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Visitors’ Godfrey Reggio on 4K, Black and White Cinematography, Long Cuts and Philip Glass

For our Winter issue, experimental documentarian Godfrey Reggio, along with his producer Jon Kane and d.p. Trish Govani, explored the significance of selected stills from his latest film Visitors. A revealing exercise for any filmmaker, Reggio’s excerpts carry far more weight than they would for most: the eight shots account for more than 10% of the film. Comprised of only 74, 4K black and white shots, the Philip Glass-scored Visitors is a meditation on the act of spectatorship, as the viewer unflinchingly gazes at 70+ second takes of faces, swamplands, disembodied hands and the moon.

In the above video for The Creators Project, Reggio extols the capabilities of 4K (“Who we are is revealed through the language of our face…4K brings that to incredible resolution”), black and white cinematography (“It is more emotive, color contemporizes an image, it brings it to the realm of now — this is a film about now…from the point of view of a moon.”), Philip Glass’s contributions (“Just as I’m a blind person who works through Jon Kane’s eyes, I’m a deaf person who works through Philip Glass’s ears.”) and long takes (“People get a chance to dwell on the image as the image is dwelling on them.”) Just check your tech addled brain at the door.

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