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Monday, April 19, 2004

Amir Motlagh created Dino Aldino.
His most recent film is called Pumpkin Little

Hi, Before I lose your email in the compuserve autopurge, let's see, too. The pope watched breakdancing, I think, during his public convalesence.

Your film is a world unto itself. I basically love it.

My love of film would include you creating a breakdance segment that actually adds to the intensity of the breakdancer. I am fond of film segments, as the number of films increases. something like the dna molecule from which you can create the entire being.

The last scene of the old wb 42nd street was on tv. it's the song with new york images, ending with the producer sitting on the stage door steps outside, his energy sapped.

Busby Berkely also shot babes on broadway. a few minutes of that may elicit actual horror at how much continuous camera movement he forced upon the mgm cast. That realtime continuity of ensemble movement deserves dogma applause.

I never saw a cassavetes movie. His performances are so memorable and, although often portraying him as corrupted, also relatable. all i know of john... rosmary's baby, a depiction of the problems that arise when perfectly assembled (by bob evans) talents (polanski and abominably perfect cast) function full force, ignoring all concerns for protecting their audience from the void,
and the depalma sequel to Carrie with music by john williams... The Fury, cassavetes head floating to the floor after his explosion.

godard filmed breathless. i was bored by contempt. i never saw weekend. i didn't follow the politics in sympathy for the devil, only the discovery of how the rolling stones evolved the famous song from their best album.

truffaut wrote breathless and filmed 400 blows... somehow bertolucci continued truffauts alterego growing up in last tango...

romer? marienbad? who made claire's knee?

fassbinder hollywood style film, marriage of maria braun has unforgettably funny moments. i don't know if i've grown out of it. poor hanna shygulla, so wonderful a person, is he showing her corrupted, i think so, she is germany... are you familiar with any of this?

Are you writing scripts?

yours truly, Peter Dizozza
In a message dated 4/4/2004 4:47:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Peter, very impressionistic meta mail. Um lets see, where to begin. Yes they are Philopino, well the main character Mike anyway. This film is very specific to location and linked directly to a suburbian immigrant experience. When i was growing up, this was the route of many good kids, and only some regained their composures. Not only was this for asian americans, but iranian americans, and so fourth. These groups usually didn;t associate with the prevalent white experiece(surfers,rockers,skateboarders etc..) and so found exceptence in ethnic, and more urban culture(hip-hop..etc) and so breakdancing in the early ninties in the most suburbian of places immerged. And a few people embraced that form and associated themselves with that lifestyle. At the same time, with the influx of all these races grouping, many started to click together and call themselves crews and party together. This is universal, but really a southern california phenominon. Party Crews, Tagging Crews and then just plan Street Gangs. Lots of Philopino Gangs, Vietnamese Gangs and the rest followed suit. Racial tensions was prevelent between white, black, mexican, and the rest(asian, afgan, middle eastern) and these new groups had become the new minority as they felt everyone was against them. Of course not all the kids went that route, but i still cant tell what gets you there, and the circumstance that takes you the other route, which in this case is usually typified as the "ideal student". The typical sterotype of asians being smart etc......

So with that context, when i came back to my Mom's house one weekend, i ran into Mike. ANd i was shocked that he still breakdanced(as i did in my youth with him) let alone applying to Grad school ,and when i saw that he was in a way a father figure, a mentor to kids that are at the same age as most kids getting involved with gangs i had to shoot it. There situation is like a commune, as opposed to the aggressive, more egotistical days of breakdancing. Its rather beautiful.

As for the the film itself. One thing you might of noticed is that the music is not in anyway hip-hop or the music they would dance to. This was a consious way of pulling it past the cliche and putting the situation out of the Urban home for which the form of breakdancing emerged. The openiing scenes are with his girlfriend, and i felt it was a very intimite and naturally action. Though this film is a doc, i shot some sequences to look like a narrative fiction, so as create a tension between persepctions. The shots are slow, and very rudimentary, so as not to add to much tricks to the pace of life. HIs voice over is also very specific, as he drops names of his youth, and nobody would know what he is talking about, but that intimacy, and very specific experience was what i was trying to get at. It doesn't really matter who for example "John" is, what you can sense his being and influence on Mike. This contrasts the general and sterotypical eight grade stories and puts his story into context. Mike started breakdancing in 8th grade, and in a way that has been the one stable through line in his life, and is a large aspect of his life. So decisions we make when where young, no matter how we might deny them, rearrange our life in ways beyond a certain control.

Now another thing i wanted to stress, was this new, post modern character of self. This group breakdances and they play guitar together, and so this was impossibly five, ten years ago. Breakdancers never played rock and hip-hop was all encompassing. The same with people who like heavy-metal, or indie rock, never do that, or this. Those lines have recently dissapatted. Identity is not the same for the youth as it was. That to me is very interesting.

As for the the sequences with 8th grade stories, the shots where in a way suppose to resemble the way we sat in our parents car, as they drove the same routes everday, and how the eyes wander around. The breakdancing sequences in those shots are from Mikes 8th grade and i will tell you something else, i myself am in the film. You just have to find me. And no, my brother is not in the film as i am an only child, and who the fuck knows what that means.

The reason Peter, that i didn't have more breakdancing was because i didn't want this to be a showcase for the dancing. I could have shoot and edited there best moves, instead of the ones i chose which are not the most gracefull but shots that are practice, struggle, persistence which drives there obsession.

In your other email you said those other films reminded you of Mean Streets in a way. That along with ALice Doesnt Live Here are the only two films i really love of Martin Scorsese. Mean Streets was in a way a complete ripoff of my favorite American film maker, the late great John Cassavettes(the man was brilliant). The other filmmakers i really like are French in origin, Godard, Truffant, Romer(My Night at Mauds), and Fassbinder(crazy, productive workhorse) and a few others. I rarely watch movies these days, i have to get over that.

Well, sorry for the length of this letter, i really don't know if its cohesive since i'm to lazy to read it. I think i got some things out, but skipped around quite a bit and for the grammar and spelling, God awful. But if you have any thing else to ask, or comment on, or wonder about, please feel free.

This electronic age is amazing Peter. I have never met you, we live on the other side of the country, different ages, experiences, and i have your CD, you have my films, and there is dialogue. Truly amazing.



>Subject: Re: Two films, a half hour.
>Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2004 12:37:11 EDT
>The camera didn't often move, the frame was set and action sometimes crossed
>its path. It allowed for brilliant composition and an odd way, a real way, of
>seeing the world through the limitations of our periphery. The world is of a
>group of people that I can not readily identify. Asian in that they're
>hawaiian or from the phillipine's originally? The opening scene with the film
>going out of synch was disorienting, the sound seemed to improve when it went out
>of synch. The crossover for when a group of friends becomes a gang, and the
>distinction of heirarchy, I suppose, that causes some to act on the will of the
>leader, and the possibility of market domination, that was a memorable and sad
>depiction, a degeneration of neighborhood. Those houses always look so
>innocent. I would love some more breakdancing segments, what was there was
>beautiful and the shooting of them, with the ending showing the sluggish breakdancer,
>was cool and aloof. I'm a fan of Robert Marshall's recent fast shutter speed
>camera choreography (is that who filmed "Chicago?), you could create
>something both flashy and seemingly incidental that will send the movie into the realm
>of musical cinema. Frederick Weisman has a musically choreographed way of
>documenting the deranged world of titicut follies. These are first thoughts.
>It's daylight savings time here. I like hearing people's memories of eighth
>grade with the still graphic design. This film assembles of wealth of beautiful
>images. Enhance my viewing experience. Tell me your thoughts of
>this...Thank you. Is your brother in the film? In a message dated 4/3/2004 6:40:50 PM
>Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
>>Thanks for the watching Peter.
>> Please reply about the DVD of Pumkin Little when you watch that, as that is
>>my essential style when i'm completely behind the camera, like the film
>>Still Lover. I would like to know if you find similiarites between all the
>> amir
Hi, Amir,

I saw the two Motlagh films, Dino Adino and Love @ 11:47. They are well made and they had a realism that transcended the notion that you might actually be in them. It looks so much in the first one like the filmmaker is behind the camera.

The split screen of the second worked well. The right screen showed the fixed idea, either the cracker box or the foooot, or her... I realize there is a film with four pictures by the Leaving Las Vegas filmmaker... I think I saw some of it. Was there a film called Wicked in the 70's that employed that device?

Although both your films are location specific time capsules, they are expressing an ageless condition that one is always in danger of slipping into.

Now that we've met Dino, his character can appear more interactively elsewhere.

These films were very likeable and watchable. Not having watched those mtv reel documentaries, what were they called?, my only frame of reference was Martin Scorsese's basic film, Mean Streets. You have a similar willingness to observe unpleasant things happening to basically likeable people. There is an element of humor prevailing.

Thank you. I look forward to screening these at the next opportunity.

Ah, "Shipping the Satellite." The content could be humerous and outlandish and the people who performed it on that one occasion are great. I hope to one day have a listenable recording. peter

In a message dated 4/2/2004 10:37:15 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

Hi Peter, I listened to your CD a few times, and low and behold, i woke up singing lyrics from it. Here is my impressions.

Subversively Poppy. ALmost seems to have a little punk rock asethic, mixed with musical theater and Frank Zappa. Very mixed refreneces and intellegent. It also has a sweetness that is very evident. The production was very good, mininal, but that helps i think. It is a unique concept albumn.

The only thing that i(my opinion is worthless) didn't like was the bonus tracks, as i thought adding the live performances only took away from the the tightness and listenability of the rest of the albumn.

Another thing that really impressed me was the way the albumn works as a whole. It goes through all the tracks as one and doesn't get tiring at all.

Overall, this work is very impressive. Keep up the work, as i know from your site, you will do just that.

amir motlagh

>Subject: Re: an offer you might refuse
>Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 10:24:18 EST
>Dear Amir, I also have the tape you sent The WAH Center. I look forward to
>seeing it and the dvd this weekend. Thank you! Peter In a message dated
>3/31/2004 7:02:19 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
>>Hi Peter,
>> Got your CD. Am excited to listen to it. I sent you out a DVD as well,
>>though you got the one before the packaging, sorry, but at least its numbered.