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“25 New Face” Ian Clark Streams MMXIII and Talks its Online Distribution

Last February, Filmmaker exclusively streamed for several days the latest feature from 25 New Face Ian Clark, MMXIII. For what is an experimental film, streaming here and, in the following weeks, on other sites was also an experiment in distribution. As he now reposts MMXIII online for viewing by all, Clark submitted the below comments when we asked him for a post mortem on his internet distribution endeavor. Watch the film above and visit Clark at his website here.

I think its fair to say that this has been the most fulfilling project I’ve completed to date, both in terms of its critical development and creative potential. Early on I wanted to move away from the constraints of a traditional production, and there was a kind of controlled non-control that informed the entire process. Typically I found myself working alone, which made it an intimate and at times frustrating project. Creative activities were strangely obsessive, often guided by the moment, an image, or something abstract. Narrative structure began to emerge alongside formal experimentation, but less in terms of story and more in terms of reoccurring themes or ideas. Self-portraiture, beauty, technology, reflexive gesture. In many ways, it evolved into an exposé of the creative process, but it’s about so much more than this. I find there to be a curious, circular rhythm to it—from its early development through to this post.

Earlier this winter I’d organized a small “Internet Tour” in which I partnered with a handful of websites (including Filmmaker) to stream MMXIII intermittently for a few days at a time. It was essentially an experiment in distribution, playing off the idea of short-term theatrical engagements. It was also prompted in part by the ongoing conversation about premiere politics and in general was meant to underline a widespread material and technological shift.

There’s obvious utility in sharing a work online, but for MMXIII the internet might also be the most appropriate venue on a conceptual level. A friend of mine commented once that while watching it on a laptop, he caught a glimpse of his own reflection in the edges of the screen. I loved this, because it echoes a central theme of the project, perception—and it emphasizes the inherent construction of images.

At its core, MMXIII might be an exploration of time and light—both of which are absolutely essential to cinema.

In any case, it feels like a very special moment to be sharing this project with everyone.

Here’s Clark’s previous description of the project:

An experimental self-portrait, MMXIII explores phenomenological subtlety, intersections of construct and verité, and the ways in which technology, landscape, and beauty coalesce. Here, an artist’s reflexive gestures investigate moving images and the nature of image construction, blurring the lines between cinema, still photography, and performance art.

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