Regular readers will know that we mainly post about work originating from the UK – partly because there is so much talent in the UK and partly because there are other blogs that serve all the other countries so well. Having said that every so often a film comes along that we get so excited about, that we have to share it anyway. Andrew Huang’s “Solipsist” is a weird marriage between film and fine art – it has three distinct movements, but no clear narrative.
Personally I love the use, or appearance, of all these organic elements – sand, feathers, material, water, powder etc which are tightly controlled by software and editing technology. After seeing the making of film, I was amazed at how low-tech a lot of it was – but I guess that helps with the organic feel. Although I admit to not knowing what was going on most of the time, I was totally captivated each time I saw it (which was many…)
I didn’t manage to get hold of him, so I have borrowed some info from a very comprehensive interview in Interview magazine which you can read here if you are interested
When asked about Solipsist he said: ” I’m obsessed with the visual and it’s important for me to make my art spectacular. The art world frowns upon spectacle; they dismiss it as being kitsch. Though the topics I was exploring in the film may be heady and philosophical, it was important to balance it out by working in a playful medium. Given the rare opportunity to do my own work, it was important to do something whimsical, playful, indulgent, and earnest in philosophical topics I was interested in.”
“The playfulness and philosophy of making artwork can coexist. It’s important to not take itself too seriously. It seems logical to create something without dialogue that didn’t have to explain itself, but could exist in the three-act classical structure. I know that the title “Solipsist” is very loaded, but ultimately the film is about bodies converging into one another. It was important that the title was the opposite of what was happening to pose a question: can we connect with each other?”
here’s the making of:
“I was working with talented costume designer Lindsey Mortensen. We were talking about this as a fantasy film—but do we want to make these girls covered in tentacles? We wanted to strike a balance between this being organic, creature-like and being honest about materials we were using. I wanted to be honest: we were using beads and feathers and vinyl; yes, that is a burlap sack she is wearing. If they were covered with tentacles, it would take it too much into monster body horror film. To concentrate on the material, it because a fashion piece instead. If we didn’t hide seams of costumes or show that they looked like puppets, not CGI creations, kept it more arty. It’s a fine balance, including the fantasy, sci-fi world and keeping a firm foot rooted in reality. It was definitely a contentious relationship.”
“Solipsist” won the 2012 Special Jury Prize for Experimental Short Film at Slamdance and was named an Official Selection from the San Francisco International Film Festival. What’s even more amazing is that he composed all the music as well – which gives an amazing light and shade to the project, I think.
While waiting for the right feature script, Huang has directed commercials for Google, Toshiba, and Lexus and striking music videos for David Sitek’s Maximum Balloon, Delphic, Avi Buffalo, and Ra Ra Riot.