Tag Archives: lo-fi

The Art of Sitting in an Art Gallery (and watching lo-fi horror films)

So I’m doing a workstudy job of sitting for four hours every Tuesday in an art gallery. This is the first time I’ve ever worked in an art gallery, and lemme tell ya- for the most part, it’s pretty damn quiet. In fact, as I’m writing this blog post now, I’m sitting in the gallery. I can see straight outside all the passerby with their paper coffee cups, earphones and college t-shirts. Some of them glance at the gallery, a few stop, and most walk right by. In the two hours that I’ve been here today, ONE person has stopped in for a VERY QUICK glance at a few paintings while trying to avoid eye contact with me before rushing out again. So, for the most part, I have lots of time to do my own work, like writing spontaneous blog posts and watching lo-fi horror films on youtube.

Here’s a preview of some of the films I’ve been devouring:

“The Stuff” (1985), directed by Larry Cohen

“Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1959), directed by Ed Wood

“Robot Monster” (1953), directed by Phil Tucker

“The Horror of Party Beach: (1960s), directed by Del Tenney

Seriously, I could go on and on, but I think I’ll stop there for now. Four hours is a decent amount of time to watch this stuff.

I’ve been on a crazy old-school horror film kick for the past few months. It’s funny, because for the most part I’ve never been much of a horror fan- I was the kid who had nightmares for months in 4th grade because of the birthday slumber party that screened Ghost. I’m also the type who squiggles uncomfortably at the slightest drop of blood, and who in general is fearful of imminent death that looms pretty much everywhere. Which is perhaps why my recent interest in lo-fi, DIY horror films is more appropriate; i.e. films that are obviously fake. Fake = not real = it probably won’t ever happen. Which is more comforting than, say, current-day films about real-life serial killers and how they managed to actually slaughter real people like you and me. Thanks, but not thanks. I’ll go for the fake puppet monsters and ice cream containers that explode…

Anyway, that’s what I’m doing today in the art gallery. And just in case you were worried about the future of art in the gallery, there have been a few more people who have wandered in since I started writing this blog post. Luckily, most of them have been more interested in the art than talking to me, leaving me to bathe in my own lo-fi horror watching glory.

Stop Motion + Lo-Fi Awesomeness

I am IN LOVE with stop motion animation mixed with live action in film. I’m also obsessed with lo-fi quality, the kind of lo-fi that is obviously fake but offers the magic of using your imagination (*gasp*) to believe it. Here are a few of my favorite examples:

Alice in Wonderland by Lou Brunin, 1949. This film is magical. The cardboard sets are so theatrical, the flicker of the film so old. The scene where Alice is swimming in her tears is amazing- so obviously green-screened and yet so wonderful. The young actress who plays Alice’s hair is obviously bleached blonde. The world of the Queen, all red, is fantastic. Watch this whole film. Go on, watch it. It’s worth it. Move over, pixel animation!!!

Food, Part 1 & 2 by Jan Svankmajer. Czech surrealist filmmaker Jan Svankmajer is my idol. I LOVE LOVE LOVE his work. It’s the perfect combination of live acting and stop motion animation. It’s dark and humorous. It’s disturbing and beautiful. I have watched his films over and over trying to figure out how he does it. Truly a brilliant artist. Watch his films. Watch all of them. Now.

The Blob, 1958 version. Oh, the Blob. How I love it so. It’s like a cross between a big piece of red jello and strawberry jam. And yet, it keeps getting bigger and bigger! Here’s a horror film that I’ll actually watch. Why? Because I can still believe that it won’t actually happen. And despite that, it still holds the exciting suspense that horror films should, without the grossness of being too realistic. I’ve seen the advertisements for the newer 1986 version of The Blob, and it just looks disgusting. Yes, perhaps I should actually watch it to know for sure, but I prefer the older version, there’s just something about it and lo-fi films in general that excite me more than the newer ones.

Has the art world progressed too much for its own good? Has increasingly fancy technology turned it to the shit? Or, am I just too nostalgic for the past? What do you think?