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Old June 7th, 2011, 05:35 AM   #1
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DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

Deconstructing Rapture


His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"

"It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!'
Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."

(The Gospel of Thomas:113)



Welcome to a very surreal take on the "instructional video" theme!
I took up this challenge with the added bonus that I didn't want this to be a traditional instructional video and yet it had to be instructional to fit the theme. Therefore I feel a need for a more elaborate explanation as follows.

Idea
In the light of the recent events with many people awaiting rapture or God's final justice in the USA and since those events will still happen in the future, as they have in the past, I felt the need for an instructional video in Christian faith intended to all those Christians falling prey to doom's-dayers and their interpretation of the holy scriptures, i.e., to propose that, according to scriptures and my interpretation, the rapture has already happened, and, indeed, is happening all around us as we speak, it is eternal and outside of time.

I turned to a source that has sometimes been overlooked - the Gospel of Thomas as it was found in the Dead Sea scrolls. A very ancient early Christian writing (more information).
If I remember correctly, the gospel wasn't included in the Bible because the Romans didn't find it suitable for a state organized religion and the control of populace.

As well as a few other of my ideas regarding people and religion which you may or may not perceive from the film. :)

Form
A confession: I really love surreal and experimental films. I agree that film form should be different from stage, painting, literally and other art forms, it shouldn't try to duplicate them.

I also agree that:
What has been most responsible for the lack of development of the cinematic idiom is the emphatic literacy of our age. So accustomed are we to thinking in terms of the continuity-logic of the literary narrative that the narrative pattern has come to completely dominate cinematic expression in spite of the fact that it is, basically, a visual form. We overlook the fact that painting, for instance, is organized in visual logics, or that music is organized in tonal-rhythmic logics; that there are visual and auditory experiences which have nothing to do with the descriptive narrative.
(Maya Deren. Essential Deren: Collected writings on film by Maya Deren. p.27)

Technicalities
I shot this film with Canon XHA1 in a weeks time in various locations with the help of 3 friends.
Because I don't have a car I used only my bike and public transport, so I couldn't get my tripod everywhere where I wanted.

In an unfortunate accident I lost my Rode shotgun during the shooting of one of the scenes, I suspect very much it was stolen. :( But a friend has already agreed to lend me some money for a new mic, so it's not all that bad.

I edited the film in one day with Sony Vegas 9.
I remixed the soundtrack using two songs from jamendo.com (creative commons) and used a few sound samples from freesound.org.

With the permission of the DVC organisers I used a few seconds of public domain archival footage of WWII Japan.

As always I wish a few scenes would have looked better, but that is always the case.


(Not) Suggestion
When watching the video please don't constrain yourselves with logical explanations or structural expectations, because this work is more in the field of (good or bad) visual poetry than drama.

That said not in any way do I suggest that you should, for any reason, like or respect my chosen form or not judge my (un)professional (in)cababilities because of that form.

Enjoy.

p.s. I'm really looking forward to seeing all your submissions!
Attached Thumbnails
DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins-2z.jpg   DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins-3z.jpg  

DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins-4z.jpg   DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins-5z.jpg  

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Last edited by Andris Krastins; June 7th, 2011 at 02:24 PM.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #2
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

Andris, it's a good use of image as poetry. It's also a fitting analogy to the season that we are in regarding the church and rapture and how people should live. I can relate to it. Thank you for the detailed breakdown of the film. Regarding doomsday prophecy followers in the US I imagine there are people around the world who are prone to that. The media plays with people here using them as pawns to sell their product. If you watch the news it's like The National Enquirer 24/7. (No offense meant to National Enquirer). Back to your film I take my hat off to you since it's very unconventional, taking the instructional video theme to another level.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

Gosh. I'm not quite sure what to say, here - I'm still very new to all of this film stuff, so I wouldn't pay too much attention to me ;-). I thought it looked beautiful (framing of shots, lighting, post-production and so on). I liked the atmospheric use of sound and soundtracking particularly. In truth, I'm not sure whether or not I understood it (but from reading your explanation, I don't think I'm supposed to, right?). I should probably qualify that last remark, so here goes. As a dream-like visual poem, I enjoyed it immensely; but with such an absence of narrative I felt quite lost at the end (like I'd missed something important). That's not to say I don't like it (I do); just that it might take me a little while to wrap my head around it! ;-)
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Old June 7th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

Well done Andris- some truly stunning shots. In particular the waterboatmen were incredibly crisp and well captured. The apocalyptic imagery juxtaposed with oblivious everyday life was very strong, although I'm grateful for your summary to see I was along roughly the right lines with what I was thinking at the time.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 11:18 PM   #5
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

I found myself grinning more and more as I watched this film. I did not read any preexplanation, and I was grinning like a madman because I was beginning to follow the madness.... not quite getting everything, but amazed at the swing of image evoking what felt like competing emotions. Very interesting film..
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Old June 7th, 2011, 11:57 PM   #6
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

Good heavens, Andris--when you say you are doing something bizarre (I think you said "crazy") you mean it! Because I purposely confine my movie or television viewing to content more on the lines of The Andy Griffith Show you can imagine how jarring a piece like this would be. That is not to say I didn't appreciate the effort; it wouldn't be jarring if it wasn't well done. You put a lot of thought and work into this piece and it shows. Chris's reaction proves that you have a discerning audience out there! :)
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Old June 8th, 2011, 01:57 AM   #7
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

I'm a bit of an experiemental film buff so I totally dug it. You created some great images and the soundtrack matched up pretty perfectly. I had to watch it twice to make my own sense out of it. I'm not sure if the theme was incorporated but overall very nice work!
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Old June 8th, 2011, 04:40 AM   #8
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

Thanks, all, for your comments! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Williams View Post
but with such an absence of narrative I felt quite lost at the end (like I'd missed something important). That's not to say I don't like it (I do); just that it might take me a little while to wrap my head around it! ;-)
George, then everything is as I intended. :)
I really like films which you have to figure out (for example films by David Lynch) and that don't give a clear answer to all your questions. You don't get a McDonald's Happy Meal ready for consumption, you get a forest and a spear and no paths.

The individual/subjective questions themselves shape the film - your perception of it.
I think that, perhaps, it may add depth and beauty, if one can bear not knowing all the answers or even the questions.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 04:46 AM   #9
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

Are you related to Master Yoda?
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Old June 8th, 2011, 04:52 AM   #10
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

No, but probably the grammar influence of my native language shows in my sentence structure. :)
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Old June 8th, 2011, 04:59 AM   #11
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

No, your english is perfect (it's probably better than mine) ;-) I just like the way you post profound questions and wisdom. "You don't get a McDonald's Happy Meal ready for consumption, you get a forest and a spear and no paths" is a really, really good way of explaining conceptual art generally. :-)
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Old June 8th, 2011, 06:25 AM   #12
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

Andris, I call them "visceral visuals," images that affect the audience emotionally. I have to keep reminding myself to look for them and include them in my films, as I tend to focus on dialog and relationships. Your film is full of them. It has an emotional impact on the viewer. I couldn't always tell what you were shooting for, but I watch the whole thing two times so it did engage this viewers interest.

BTW, the book of Thomas was found in the 1940s, not as part of the dead sea scrolls, but by and Egyptian farmer who found a large urn buried with old papers and burned some of them to start a fire. That why we have no copies of the book of Brian, for instance. I am sure that went up in flames.
Interesting reading on Wikipedia, even though they leave out the Book of Brian...
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Old June 8th, 2011, 07:30 AM   #13
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

Thank you for correcting the information on the Thomas Gospel, Dick! My memory has gotten rusty, but creative, it appears. :)

"visceral visuals" - I have to remember that term!
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Old June 8th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #14
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

As Monty Python fans can attest, the Book of Brian was based on the Life of Brian. It's hard to keep your facts straight with that many prophets.
Praise Brian for Wikipedia.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #15
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Re: DVC20 - Deconstructing Rapture - A.Krastins

So the first time I watched this I was dead tired and getting ready for bed. After the first 10 seconds I had to turn it off because I knew it was going to be more than I could get my mind around.

I'm glad I did because now after watching it several times, there are just so many layers to it and its something that you can't just mindlessly watch. Quite the opposite of my entry.

You have particularly strong imagery and I love the edit. This piece is crazy good in my opinion. It's pertinent to our world situation and thought provoking.

I'm sure this is one piece that I will continue to watch after this competition is over.

I'm not sure if I can tie this to instructional, but man is it fantastic piece of art.
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