Tuesday, September 7, 2010

is jack feldstein ET?

BTS with AWOL MONK: friend & neon animator Jack Feldstein in New York talks the talk, whilst simultaneously walking/flying.

the unabridged #KSZ 03 [sydney kino zine] version

KINO legend, neon animator & darling of the Rotterdam Film Fest, Jack Feldstein left our shores a few months back for the lofty heights of NYC. How dare he leave & is it all worth it? This is what he said.

Who are you? No really.

It'll take me...all my life to work that out...I'll never have a complete answer.


Or...maybe... a package of paradoxes... who believes in going for his dreams.

Someone once described me as a man with "unbridled passion"... and that sounds right.

At school my favourite subject was integral and differential calculus.  No, really.  I'm not kidding.  My facts are I was initially uni trained in science (pharmacology)...I left that to pursue scriptwriting and studied at AFTRS (Scriptwriting) and NIDA (Playwriting) and NYU (School of Dramatic Writing)... worked as a scriptwriter...and then after a while... did classes on Post modern and Modern art theory at COFA...which led to my neon animation filmmaking.

Personally...I was married very young and divorced very quickly after a couple of years.  (No kids).  I've been in a series of live-in relationships...

Now, as you know, I'm in a long distance relationship (which I'm learning ain't easy!)... with my perfect match. Madeleine.

I think the only constant in the "who are you?" question...is that it looks like I keep changing a hell of a lot.

When you grow up you want to be...

Taller. :^) ...someone who's always growing up.

You've got a very distinctive film style much witnessed over time at sydney KINO. How did it transpire? Does one need to be a technical wizard to neon-animate? 

I see the world as I present it... in my neon animations. Very verbal, kinetic, energetic, quick, vivid, absurd. Perhaps, a neon animation is a peek into the inside of my mind. How I think I see things. My neon animations are perhaps representations... of what it's like to be... Feldstein.

I live in my head and a neon animation is the view from there. There's a film called BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. That film resonates with how I make neon animations. Artistically, I started off as a scriptwriter...and made my living that way for quite a long while.  At the core of me...I'm a passionate writer. ...A definition of a neon animation...might be the physical projection of how I, as a writer, think. ( There's the science part coming out!)

Technically it's time consuming...but that's irrelevant.  It's totally the content that matters to me.

Where do you take inspiration from?

Things I'm passionate about.  Which I seek out in the world. Often they're in the conceptual/ideas realm.

You're pretty much a one man band. Your films are often completely & wonderfully self-created/contained from script to screen. If you were to collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?

I am collaborating with people.  Here in New York. But also prior.
Through KINO SYDNEY I collaborated with Dan/Luke Simmonds (Meatpig)...and their song Neutron Betty...on THE ATOMIC ADVENTURES OF JACK KEROUAC..and that the New Yorkers/Americans really get into that one...so I'm grateful and appreciative for that...

My next neon animation "YOU'RE ONLY AS SICK AS YOUR SECRETS" is a project I'm creating in conjunction with a brilliant tragi-comedy duo I've met here.  (Rick and Jenny) .

I'd like to say...that I'm a humanist, pluralist, relativist.  ("All men are brothers" and other wildly unfashionable concepts)...   And so I've always considered myself a citizen of the world.  Rather than of a particular nation. I know that's idealistic and unrealistic and naive...but I can't help it.  It's the way I think.  So a city like New York...with its remarkable diversity and the forcing of differing cultural co-existence by dint of proximity...suits me in a way I hadn't quite realized previously.
The world, my friends...is simply a fascinating place... 

An observation I continue to learn here.

And this ties in with the next question.

 photo by: catherine davies

You're in New York. Why? What's happening there that isn't here? *pouts sulkily*

First of all... let me say SYDNEY is wonderful!

So now we've got that out of the way...my science side will come to the fore.  

It's merely a numbers game.  The USA has over 350 million people.  Say 0.5% of them are artists.  That's 1.75 million people.  And many of them flock to NYC. New York is the USA center for indie art.  It's a world center for indie art. That's historical. So apart from the Americans who gather here...artists from all over the world do too.

The density of artists here is astonishing...creating a vibrant cultural environment. 

Artists bring new and original ideas. Thus the rate of new ideas here...is mind-blowing. A person, if they look, will definitely find what interests them. To me...new/original ideas are incredibly inspiring.  Because I then get passionate about the new idea/thing...and want to collaborate with it.

My particular interests/passions are psychological/humorous/intellectual/literary/ironic/paradoxical/conceptual (etc). As I've mentioned before...it's the content of a thing that counts most to me...(I'm a reductionist...it's what they are saying that matters to me)

Look...I'm blabbing on too much attempting to write some analytical thesis.

In short...due to the sheer amount of people/artists here...I've easily found others whose work fascinates me.

So in my neon animations...I'm collaborating with...

A monologist Asian/American gal who entertainingly and nuancedly and intelligently monologues about racism. The comedy duo who are psychologically brave and honest and confronting in their tragi-comedy. A guy who is hysterically comic...(born that way)...and whose delivery makes anything I write far funnier then when I do it.

But also in my playwriting...one of my plays is being workshopped for possible production. And...some of my short plays have been picked up to be performed in unexpected places like Macy's... and even nite clubs...around New York.

I have also been approached by NYC bands and singer/songwriters to make music videos in neon animation for them. BOTANICA...commissioned me to make "YOU MIGHT BE THE ONE" which is being screened on MTV Europe (where they're well known because they sing in English, French and German)...and what's great is their check didn't bounce! :^)

Is the film culture in the States that much different to Australia. Can the KINO DIY spirit survive and be sustained in the cinematic Holy Land? 

DIY...or indie culture...which I am a true believer in...  relies on the individual.  It's irrelevant where that individual is.  He/she could be in Antartica!

If you had a film survival kit what would it include? Is it much different to life?
Not any different to life. Keep going and don't drop dead. :^)

Will we see you at SYDNEY KINO again? How do we follow your trail? Is there any of your work online...
Of course I'll be back visiting...you can see the music video YOU MIGHT BE THE ONE here...

In a while...YOU'RE ONLY AS SICK AS YOUR SECRETS will be posted online. I'll let you know.

Missing you all. Jack XXXX

1 comment:

  1. aww, jack always gives us a shout-out. big love to the Jack.