Some Notes on Stranger Than Paradise (by Jim Jarmusch, March 1984)

"While shooting the film someone outside the production asked me what kind of film we were making. I wanted to tell them that it was a ”semi-neorealist black-comedy in the style of an imaginary Eastern-European film director obsessed with Ozu and familiar with the 1950’s American television show ‘The Honeymooners’”. Instead I mumbled something about it being a minimal story about Hungarian immigrants and their view of America. Neither answer is right, but the question made me aware that its easier to talk about the style of the film than ‘what its about’, or what happens in the story.

I wanted the film to be very realistic in its style of acting and the details of its locations, without drawing much attention to the fact that the story takes place in the present. The form is very simple : a story told in fragments, with each scene contained within a single shot, and each separated by a short period of black screen. (This form was originally ‘inspired’ by financial limitations, and limitations in our shooting schedule—but these were known before the script was written, and we wanted to turn these limitations into strengths.) Carl Dreyer, in one of his essays, wrote about the effect of simplification, saying that if you remove all superfluous objects from a room, the few remaining objects can somehow become ”psychological evidence of the occupant’s personality”. Instead of applying this idea just to physical objects in STRANGER THAN PARADISE, it is applied to the formal way the story is told. Simple scenes are presented, in chronological order, but often independent from one another. Only selected moments are presented, eliminating, for the most part, points of ‘dramatic action’. Films must find new ways of describing real emotions and real lives without manipulating the audience in the familiar, maudlin ways, and without the recently fashionable elimination of all emotion.”



MONOLITT  by  Syver Lauritzsen

MONOLITT is an interactive installation that quite literally paints the mood of the city, using social media feeds as an input. The installation takes electronic signals and lets them manifest themselves in the physical world. Using sentiment analytics, the installation links tweets to corresponding colored paints in realtime, feeding them out through the top of the sculpture, letting them flow into a procedurally generated three-dimensional painting.

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