by Jim Ridley
Listen in to NPR's Weekend Edition tomorrow for an interview with one of Nashville's best-kept secrets: the video artist/filmmaker who goes by the handle kogonada. A Chicago transplant with a production office near The Belcourt in Hillsboro Village, he's built a large following online with his artful, hypnotic video essays — supercuts that isolate and juxtapose elements of a filmmaker's style, whether it's the one-point-perspective compositions that pepper Stanley Kubrick's films, passageway portals in Ozu, or Terrence Malick's respective handling of fire and water.
The one that's currently getting attention is an ingenious side-by-side comparison of different cuts of the same movie: Vittorio De Sica's 1953 romantic drama Terminal Station, starring Jennifer Jones and Montgomery Clift, and producer David O. Selznick's drastic reedit Indiscretion of an American Wife. (They're available packaged as a single Criterion DVD edition.) In the differences between the two cuts — the glances, gestures and lifelike moments that Selznick considered waste — kogonada argues you'll find the essence of De Sica's neo-realist aesthetic.
That piece appeared on the website of the British Film Institute, publisher of Sight & Sound magazine, which has commissioned other essays from him. His work gets passed around frequently among cinephiles, and the most popular clips (especially the widely cited Kubrick) have received hundreds of thousands of views online. It's great to see him getting additional exposure from the likes of NPR.
(UPDATE, 7/20: Here's the link to the NPR segment.)
Below, three of our favorites: the Kubrick, the Ozu, and an exquisite piece on Nobody Knows/After Life director Hirokazu Koreeda.