Spotlight: The Month in Motion - July Highlights

By David Schonauer   Wednesday August 9, 2017

A plate of mole sauce.

A heap of scrap metal.

A melting Rubik’s Cube.

And plenty of seriously severe weather. These are some of the things featured in motion pieces that we spotlighted at MAP in July. Today we look back a highlights from the month, including MAP reader (and International Motion Art Awards winner) Eren Gulfidan’s spec ad for Skittles, which featured the aforementioned Rubik’s Cube battle; the ad, which channels the surrealism of the Skittles ad campaign, features a funny man in a big bow tie trying to manipulate a candy-colored cube that melts in his hands, not in his mouth. The scrap metal is featured in a short documentary about the vanishing auto-body shops and junkyards in the shadow of Citi Field in Willets Point in Queens, New York The mouth-watering mole is the centerpiece of a tribute to Mexican cuisine.

We also featured photographer Petra Collins’s stripped-down music video for Selena Gomez, a documentary about a Vice Media cinematographer, and an appreciation of filmmaker and photographer Sebastien Zanella’s exquisite sense of melancholy. What unites all these films? They all push creative boundaries in one way and another.

1. The Time Lapse Comes of Age - A Roundup

Time lapse has been around for a long time. But, we noted, never has this type of motion art been more popular or so creatively used to explore geography and nature and, of course, the infinitely intriguing concept of time passage. We rounded up  a number of time-lapse projects that have rocked the internet in recent days - from an infrared tour of Salzburg, Austria, to a celebration of Japanese cherry blossoms and everyday objects you can find around your own home.

2.  See Time Lapse Taken to a New Level

Going further with that idea, we spotlighted photographer Tom Lowe’s Awaken, which takes time lapse to a new level. The film is a documentary about man’s relationship with nature and technology. Lowe shot the photos and footage for the piece over five years across 30 different countries, pioneering “new time-lapse, time-dilation, underwater, and aerial cinematography techniques,” noted PetaPixel.

3. A Romp Inside The Puzzling World of Skittles

Before you can taste the rainbow, you have to solve the rainbow: That, we noted, is the premise behind a spec commercial for Skittles created by Brooklyn-based director, editor, and special-effects artist Eren Gulfidan. The ad, which features Lloyd Kaufman — founder of Troma, the independent film production company responsible for cult-favorite horror films including "The Toxic Avenger" and "Class of Nuke 'Em High" — turns a Rubik's Cube competition into surreal candy encounter.

4. Petra Collins Shoots Selena Gomez "Fetish"

Photographer Petra Collins pares composition down to a soft-focus essence with Fetish, the latest video from Selena Gomez: The video features only the singer’s mouth. “Relying purely on a single shot, the video’s dreamy allure comes from its details: the twinkle of her earring, the sheen of her lip gloss, the movement of her lips,” noted It’s Nice That.

5. Sebastien Zanella's Melancholy Beauty

Director, documentary filmmaker and photographer Sebastien Zanella can’t see beauty without feeling an exquisite melancholy. Zanella, who is also the founder of Desillusion Magazine —  an online and print publication dedicated to a youth who grew up on a skateboards and surfboards — is now himself the subject of a moody short from filmmaker and photographer Gabriel Novis. Zanella explains his use of natural ambient to explore artistic expression.

6. On Location With Jake Burghart, Vice DOP

What is life like when you’re a cinematographer working for Vice Media? Jake Burghart knows: He started with Vice 13 years ago, when he was 23, and has since traveled to 69 countries on assignments. “When I first started I was like, yeah these guys are cool. I didn’t have a job and was just happy to have one. Since then, it's all been one big wild ride,” he says in a short documentary from Stab magazine, directed by Sam McIntosh and photographed by Mike Pagan.

7. The Art of Mole Is the Art of Mexico

Films about food can take many forms, from documentary discussions of history and culture to sensual celebrations of taste. Director Barbara Anastacio’s short Mole Is Mexico combines both those approaches while also updating the traditional step-by-step guide to cooking, notes Nowness, which featured the short. Inspired by the work of Spanish filmmaker and Mexico City habitué Luis Buñuel, Anastacio creates a dreamscape that captures Mexican chef Enrique Olvera’s passion for mole.

8. Soul of a Scrapyard

Across the street from Citi Field in Queens, New York, is the Iron Triangle — a shantytown of scrap yards and auto body shops. The owners of the shops are mostly Latino immigrants; when Andrew David Watson began filming his short documentary Soul of a Scrapyard  there, the area boasted some 225 businesses employing 1,700. Now, notes Watson, the shops are being razed to make room for apartments, office space, and a convention center.

9. America, by a Grandfather and Grandson

“My great aunties and uncles immigrated to the USA on boats from post-war Europe," says filmmaker Billy Boyd Cape. "They went to find the American dream.” In a short video called We Visit Often, on view at Nowness, Cape takes viewers on a contemplative tour of America by mashing up his own contemporary footage with vintage Super 8 home movies shot by his grandfather. The result is an emotional experience uniting past and present.

10. A Stop-Action Short Made with Real People

The dance video Golden Oldies, from animation studio Frame Order, is a brilliant example of pixilation — stop-motion created using real people. So said PetaPixel, which recently featured the short, along with a BTS “making-of” video  showing how green screens, a mannequin, fake limbs, and clever editing were used to create the final product. The film was originally screened in a Dutch cinema last year as a support film for the feature Doctor Strange.


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