Nightlife in a Puddle – A Film by Fabio Scacchioli

Fabio Scacchioli is an Italian filmmaker who turns ordinary shots on Super 8 film and video into magical and mystical pieces about memory and all that it does for us. I am always impressed by his work and how he finds the perfect moments to let glimmer through the haze to catch us unaware. I maintain that as we move further into the 21st century, we are developing a new cinema completely removed from the theatrical aspects of the last century’s cinema. It is filmmakers who do not try to make films that look like American features who will make the new cinema. Filmmakers making films that look like American features are looking at forms as outmoded as 19th century theatrical works were during the age of the early silents. The new cinema is as natural and immediate a form of expression as writing or painting.

I know that Scacchioli is currently working on something new and I’m looking forward to seeing it. I’ve posted about Scacchioli’s work before.

Film: From a Land of Ashes and Mist

From an Italian master of short film memory, Fabio Scacchioli, comes this beautiful 23-minute work that expresses the illusion of solid permanence and the heroic attempt to build a reality based on fragments of memory. Even found memories and images can become part of one’s own person. This fleeting and subtle idea becomes more discernible as the film progresses.  The impressive imagery revolves around the recent earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy and compares the desolation of a town reduced to rubble with the lives that once literally danced through home movies.  It is a film about looking for ghosts.

Film: Objets Oubliés

Italian filmmaker, Fabio Scacchioli, works with zero budget and creates masterpieces of Italian cinema.  I think the great movement of cinema in the 21st century is underway and it looks to me like Italy is riding the top of the wave.  We are finally reaching the point where an artwork is created with a ‘zero budget,’ just like a painting is.  Picasso painted for just the cost of his canvas, his paints, and his own time.  Filmmakers can now work the same way, enjoying the privacy of their studios and making things with their hands and their computers and their cameras.  Filmmaking has finally become a visual art.  Online cinema is the most powerful movement in all of art today.  It is alive and aware of its potential.  Artists like Scacchioli are going to take it very far indeed and they are going to become the Picassos of the future.  It is time to start paying attention to this cinema, not as a silly form of entrance into the moribund feature film studio career, but as a major art form in and of itself.

This film, Objets Oubliés, is built upon four pieces of film found on the street.  The filmmaker attempts to connect the unknown images into some sort of coherent whole.  The narrating voice exists only in relationship to this attempt to create life and continuity from unknown materials discovered by pure chance.  There is something like a form of grace and true love of film or cinema in this act.  It seems to me to represent the very life of film.  It also seems like an effort that would quite obviously and most certainly originate in Italy.  It is mindful romance.  It is the literal taking of the baton from an unknown hand and carrying it forward to make something unexpected and marvelous.  One person makes something without knowing it is part of an artwork that has not come into existence yet.  But it will and it does.  The artist comes along and picks it up and shows us that the artwork existed even before he arrived.

Film: Look at that fire! Oh boy!

Sit down, turn off your cell phone, close the door. You are about to see something magnificent. Several days ago, I posted a film, Yellow Plastic Raygun, on Vimeo. And today I catch this big fish of a filmmaker from Italy who made a comment about the film and who has made a gorgeous and moving statement about war and destruction. It grabs you and just won’t let you go until it finishes.  The use of old images, combined, layered and cut into pieces to form new images and artworks fascinates me when applied to video.  This is an example of the art form at its finest.

Fabio Scacchioli made this.  He’s made others, but this is the first one I’ve viewed and I’m convinced already.  Italy appears to be very healthy in its cinema heart.

The filmmaker has a web site.