwhile. If you’re ever in the highdesert of central Oregon check it out. You can hike a mile down a cavernous tube carved by molten magma thousands and thousands of years ago. It’s pitch dark so you rent powerful lanterns to look at the rocks and contemplate geologic time and your relationship to the planet.
Yeah yeah. I was the tool with the Go Pro strapped to his head. But this footage of class 2 and 3 rapids shooting down the Deschutes in Central Oregon turned out pretty cool. Thanks for the great time Sun County Tours!
I quick chopped together this minute of Sakura. Shot on iFoneX. Cut to Akiko Tsuruga’s organ rendition of SAKURA. Cherry blossoms and magnolias in bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Plus me filming Japanese tourists getting their picture taken by me. It was a lovely day and everyone was in a happy mood. Everyone I saw at least.
Jason Leinwand is an old friend and a great artist. He’s based in Brooklyn and grinds it out daily with drawings based on fortune cookie fortunes he finds — or that friends give him. Here’s a quick minute of show and tell I whipped together this afternoon.
Here’s a little something I shot last summer. A rainy start kept the crowd thin, but was naturally no hindrance for the mermaids and sea creatures on parade at Coney Island, Brooklyn, USA. The wet weather did however diminish the mortal human crowd size. Joe aka the “Brooklyn Yeti” observed the intimate environment fostered a vibe that felt closer to the Mermaid Parades of yore.
All the creativity, individuality and diversity on display made me feel pride in my city, my country, and left me wondering why can’t every day be like the Mermaid Parade?
I shot this clip of film director Joshua Oppenheimer introducing a screening of Werner Herzog’s Even Dwarfs Start Small (1970) at the Telluride Film Festival 2017. What follows is the uncut Q&A with Werner after the screening. Pardon the occasional camera jostling and noise.
Werner reflects on the creation of this singularly disturbing masterpiece and around the stupidity of chickens. Herzog reassures the audience that his subjects are always treated like royalty after one questioner expresses concern about exploitation of his actors. Enjoy one of the GOATS talk shop!
“This is why I became a filmmaker—and the most haunting work of cinema ever created. An institution set amid volcanic wastes is taken over by its inmates. All of them are dwarfs. So is the warden, who’s held hostage. He keeps a hostage of his own, another dwarf, a strategy to protect himself from the inmates’ wrath. The structures of power—furniture, telephones, cars—are scaled for full-sized adults, dwarfing everybody. Werner Herzog’s second feature is perhaps the most profound vision ever conjured of how bureaucracy corrupts the human impulse for liberation. A taboo is violated early on: inmates kill a pig suckling its litter, and from then on the rules that keep us human are jettisoned. Dark impulses, lurking in us all, take over. These are dream images that leave you with a metallic taste in the mouth and a ringing in the ears.”
Joshua is the documentarian behind the masterpieces The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence. Josh was Telluride’s guest director this year, which means he curated a program of films that he felt could help us grapple with our current societal moment.
As an aspiring filmmaker, I’ve been struggling with a fundamental question: Does the cinema matter? Or is it just a comfy escape – a chance to unplug, unwind, and disassociate from a broken world?
Among the other films Oppenheimer presented at Telluride include: Salaam Cinema (1995), Hotel of the Stars (1981), and Titicut Follies (1967). These three documentaries are not easy to watch, but you still ought to seek them out. They give us a glimpse into the absurdity of authority and the redeeming power of empathy.
After watching them, I left with a renewed faith that, yes, cinema IS important. In fact, it may be the key to understanding the modern world – for over a hundred years filmmakers have been leaving us clues. The cinema is not merely a modern art form, but a modern language unto itself. And it’s helping us learn from our past and imagine a more humane and beautiful future.