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Neil Needleman - Last request

12:04, 2007, Experimental
An old and wealthy businessman tells us about his relationship with his father, a dadaist artist whom he didnt and couldnt understand. His painful memories are narrated over images of his fathers anti-sense videos. The subtitles are in English. the spoken words are pure gibberish.
DirectorNeil Ira NeedlemanProducerNeil Ira NeedlemanWriterNeil Ira NeedlemanCameraNeil Ira NeedlemanEditorNeil Ira Needleman

CountryUSASubtitlesEnglishEdition2008 ScreeningsAtlanta underground film festival (usa)

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Interview

Who is Neil Ira Needleman?
A guy with a camera who is searching for a sense of vision that makes me (and sometimes others) happy.



Your film is about?
A bitter relationship between a son and his late father...the ongoing battle between art and practicality...the division between a poetic sensibility and the need (in some people) for logic...the love of chaos/randomness vs. The insatiable quest for control.



How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
I got my hands on an 8mm movie camera when I was pretty young and I haven’t let go yet. In college I studied art history, film aesthetics, and music history.



Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts and what is important to you?
Each work is different and plays by a different set of aesthetic rules. My first priority is to make my own eyes happy.



Where do you get your ideas or influences from?
My ideas come from life: the things I live through and the things I see inside and outside of myself.
My influences come from music, other visual arts, and a select group of filmmakers/video artists.



How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?
I don’t usually put too much thought into the title.



How does content relate to the form of your work?
Content dictates form. In many cases, the content is the form and the form is the content.



How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
Many of my videos lack a soundtrack, but I don’t consider them silent because I hear things through my eyes. The things I see find a corresponding sound in my mind’s ear. Some musicians see certain colors when they hear sounds/music/chords/notes (synaesthesia). I have a visual-aural equivalent.



How do you finance your projects (by yourself, sponsors or subsidy)?
My work is self financed and inexpensive. I don’t have the patience to wait for money to come my way.



Nowadays everyone with the right equipment can create videoart, good, bad or ugly?
It’s easier than ever to create something with very basic equipment. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s worth looking at.



What possibilities of the web are yet to be explored? Which dangers do you see ahead?
I’m old fashioned (though I work in the Interactive department of a marketing agency in the U.S.), and I don’t think about the possibilities of the Web beyond what my paying clients need. But there are very real dangers: There too much stuff out there and it’s too easy to sink too deeply into stuff that’s not worth looking at. People get so enmeshed with all the things that dazzle them on the Web, they forget to put their filters in place. Many Web environments, like YouTube, are so heavily polluted with messaging, it’s impossible to concentrate. At its current level of development/utilization, the Web is best for quick information and a simple "taste" of what a work might be like. But, as far as I’m concerned, it fails to deliver a genuinely deeply felt experience that can be sustained beyond a nibble or a sound bite. (Like I said, I’m old fashioned.)



Video broadcasting platforms on the internet, why or why not?
See my previous answer.



In what category would you place your work; cinema or art. And is there a difference between those?
I try not to get caught up in terminology. I presented a 7-minute work at a film festival last night and, during the Q&A afterwards, someone asked me if I ever considered doing a "full length" movie. I told him all my works are "full length." But they are rarely "feature length." Someone once asked me if I only made "short films" and I told them that if a 2-minute work is considered a "short" then a 10-minute work must be considered a "long." I have filmmaker friends who consider what I do to be video art, and I have video artist friends who consider my work to be films. It’s time to drop the labels and open our eyes.



How important is the reaction to your film by the audience?
I’m a selfish creator and first and foremost try to satisfy myself. Having said that, it’s nice to know that there are folks out there who (sometimes) see things the way I see things. So it’s definitely gratifying to see that an audience can get turned on by what I create. But I understand that many of my videos are not to the taste of the general audience. And I accept that.



What is your next project about?
I word on several projects at the same time, so there is usually no single "next" project.


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