Monday, January 1, 2018

AFAN 25


2018 marks the 25th anniversary of AFAN Alessandro Fantini's relentless painting journey (to be celebrated in an upcoming multimedianic retrospective). 

AFAN 25 (a quarter-century with AFAN's paintings) 

Conceived and edited by AFAN. 
Music composed by AFAN (excerpts from "Antalgica" and "Gorgonia" albums).

Monday, December 18, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

TIRANTI TRANSIT

TIRANTI TRANSIT



Tiranti Transit by Alessandro Fantini from AFan Alessandro Fantini on Vimeo.

 The following is an interesting review of one my early short movies shot in DV provided some years ago by the american director and writer Patrick Meaney

Tiranti Transit is a short film by Italian director, Alessandro Fantini. It was interesting approaching this film because I can see so much of my own work in the film, both the triumphs and the failures.


The film's in Italian, and I didn't have access to the English dialogue, but I think it's so well made that you don't even need to understand the dialogue. The primary concern is building a mood, and what lingers with me after viewing the film is not the story, it's more this feeling of melancholy and warmth. In that respect, it's a very prototypical European art film. I haven't seen that much of his work, but it's reminiscent of Antonioni, with a decentralized narrative and a focus on aesthetic qualities.


I think that's what makes cinema so powerful, a Wong Kar-Wai film wouldn't work in any other medium because it's not solely about the story, or solely about the aesthetics, it's about the fusion of music and visual to create a singular feeling. The score in this film is fantastic, moody and Blade Runneresque, it's a large part of why the short works as well as it does.


The best moments in the film are at the end. There's a fantastic shot where the woman opens a door inside and there's a cut to a wide open road, which we then see her standing on. It's a great moment of surreal cutting, using editing to make a transition that's not possible in reality. This leads up to the really nice ending of the film.


My big issue with the film, something that's true of a lot of low budget, digital works, is that some shots just feel like home video, and that takes you out of the story. It's the biggest concern in working with digital, I absolutely love DV and would gladly shoot it over film, but it means that you need to better, to ensure that each shot has the care you would spend for a filmbased take. Even David Lynch had some really sloppily composed shots in Inland Empire, it's tough to nail every shot and a few here just didn't quite work. But, it didn't fully take me out of the story's mood, and I was able to quickly shift back in and reengage with the story. Maybe some color correction would resolve that issue, or more likely, just a higher end camera.

The other thing I wasn't sure about was the zooms. Some of them were great, but some felt a bit arbitrary. Some filmmakers use the zoom lens in great ways, most notably Robert Altman. I feel like with the zoom you either have to be really slow, or really fast. If you use the default camera speed, it can feel rote. But, I'm not sure if I'm reacting that way just because I know about cameras and can see how it worked. However, I'm still glad that he tried it, because some of those zooms made for great moment.

I'd rather watch a film like this than a polished Hollywood movie that doesn't have any energy in the shooting. I'd rather have a few shots that don't quite make it if it means having some of the fantastic compositions that appear throughout the film. As I've said many times before, I'd rather see a film that aims high and doesn't quite make it than something that has no ambition and nails it. So, the flaws of this film don't mean that it's not a great viewing. This film is a world you can slip into, and I really enjoyed my time there. And, the ending had a primal power that I found very affecting and well done.

If you want to view the film, it's on line here, and there's more information on Alessandro, including some fantastic art, right here. at his site.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Presque vu - Atlas of Untold (book preview)



 

Alessandro Fantini - Presque vu - Atlas of Untold
(book preview)
Music by Alessandro Fantini

Deluxe edition
Category  Fine Art
Size: Large Format Landscape, 13×11 in, 33×28 cm
80 Pages
 http://www.blurb.com/b/2643746-presque-vu-deluxe-edition

Paperback edition
Category  Fine Art
Size: Small Square, 7×7 in, 18×18 cm
80 Pages
ISBN
Hardcover, Dust Jacket: 9781320023573
Softcover: 9781320023559
Hardcover, ImageWrap: 9781320023566
http://www.blurb.com/b/5340117-presque-vu-2014-paperback-edition


"I consider painting my most intimate dominion where pursuing the evocation of what I like to define “mysterium interruptum”, “a suspended mystery”, that is something very similar to the experience of the “presque vu”, “almost seen”, when we feel that we’re about to recall a name or a word without being able to tell it. In fact like the more sensual “coitus interruptus”, the pleasure of this impression relies on the anguished awareness of the unspeakable that only the crystallization of momentum rendered by a painting can deliver to the watcher". 

More than a decade of meditative studies around the mysteries of Being projected on canvases, papers and videos, constantly fluctuating between stylistic reminiscences of Flemish masters, symbolism, surrealism and glimpses of neo-realist dimensions tied to waking dream intuitions and self-induced hallucinations; more than 450 artworks generated by an aesthetic Stakhanovism nurtured since the first childhood experiments in comics and anime; more than a simple artist obsessed by his own self-centered realm or the latest artistic trend, Alessandro Fantini has always conceived his creative activity as a privileged “detector” of all the unspeakable and enigmatic realities hidden behind the material as well as spiritual sphere. The paintings collected in this "Atlas of Untold" are the best proofs that the roads of the mystery leads nowhere but to the silent and swarming cities of Unknown. Indeed, everything you cannot tell by using words that you have "on the tip of your tongue" is what makes art worth of being admired.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Chants of Valkoi

AFAN Alessandro Fantini, The Chants of Valkoi, oil on canvas mounted on cardboard, 50x40 cm. (2017)

A painting based upon a sequence described in my last novel "Nurse Blizzard".