Lucid Dreaming

sub-heading:
Conversations with 29 Filmmakers
$26.00

Adding to cart… The item has been added
  • 320 pages
  • Paperback ISBN 9781682192320
  • E-book ISBN 9781682192351

about the book

Lucid Dreaming is an unprecedented global collection of discussions with documentary and experimental filmmakers, giving film and video its rightful place alongside the written word as an essential medium for conveying the most urgent concerns in contemporary arts and politics.

In these long-form conversations, film curator and arts journalist Cohn draws out the thinking of some of the most intriguing creators behind the rapidly developing movement of moving-image nonfiction. The collection features individuals from a variety of backgrounds who encounter the world, as Cohn says, "through a creative lens based in documentary practice". Their inspirations encompass queer politics, racism, identity politics, and activism.

The featured artists come from a multiplicity of countries and cultures including the U.S., Finland, Serbia, Syria, Kosovo, China, Iran, and Australia. Among those Cohn profiles and converses with are Karim Aïnouz, Khalik Allah, Maja Borg, Ramona Diaz, Samira Elagoz, Sara Fattahi, Dónal Foreman, Ja'Tovia Gary, Ognjen Glavonic, Barbara Hammer, Sky Hopinka, Gürcan Keltek, Adam and Zack Khalil, Khavn, Kaltrina Krasniqi, Roberto Minervini, Terence Nance, Orwa Nyrabia, Chico Pereira, Michael Robinson, J. P. Sniadecki, Brett Story, Deborah Stratman, Maryam Tafakory, Mila Turajlic, Lynette Wallworth, Travis Wilkerson, and Shengze Zhu.

Can nonfiction film be defined? How close to reality can or should documentary storytelling be, and is film and video in its less restrictive iterations "truer" than traditional narratives? How can a story be effectively conveyed? As they consider these and many other questions, these passionate, highly articulate filmmakers will inspire not only cinema enthusiasts, but activists and artists of all stripes.

"In these engaging, challenging and beguiling dialogues, Pamela Cohn expertly draws from her subjects, personal biography and conceptual intent, process and nearly subconscious motivation, personal revelation and political mission. The result is a work that not only provides a road map to the furthest regions of cinematic possibility in the early 21st century but one whose spirited back-and-forth inspires the reader to think anew about artistic possibility". - Scott Macaulay, editor-in-chief of Filmmaker Magazine

"Pamela Cohn has curated and conducted a series of interviews that simultaneously invite you to turn the page, and pause for a moment of reverie. Her interviews furrow the grounds where sensibilities become cinema, and attitudes become forms". - Luke Moody

About The Author / Editor

Author photo by Darren Irwin space after caption Pamela Cohn is a maker, producer, educator, arts journalist, curator and festival programmer based in Berlin. Among recent and ongoing projects she's played a pivotal role at DokuFest: International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Prizren, Kosovo; Sebastopol Center for the Arts in California; Scottish Documentary Institute, Edinburgh; her own screening series in Berlin, Kino Satellite; True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Missouri; and the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam. She has been a regular contributor for Filmmaker and BOMB Magazine, among other publications.

Read An Excerpt

from LUCID DREAMING

A CONVERSATION WITH JA'TOVIA GARY

In 2016, Ja'Tovia Gary attended the Terra Summer Residency program in Giverny, France. While there, she made a short film called Giverny I (Negresse Imperiale) in which she situates herself right inside Claude Monet's glorious gardens. In some scenes Ja'Tovia wears a brightly colored dress, blending into the electric and flamboyant colors of the surrounding flowers and trees. In some instances, her face is completely obscured by a brown box she drew and animated over the video. In an effect similar to the moth wings in Stan Brakhage's Mothlight (1963), the boxes are made of petals and leaves from the garden that Ja’Tovia then affixed to celluloid. In the short film, the materials are abstracted into patterns and colors when light passes through. In other scenes she is naked, a reclining nude in repose, distinctly not blending in, an image to be consumed by the spectator – out of place, out of time. Juxtaposed against the filmmaker's presence in the bucolic setting of the gardens are selections from video phone footage recorded by Diamond Reynolds in July 2016 in Minnesota - posted as a live feed on Facebook - as Reynold's boyfriend Philando Castile lay bleeding out in the front seat of his car. Castile had been shot at point-blank range seven times by a police officer after being stopped for a random check.

Ja'Tovia works with a purposive oppositional gaze, a bid to re-frame and re-tell modern historical incidents from a Black perspective. When I spoke to her in February 2019, she had just returned home to Brooklyn from Paris after launching her first solo exhibition, Tactile Cosmologies, at galerie frank elbaz. In this discussion, Ja'Tovia talks at length about this idea, explaining that it's always at the forefront of her consciousness when making work.

In early 2019, Ja'Tovia was a featured artist in critic and writer Hilton Als's latest show at David Zwirner Gallery in New York, a wide-ranging and hugely imaginative exhibit taking on the myth of American writer and intellectual James Baldwin. Ja'Tovia's film An Ecstatic Experience (2015) was part of the section of the show that Als called a "universe of pure metaphor". Made with archival footage, An Ecstatic Experience is Ja'Tovia's first experimental work, and the foundation for the style and substance she'll use, in part, for her début feature film, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, currently in production, its title echoing Baldwin’s 1985 nonfiction book about the Wayne Williams Atlanta child murders that took place in the late '70s and early '80s. The evidence of things not seen also references the definition of faith from the New Testament's Epistle to the Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". Conceived as documentary memoir about her kin in Dallas, Texas – those still alive and those that have passed on – Ja'Tovia's creative mission is to explore the resonances and vibrations of the interior and exterior ancestral legacies that have been passed on to her and her generation.

in the media

Lucid Dreaming

sub-heading:
Conversations with 29 Filmmakers
$26.00

Add to Cart

Adding to cart… The item has been added

about the book

Lucid Dreaming is an unprecedented global collection of discussions with documentary and experimental filmmakers, giving film and video its rightful place alongside the written word as an essential medium for conveying the most urgent concerns in contemporary arts and politics.

In these long-form conversations, film curator and arts journalist Cohn draws out the thinking of some of the most intriguing creators behind the rapidly developing movement of moving-image nonfiction. The collection features individuals from a variety of backgrounds who encounter the world, as Cohn says, "through a creative lens based in documentary practice". Their inspirations encompass queer politics, racism, identity politics, and activism.

The featured artists come from a multiplicity of countries and cultures including the U.S., Finland, Serbia, Syria, Kosovo, China, Iran, and Australia. Among those Cohn profiles and converses with are Karim Aïnouz, Khalik Allah, Maja Borg, Ramona Diaz, Samira Elagoz, Sara Fattahi, Dónal Foreman, Ja'Tovia Gary, Ognjen Glavonic, Barbara Hammer, Sky Hopinka, Gürcan Keltek, Adam and Zack Khalil, Khavn, Kaltrina Krasniqi, Roberto Minervini, Terence Nance, Orwa Nyrabia, Chico Pereira, Michael Robinson, J. P. Sniadecki, Brett Story, Deborah Stratman, Maryam Tafakory, Mila Turajlic, Lynette Wallworth, Travis Wilkerson, and Shengze Zhu.

Can nonfiction film be defined? How close to reality can or should documentary storytelling be, and is film and video in its less restrictive iterations "truer" than traditional narratives? How can a story be effectively conveyed? As they consider these and many other questions, these passionate, highly articulate filmmakers will inspire not only cinema enthusiasts, but activists and artists of all stripes.

"In these engaging, challenging and beguiling dialogues, Pamela Cohn expertly draws from her subjects, personal biography and conceptual intent, process and nearly subconscious motivation, personal revelation and political mission. The result is a work that not only provides a road map to the furthest regions of cinematic possibility in the early 21st century but one whose spirited back-and-forth inspires the reader to think anew about artistic possibility". - Scott Macaulay, editor-in-chief of Filmmaker Magazine

"Pamela Cohn has curated and conducted a series of interviews that simultaneously invite you to turn the page, and pause for a moment of reverie. Her interviews furrow the grounds where sensibilities become cinema, and attitudes become forms". - Luke Moody

About The Author / Editor

Author photo by Darren Irwin space after caption Pamela Cohn is a maker, producer, educator, arts journalist, curator and festival programmer based in Berlin. Among recent and ongoing projects she's played a pivotal role at DokuFest: International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Prizren, Kosovo; Sebastopol Center for the Arts in California; Scottish Documentary Institute, Edinburgh; her own screening series in Berlin, Kino Satellite; True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Missouri; and the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam. She has been a regular contributor for Filmmaker and BOMB Magazine, among other publications.

Read An Excerpt

from LUCID DREAMING

A CONVERSATION WITH JA'TOVIA GARY

In 2016, Ja'Tovia Gary attended the Terra Summer Residency program in Giverny, France. While there, she made a short film called Giverny I (Negresse Imperiale) in which she situates herself right inside Claude Monet's glorious gardens. In some scenes Ja'Tovia wears a brightly colored dress, blending into the electric and flamboyant colors of the surrounding flowers and trees. In some instances, her face is completely obscured by a brown box she drew and animated over the video. In an effect similar to the moth wings in Stan Brakhage's Mothlight (1963), the boxes are made of petals and leaves from the garden that Ja’Tovia then affixed to celluloid. In the short film, the materials are abstracted into patterns and colors when light passes through. In other scenes she is naked, a reclining nude in repose, distinctly not blending in, an image to be consumed by the spectator – out of place, out of time. Juxtaposed against the filmmaker's presence in the bucolic setting of the gardens are selections from video phone footage recorded by Diamond Reynolds in July 2016 in Minnesota - posted as a live feed on Facebook - as Reynold's boyfriend Philando Castile lay bleeding out in the front seat of his car. Castile had been shot at point-blank range seven times by a police officer after being stopped for a random check.

Ja'Tovia works with a purposive oppositional gaze, a bid to re-frame and re-tell modern historical incidents from a Black perspective. When I spoke to her in February 2019, she had just returned home to Brooklyn from Paris after launching her first solo exhibition, Tactile Cosmologies, at galerie frank elbaz. In this discussion, Ja'Tovia talks at length about this idea, explaining that it's always at the forefront of her consciousness when making work.

In early 2019, Ja'Tovia was a featured artist in critic and writer Hilton Als's latest show at David Zwirner Gallery in New York, a wide-ranging and hugely imaginative exhibit taking on the myth of American writer and intellectual James Baldwin. Ja'Tovia's film An Ecstatic Experience (2015) was part of the section of the show that Als called a "universe of pure metaphor". Made with archival footage, An Ecstatic Experience is Ja'Tovia's first experimental work, and the foundation for the style and substance she'll use, in part, for her début feature film, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, currently in production, its title echoing Baldwin’s 1985 nonfiction book about the Wayne Williams Atlanta child murders that took place in the late '70s and early '80s. The evidence of things not seen also references the definition of faith from the New Testament's Epistle to the Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". Conceived as documentary memoir about her kin in Dallas, Texas – those still alive and those that have passed on – Ja'Tovia's creative mission is to explore the resonances and vibrations of the interior and exterior ancestral legacies that have been passed on to her and her generation.

in the media