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The Door

Here’s another previously unreleased short, released today. Filmed over many years and seasons, it’s an experimental film called The Door. What I like about something like this are the tactile elements: scratches, flecks, dust, various film transfers, distortions, and painting on the celluloid. I’ve heard this concept of feeling the materiality in a film referred to as cinematicity.

A door is a barrier, a line, and a moment of rupture in time. In our feature film, Goblin, there are many similar doors that characters pass through. Some of these doors are physical, some of them are ones of consciousness, and some of them are to other realities. Please help bring Goblin into production by visiting and supporting our Kickstarter –> HERE!

 

The Last Reel


My latest documentary, The Last Reel, is now available to watch online (below).

The film documents the Plaza Maplewood Theater’s final days prior to handing its keys over to a neighboring megachurch. It’s at times a sad film; it’s Minnesotan; it’s an ode; it’s got some 35mm, an old projection booth, some animation, some religion, some Sam Raimi and Evil Dead — it’s about community. It feels like it could be any town with a small movie theater going through change.

Before editing, I sat on the footage for a few years (it was filmed in 2013), because I was freelancing on other projects, but the distance provided some perspective in regards to our current place of digital cinema, streaming, and the plethora of screens available, etc. This documentary is special to me, too, because it’s about a theater I went to as a kid. Theaters and movies have been a part of my life (leisure, work, and creative); they’re very important to me. The movie theater, a communal experience of the darkened room and light on the screen and the act of watching cinema, have also had a profound influence on my current project, Goblin (which I’m currently trying to crowdfund).

Today is the first day that The Last Reel is available publicly. I hope you enjoy it! And please remember our crowdfunding campaign; we need your support –> Visit the Goblin Kickstarter .

 

Goblin Kickstarter is Live!

Our Kickstarter Campaign is now live.  Please check it out and contribute.  There are many excellent rewards.

The possibility of our low-budget feature film, Goblin, has been a couple years in the making.  We previously expected some private investment to help get us into the production period, but that contribution is no longer.  Now we need to raise the funds through this crowdfunding campaign; I’ve never done one, but I will surely try to reach our goal over the next 28 days.  We will be releasing new short films on this page, at GoblinTheFilm.com, GoblinTheFilm Facebook Page, and through other social media like my Instagram and the Goblin Instagram.

Please contribute what you can.  If you are unable to donate with a money contribution, we hope that you spread the word about our Kickstarter.

Sincerely,
Chris Lange

ORACLE

Oracle (2015) had a great festival run this past year, and now it’s available to watch on vimeo (below). The film is part of a trilogy of shorts that began with Home Near Water (2013); the films are linked through their connection to animal magic. Oracle builds upon themes and ideas from Home Near Water by exploring the emotional disconnection in its main character, which leads to a spiritual, fantastical, and dream-like transformation.

Official Selection: Minneapolis St. Paul International, Miami Independent, Sydney World, Charlotte, Buffalo Niagara, Chennai International, Motor City Nightmares, Blackbird, Blow-up International Arthouse, Verona International, Lilliputian, Amarcord Arthouse, Great Lakes International, Square Lake, and Athens International Film Festivals

Awards: Cinematography certificate at Rochester International; Semi-finalist at Polish International and Miami Short Film Fests; Honorable mention at Yosemite International; Creative Vision Award nominee at Altered Esthetics Film Fest; Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects at Wild Rose Independent Film Festival

Press:  Filmmaker interview for the Altered Aesthetics Film Festival Blog

Short SynopsisHaunted by visions of a past tangled in dream, a young woman must reckon with questions of love, death, and animal magic.

Writer/Director/DP: Christopher Lange
Actors: Emaline Williams, Christopher Young
Assistant Director: Neha Belvalkar
Producer: Shay Willard
Art Director: Gavin Farnsworth

You can watch it here:

Home Near Water

Home Near Water (2013) had some excellent screenings during 2014-2015.  The film was officially selected and screened at the Chicago Underground Film Festival (longest running underground film festival in the world), Maryland Film Festival, Minneapolis Underground Film Festival, and MNTV on TPT (Twin Cities Public Television).  Highlights were taking a road trip and attending the Maryland film festival, the MNTV screening at the Walker Art Center, and receiving an award at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.

The film includes the acting talents of Joel Stigliano and Larissa Fedoryka, musical score from Aaron Butler, and makeup FX from Scott Sliger.

It can be viewed here:

For an award, I got this from the Chicago Underground Film Fest (a hand-made puppet!):

Puppet Award, Chicago Underground Film Festival

Camera Death

In December of last year, my GH2 camera died inexplicably while returning to Minneapolis from LA.

The top photo above is the last one my camera took, at LAX airport.  What occurred after this to cause the camera’s death? What happened inside the carry-on that sat at my feet unencumbered?  It’s a mystery to me.

Some research led me to a potential repair via a replacement electric board in the camera.  Seemingly, that’s what failed.  I’ve decided to leave the camera on my shelf as a kind of burial and reminder of good times.

I sometimes take the camera from the shelf and turn the power dial in hopes of some magical reanimation of reversed entropy, but it doesn’t.

The second photo above is of my dead camera.  Notice the grain and where the dark background seemingly merges with the camera foreground.

I shot the dead digital camera with an old but functioning 35mm SLR, a German-made EXA (I do understand that film cameras also fail and need repairs; someone should analyze life-lines of cameras).  To me, it seems that film cameras last longer, mechanically and perhaps aesthetically.

I shot the second photo with expired film and tried to get proper exposure.  Ah, but to no avail.  But that’s also an excitement to film: the not knowing, the reliable indeterminable feeling of its process.

One can garner greater or lesser determinability of outcome via a chosen film practice.  This usually boils down into categories of gear and technique: choice of new or old cameras, new or expired film, exposure, lenses, light leaks, treating the film emulsion or processing, etc.

What am I getting at?  The death of a digital camera caused me to reflect upon and use the other format, of which I am choosing to use more often.  This is not a write-up on the merits of film vs digital.  I’m noting a transformation of routine, and it’s a pleasant change.

-Chris Lange

Home Near Water at Maryland Film Festival


Road trip for a film fest!  Home Near Water was selected for the 2014 Maryland Film Festival!  It was a pleasure participating by presenting the film three times and answering audience questions in post screening discussions.  It was great seeing a bunch of excellent short films, a screening of Putney Swope introduced by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), seeing John Waters, attending panel discussions, meeting new friends, and exploring Baltimore!