December 5, 2002

RES REPORTS: RESFEST Wrap Up, The Truth About Tulia, and more
RES REVIEWS: Hilja Keading's Both Sides Now
4U2C: Sandy Hunter's Reel Deal
UPCOMING EVENTS: Win a Subscription to Monday Nights with Oscar, and more
DEADLINES: Creative Review's New Annual
RESFEST: 2002 Tour Schedule
RES MAGAZINE: Spike Jonze. New Magazine Rates in 2003

Res Reports


Wrapping up the Southeast Asian tour, RESFEST Korea kicked off their seven-day event (that's a RESFEST record) at Yonsei University's Centennial Hall in Seoul. The fest opened on November 29 to a packed house (nearly 800 people) for the Chris Cunningham Retrospective! The after party included Bacardi Breezers and Korean rice cakes for all.

Our final RESFEST event of the year takes us Down Under for the first time and by popular demand. As part of the brand new Australian Centre for the Moving Image's Digital Cinema Season in Melbourne, from December 12-15, RESFEST will screen True Stories, By Design and Cinema Electronica. The program also includes an appearance by Gary Winick and a screening of a full slate of InDigEnt films. ACMI is a new exhibition and state-of- the-art cinema venue that is part of the new Federation Square arts and retail complex which features stunning architecture that takes up an entire city block (word is that Tomato designed all the signage in the complex). For tickets and information, phone 03-8663-2200 or e-mail:


Tulia, Texas
"Tulia, Texas"

"Tulia, Texas: Scenes From the Drug War" depicts a shocking skirmish in the ongoing War on Drugs in which the battle lines were clearly and racially delineated. A 26-minute long documentary by sisters Sarah and Emily Kunstler, "Tulia, Texas" is a project of New York's William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice, founded in memory of the filmmakers' father, William Moses Kunstler, a civil rights/ criminal justice attorney. The miniDV doc tells the story of how the word of one white undercover officer with questionable credentials resulted in the imprisonment of over 10 percent of Tulia's minority black population. Interviews with locals - black and white - and research into the undercover agent's history show how the drug-related charges were racially rather than criminally motivated.

"We went to Tulia, Texas and were so shocked by the racism and injustice of the situation there," says Sarah Kunstler. "It was like time warping to America before the civil rights movement. The stories were so powerful and the families affected by the bust were so moving that we realized that the best way to communicate what happened there was to let the black people of Tulia speak for themselves." See the film at the New York Film and Video Expo on Sunday, December 8, 2:00PM or Wed., December 11 at 1:45PM at Cinema Village Theater ( You can also see it online at


The Religetables
"The Religetables"

Along with expanding its broadcast design division, commercial film and design company Hornet Inc. has recently completed "The Religetables," a CG animated segment parody that recently appeared on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Hornet, which has studios in New York and Los Angeles, has been busily turning out promos and show packaging for Nickelodeon, Fox and HBO, TV spots for Mattel, Wilson, Anchor Dairy and the Indianapolis Star and graphics packages for New York sporting franchises the Jets and the Rangers. Additionally Hornet is collaborating with Rockstar Games on the visual design of "Midnight Club 2," a PS2 game console title set to release in January 2003. Hornet's projects are created using a variety of techniques spanning computer animation, visual effects, motion graphics and live-action film.

"The Religetables" is a parody of the popular animated series "Veggie Tales," created by comedian Robert Smigel, known for late night comedy hits The Ambiguously Gay Duo on "SNL" and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, a "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" staple. Smigel worked with Hornet's Brent Chambers to create the short, which was the first fully computer- animated segment on "SNL." Animation company Wachtenheim/Marianetti handled 2-D for the project, while Hornet's affiliate, Flux Animation of Auckland, New Zealand, helped turn the project around on a short, two-week schedule.

The short shows "foods of faith" in various historical settings. One scene has Christian crusaders singing, "This war is holy so we'll turn non-believers into guacamole," while another depicts a "pickle priest" accused of molesting six gherkins. The final scene depicts the Religetables in hell, where they are Cuisinart-ed, bathed in a pool of boiling V8 juice and roasted on a spit.

Res Reviews


Los Angeles-based video artist Hilja Keading's latest work is Both Sides Now, made up of two separate video projections located in a small room at Lemon Sky Projects, an LA gallery. The first projection meets the viewer's gaze as soon as he/she passes through the doorway. A small girl in a medium shot smiles gap-toothed into the camera. Cut from found film footage, then projected and reshot in DV, the piece at first glance seems innocuous. As it progresses, subtle jump cuts and shifts in color make the repeated shot begin to look degraded. Over and over the girl smiles broadly until the viewer is certain she doesn't smile of her own accord. The result is a gorgeous, moving portrait rendered by the copy of a copy, making the projection seem tangible, like it would be rough to the touch. Projected the size of an average television screen in the intimate exhibition space, the piece creates a powerful hold on the viewer, alternating between authenticity and performance as the progression of images begin to make the girl seem like a trained seal.

A second piece, projected slightly smaller, is at the viewer's feet on an adjacent wall. Once again the space serves the piece well. With the viewer standing over it, he/she becomes complicit in the video's power relationships. Using a similar aesthetic of film transferred to video, projected and recaptured on DV, the images show a very young boy, his arm in a sling, waving. But he is half hidden, occasionally enveloped by a shadow; the image quality is such that the boy's eyes are just black holes. Interspersed are quick frames of adults acting just as people should in front of the home movie camera. The piece makes palpable the tension of performance -- the child learning by menace the proper way to be documented. Keading says that these pieces, like much of her work, try to explore how adults hold children responsible for adult fantasies. "This work is inspired by my own life," she says. It was also inspired by Keading's participation in an artist-in-residence program at a children's hospital. Together, the looped video projections showcase a subtlety and anger, as well as a potent condemnation of the suburban family. Lemon Sky Projects, 5367 Wilshire Blvd., LA. Info: 323-931-6664; Through December 21.
(Matthew Giedlinski)




Director Diane Martel turned out three dramatically different hip-hop videos this autumn: melodrama for N.E.R.D., "Soul Train" retro visuals for LaToiya and voodoo doll comedy for Snoop.


N.E.R.D.'s "Provider" features the ever-prolific Neptune's Pharrell Williams who, with his partner Chad Hugo, has produced many of the pop and hip-hop hits of 2002; Williams has also, one way or another, appeared in as many of the accompanying videos as possible. In their own video, he leads a gang of shirtless BMX toughs on a tour through a suburban neighborhood while delivering the lyrics of the track. These visuals are intercut with the tale of a young player forced to sell drugs, and eventually join the army to become the titular "provider" for his pregnant girlfriend. This is a far less risqu�, MTV-friendly approach than the porn-star driven clip Martel directed for N.E.R.D.'s "Lapdance."


Using vintage film stock, costumes and references from mid-70s rhythm-and-blues television, LaToiya's "Fallen Star" expertly warps the buxom Dogg Pound chanteuse to that time frame. Martel managed to capture the feel of the era and link it with an outer-space vibe appropriate to the title and lyrics of LaToiya's jam. Purposefully old-school composites, period-perfect makeup and costumes and references to programs like "Soul Train" complete the video's retro feel. LaToiya's benefactor and producer, Snoop Dogg, also cameos in the video, multiplied using period effects and strutting to the beat in serious costume. Incidentally, Snoop "Scorsese" got co-director credits on the clip; the rapper has been quoted saying: "I wanted to bring some old-school flavor to the video because when I hear [LaToiya's] voice, she reminds me of Aretha Franklin and artists of the past. I didn't want to come with no 2002-looking video; I wanted to come with a video that looks like it's straight out the '70s." Visit sputnik7 to see the LaToiya video.


Snoop's own video, "From Tha Chuuuch To Da Palace," is as much an advertisement for his new action figures as it is for his music, but Martel manages to make the narrative humorous enough to avoid getting bogged down by the clip's commercial message. The video begins with Snoop's prot�g�, L'il Bow Wow acquiring and beginning to play with the Snoop figure. We soon see that the doll's actions have voodoo properties, forcing the rapper's limbs and movements in general to flail out of control (similar in appearance to the flailing moves created by Traktor in their Fatboy Slim "Ya Mama" video). Of course, Snoop's flailing arms and legs land him in trouble with a group of sexy ladies, in a barbershop, with the cops (one of whom is a midget for some reason) and at a barbecue, before Snoop claims the unholy action figure from his nephew.



"PDA," the video for the most uplifting track from Interpol's "Turn on the Bright Lights" was directed by Christopher Mills, who used layered stop-motion animation to take the nattily attired foursome on a voyage through an unidentified urban reality. Shot on location in Toronto and Philadelphia, the only performance footage included is made up of static- laden shots displayed on screens worked into several of the stop motion shots. Largely non-narrative, "PDA" achieves good visual flow, with camera pans and follows leading the viewer through various animated environments, some occupied by Interpol members, others by an unidentified (but similarly well-dressed) woman and on into far more abstract environments. Mills worked with animator Christian Moreton to complete the video, which was commissioned by Nils Bernstein of Matador Records.


In an interesting crossover between gaming and film, game designer American McGee has directed his first music video, a stop motion/animation clip for Dredg's "Same Ol Road." The clip has a stop motion salary man character traversing a bleak forested road, along the way shedding his outer layers until his head rests atop a robot like armature/skeleton. As the gloomy rock dirge plays, he opts against following his brethren in favor of heading to an equally gloomy cityscape where he becomes lost between hulking gray buildings and office towers. It is the first music video directed by McGee, who directs through Los Angeles' Squeak Pictures. McGee is known in the video game world for his work with id Software on the "Doom" and "Quake" titles, as well as at Maxis, where he developed the creepy take on Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," "Alice." McGee last year signed a four- movie deal with Dimension Films and is reportedly collaborating with Trent Reznor on a new game called "Pop Scars."

To have your music video reviewed, please contact

Upcoming Events


Select Mondays through June 2003
Programs begin at 7:30PM; Doors at 7:00PM
Ames Auditorium, Lighthouse International,
111 East 59th Street (bet. Park and Lexington Aves), NYC
The first two (2) RES ALERT subscribers to call 1-888-778-7575 and mention this promotion will each receive one (1) free subscription to Monday Nights with Oscar - a special series of eight Best Picture winners, each representing a 10-year milestone in the history of the Academy Awards. This series is the first Academy event in more than a decade to be open to the general public.

Remaining Films in the series include:
Monday, Dec. 9: HAMLET (1948)
Monday, Jan. 13: GIGI (1958)
Monday, Feb. 10: OLIVER (1968)
Monday, March 10: THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
Monday, April 14: RAIN MAN (1988)
Monday, April 28: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1998)
Monday, June 2: WINGS (1928)

A subscription to the film series is now available for $45 to the general public and $20 for students with a photocopy of official student ID. To download a subscription form, go to the Web site and click on Monday Nights with Oscar: A Special New York Screening Series or call 888-778-7575 for more information.


Thursday, December 5, 7:30PM
San Francisco Cinematheque at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street (at Third), San Francisco
New Sounds/New Spaces: Digital Work by Robert Fox and Nisi Jacobs will showcase the DV work of New York-based video artist Nisi Jacobs, who uses "DV's capacity for fleeting image capture with its incredible capacity for elaborate sound work." The artist will show three pieces, and be joined by San Francisco filmmaker Robert Fox, who will screen recent digital works as well. See the Cinematheque Web site for further details. Info: 415-522-1990.


Friday, December 6 - Thursday, December 12
Now over 30 years old, the NY Expo of Short Film and Video showcases an abundant supply of shorts, gathered by genre and theme. This year's experimental programs look especially winning. See the Web site for full details.


December 9 - 12
Los Angeles Convention Center
This year's West Coast event kicks off with FX guru and filmmaker Douglas Trumball doing the keynote. There's also the DV Film Festival on Tuesday evening (Dec. 10) seminars and the equipment showcase. See the Expo site for full details.




In its April 2003 issue, Creative Review will publish its first ever annual, a comprehensive survey of the best work produced during the previous year in advertising, design, new media, photography, illustration and pop promos from all over the world. Enter your best work from 2002 -- there are no categories and no restrictions as long the work was done for a client, a recognized competition or commissioned in some way. All entries will then be viewed by a stellar selection panel using the following criteria: Does it innovate? Is it powerful? Is it appropriate? Is it original? Is it beautiful? If so, it goes in the book. In addition to selection for publication in The Annual there will be a special award for the five pieces of work that, in the opinion of the selection panel, define the year 2002 in communications. For full details and an entry form, go to Creative Review's Web site.



The biggest and most successful RESFEST yet closed tonight in Seoul, Korea and makes it way next week to Melbourne, Australia to participate in the ACMI's Digital Cinema series. The full schedule of events is as follows:

By Design (Program #1) Thursday, December 12 at 7:00PM
Saturday, December 14 at 9:00PM

True Stories (Program #2) Saturday, December 14 at 5:00PM
Sunday, December 15 at 6:30PM

Cinema Electronica (Program #3) Friday, December 13 at 7:00PM
Sunday, December 15 at 8:00PM

Also, on Saturday, December 14 at 3:00PM, don't miss the panel discussion, led by RESFEST's own Jonathan Wells and Jeremy Boxer and featuring local filmmakers Philip Crawford and Daniel Crooks. See the Web site for more details.

You can now catch short QuickTime clips of all the RESFEST 2002 films at as well as visit our sister site to see RESFEST films and ground-breaking music videos all year round (recently added videos include StyleWar's video for Moby, Spike Jonze's clip for Bjork, and new videos for Spoon, FC Kahuna. The Streets, Beth Orton and more).

And it's never too early to submit your film to RESFEST 2003 - see deadlines, guidelines and submission forms at

Res Magazine


With the release of "Adaptation," music video master, feature filmmaker and all-around prankster Spike Jonze has gotten serious. Like his first feature, "Being John Malkovich," "Adaptation" is a dark comedy that's at times absurd and at times painful, but always engaging, with performances so subtle, honest and full of dry realism that the more bizarre elements of the story shed any air of contrivance. Read the rest of Sandy Hunter's story on the inimitable Mr. Jonze in the current issue of RES, on newsstands now.

Subscribe now to the one and only publication dedicated to digital culture. Special RES subscription offer: Save 33% off the newsstand price! Six issues of RES for $19.95 or 12 issues for just $34.95. Plus - only subscribers get the magazine DVD, with 90 minutes of music videos, shorts films, interviews and more. The next issue's disk includes Jonnie Ross' short film about six-year old b-boys, "Dacari and Donell's Demo Tape," NYC-based designers Psyop's "Come For Brazil" and Cornelius' music video for "Drop (Do It Again)" and lots more. AVAILABLE FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY!

And a head's up to our loyal RES ALERT readers: Subscribe now before rates go up in 2003! Call toll-free in the US and Canada at 1-888-READ-RES (International readers, please call 1-856-931-6681). E-mail at or subscribe online at:

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RES ALERT, RES Magazine, RESFEST Film Festival and Resolution Independent are trade and service marks of RES Media Group, Inc. Copyright © RES Media Group, Inc. 2002. All Rights Reserved.