The latest trend in online cinema has been what’s being referred to as “Social Cinema”. It refers to Instagram’s video uploads which are limited to 15 seconds. The most popular being a high budget TV-like series called “SHIELD 5” which involve episodes which are all 15 seconds long.
(Update – Instagram just announced they are increasing video length to 60 seconds within the next few months.)
Rather than complain about the new state of online cinema, a few have decided to dive in and subvert the trend.
Eli Elliott has been taking much of his previous work and giving it brand new life through 15 second Social Cinema films. He also has been creating new works under the tight structure that the time limit requires. The results are a flurry of new viewership and a recycling of older works no longer sustainable in the dying festival circuit, and viewed much less nowadays in the landfill which YouTube has become.
Ferguson Ulrich: Does Social Cinema make sense for an alternative film/video maker to partake in?
Eli Elliott: Yeah. You can complain about it and take the hoity-toity attitude just like everyone did when YouTube first came out. No one wanted to put their experimental films on YouTube because they thought they were “above it all.” Of course these same people now all have YouTube channels! It’s like where the fuck were all of you 10 years ago when the window was wide open to subvert this online platform with experimental/underground works? Their avant garde attitude wasn’t experimental film forward thinking at all as they didn’t understand the digital environment and how to swim within it to maintain vibrancy in alternative cinema/film/videomaking.
FU: Are there many Social Cinema experimental works on Instagram currently?
EE: Collapse Productions have also been uploading their previous works, along with creating new social cinema films and they are all killer. Some others here and there, but surprisingly very few are subverting it. But as like before, a windows opened and not many are paying attention to it let alone climbing through it. I make it a point to upload one freshly and usually carefully edited piece a day and Collapse has been doing the same.
FU: What’s it say that we are at a point where “Social Cinema” is actually a thing and that 15 second films are being created?
EE: Yeah it’s the digital environment and the massively sped up situation we exist in. Remember it was only 10 years ago when YouTube set their video upload limit at ten minutes. Part of their reasoning was that the attention span of the viewer was thought to be tapped out at the 10 minute mark. So now we have gone from a 10 minute attention span tap-out, to a 15-60 second attention span limit!!!
FU: So now the latest is that Instagram is pushing the limit to a whopping 60 seconds!
EE: Yeah just when I was getting better at forming 15 second films they’re jacking it up to 60 seconds! But the 15 seconds actually made sense as far as viewership went. They get viewed easily, everyone has 15 seconds. But 60 second films will inevitably be viewed much less, as now even that seems a struggle for many in this day and age of Social Media aka “Social MindNumbia”.
FU: What’s your Instagram handle and how do people find your pieces and Collapse’s works on Instagram.
EE: It’s elliott_eli and Collapse is collapse_productions. I also created the hashtag #SocialCinemaBrut to separate the typical Social Cinema stuff and establish a sort of outsider Art Brut section for the experimental video works, the weirder things, and alt pieces, etc.
Here’s some SocialCinemaBrut works from Elliott:
MUSH (2016, Kelly Broich with Eli Elliott. Photographed and Post by Brad Kaup. 22min.)
Invoking a combination of the pretentious foodie culture with the cheap food reality that many Americans rely on, Kelly Broich’s latest piece takes the form of a cooking show where calories are simply separated between “solids” and “liquids”. This is apropos to the state of quick food culture where cheap pre-packaged meals from the dollar store hardly resemble real food, but rather are simply solid forms glued together with fillers and gums, marketed as “meals” be it a waffle and sausage breakfast or a turkey and tater tot dinner. It all goes down the same chute so why not just combine it all together and treat your taste buds to everything that the visually enticing box covers promise?
It happens to be a coincidence that the latest documentary buzz is the recently released film “City of Gold” where Los Angeles food writer Jonathon Gold goes around L.A. in search of “the next great, cheap, aromatic meal.” The Chicago Tribune writes: “The selling points here, as with any food documentaries, are the many close-ups of glorious-looking food bubbling on a stove.”
With MUSH we get the real deal of cheap food, which is “bubbling” in the bowls as Chef Pink Face (Broich) and his assistant Roy (Eli Elliott) mash the solids together with large bricks they find on the ground in the dilapidated shed where the performance takes place.
The dish is equally “aromatic” as the viewer visualizes the stench created as Roy slurps up samples from the resulted meal which is a combination of frozen pizza, waffles, Gatorade, clam chowder, chocolate milk, pork beans, whip cream, among other things.
For art gallery inquiries contact AVA’s facebook page.
Collapse Productions have uploaded many of their short films on VIMEO, including BLOODY BOXES, SQUIRREL MOMMY, MENSTRUAL, DOLL ABUSE and many others. Follow their channel as many more will be uploaded this month.
Many of these films have finished up screening on the underground film festival circuit and are now available for viewing online.
Visit their VIMEO page and please SHARE these films on FACEBOOK and other outlets so they can get the wider viewing they deserve!
Oakland, CALIFORNIA –
Tourettes Without Regrets is an underground performance art show in Oakland, Ca. hosted by Jamie DeWolf. Every first Thursday they showcase experimental/subversive arts, and on May 7th DeWolf will show Kelly Broich’s film DOLL ABUSE, which screened a few weeks back at the San Francisco Underground Short Film Fest.
Here’s the FaceBook page for the program (D.A. was a late add and doesn’t appear to be listed as of yet).
Hopefully other Absurdist works will be featured in future T.W.R. events.
The Seattle TRANSMEDIA and Independent Film Fest takes place May 1-9 and will feature two films from AVA’s Collapse productions : BLOODY BOXES and GIRL PARTS.
Here’s the full schedule. Check it out if you are in the area and give us your thoughts on the festival and the films presented.
The San Francisco Underground Short Film Festival will be screening two short films from Collapse’s Kelly Broich. In the first program Broich’s recent short DOLL ABUSE will screen, and in program 2, BLOODY BOXES from Collapse Productions will make it’s San Francisco debut.
“SFUSFF celebrates the underground, overlooked, avant-garde, and ultra outrageous films of the Bay Area. SFUSFF has run since 2003 as the concluding event of the Midnight Mass screening series, which began in 1998.
The 2015 San Francisco Underground Short Film Festival
With your hosts Peaches Christ & Sam Sharkey
Special Guest Appearance by CARLETTA SUE KAY (Program 2)
Friday, April 17th at The Victoria Theatre
2961 16th Street, San Francisco CA 94103
TICKETS ON SALE:
FILMS START AT 6PM
(live music before)
As more requests for screenings roll in, Toronto will be the next to put on a show representing the latest in underground/experimental/subversive and Absurdist filmmaking.
Big thanks to Scott K for all the work in getting this show rolling so quickly.
SMILING BUDDHA in Toronto will be screening The Absurdist Film Festival on March 29th, Sunday 3pm – 7:30pm.
For venues or art galleries seeking to screen Absurdist films, see this post.