Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lin and Lam blog (Roch Lozano's part)

-Roch L.

Video filmmakers, Lin and Lam, are an artist team that explores diverse issues, such as immigration, and transcends different venues, states and countries. Lin and Lam conducted a post discussion to their film “Departure” and gave the audience insight on how they shot their film, what angles they approached and how they were inspired to create such a film. The film was shot in three cities, Taipei, (train) Shanghai and Hanoi. “Departure” conveyed colonialism and a transportation aspect that acted as a metaphor. It was interesting to find out how they filmed in these different parts of Asia and how they maneuvered through traffic and the hustle and bustle of every day life with the importance of not getting in the way of daily activity. “Space is premium,” was said according to Lin and Lam. The bridge that they filmed on was described to be narrow, and Lin and Lam were actually approached by officers on why and what they were filming. Lin and Lam loved the diversity and urban landscape of the places they chose. Movement and time were two important themes addressed in their film, in which movement was redundant and it had no direction. This also tied in with the fact that Asia is very mobile and modern through urbanization and movement for change. Asia is continuing to be developed and has a notion of progress. The colonial progress implies a metaphor for movement of continual progress in which you may not know where you are going. The filmmakers also mention in conjunction to that theory that through movement, you don’t know what it may bring and what it will leave behind. When shots in the film are frozen, and even in life, progress has stopped.
When audience members had the opportunity to ask questions, one question posed was about the chosen title of the film and how it came about. Lin and Lam said that they got the title of their movie through the process of their research, filming and editing. Amazingly, “Departure” was their main title that came to an easy consensus.
Another audience member brought up the point that there could be a feminist aspect to the film, as it was pointed out that a female voice was used to narrate the film instead of a man’s voice.
It was evident that a lot of work and filming was put into this movie, as Lin and Lam shot 30-40 hours of footage in Asia, mostly set in Taiwan. Choosing their project and process was mainly through the inspiration of colonial architecture and impact, and they initially started off with Taiwan. Transportation and progress were definite key themes in their process and Taiwan boasted its people’s love for the train that was built by the Chinese and Japanese. Lin and Lam said that most of the research done was an organic research process. They wanted to explore the new city and also explored the process of ethnography, which according to, is a branch of anthropology dealing with the scientific description of individual cultures. Shanghai, on the other hand, had a different occupational power, but was still consistent in the state of development through transportation and time, just like the other countries discussed. This implies that in Asia, there is “always” something unfinished, especially around construction/rebuilding. Finally, the installation of their film contributed to a social and critical interaction with space.

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