"Standard Gauge is an autobiographical account of a few years in the film career of its maker. Such, at least, is its ostensible form and purpose. The material from which the film is composed is pieces of 35mm motion picture film, a width known in former times as standard gauge, that its maker collected while working in and around the commercial motion picture industry. The pieces are a miscellaneous assortment, and include narrative features, trailers, newsreels, commercials, and pieces of head and tail leader. ...
By examining the shards of the industry frame by frame, it discovers some of the means and themes of experimental film living, so to speak, in Hollywood. And at the same time, the film engulfs and usurps the material of the commercial motion picture industry, turning it into its subject. Thus Standard Gauge proposes a kind of mutuality or interdependence between two kinds of filmmaking that by conventional standards are thought to be divided by an unbridgeable chasm. By means of a mutual interrogation between 35mm, the gauge of the industry, and 16mm, the gauge of the independent and amateur, Standard Gauge proposes to unify film of every kind."
Matt Locke from TEST
Scrapbooks were a 'coping' strategy for old media at a time when distribution via railroads and cheap printing processes led to an overwhelming surplus of popular magazines and newspapers. [Ellen Gruber] Garvey describes them as "a new subcategory of media - the cheap, the disposable, and yet somehow tantalizingly valuable, if only their value could be seperated from their ephemerality". Scrapbooks were one just one strategy for indexing and archiving cuttings, including commercial clipping services, but scrapbooks represented a private, vernacular response to this information revolution. This remaking of popular media is clearly a precursor of the current blogging phenomenon, and Garvey's analysis of scrapbook making introduces some concepts that are useful in discussing blogging as part of our contemporary media culture.
Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry
"'The Gleaners and I' is a decidedly personal video documentary by Varda, a film ostensibly preoccupied with 'rubbish'. Varda takes us on a journey where we encounter those who live from other peoples' - from people who eat out of dumpsters and 'glean' provincial fields after harvest, to those who make art from tossed away furniture and beyond. It's a brilliant and playful film and one which Julie Rigg decared she was 'in love with' when she interviewed Agnes Varda.
JULIE RIGG: Agnes Varda, I'm curious about this film. Did it begin as a film about yourself or a film about gleaners?
AGNES VARDA: It's clearly about gleaners, it's clearly not only the intention because who cares about an intention, what is important is the film you see. And not only that, it's a very important subject, a social issue, which is, 'who are those people who eat the leftovers, the leftovers of others?' Who is eating my leftovers, you know? And that was really concerning me, like it does to other people, and I thought instead of having a subject, a subject line and say could we find people to illustrate it? I totally had another attitude and thought how can I meet people who are the subject? So I don't have to explain and make any narration about that, find the right people who will be able to show themselves by their life. [With this film] I was saying 'why will those people live and eat what we throw away, and can I meet them, can I speak to them?' And they are able to say when and what and how."
(Julie Rigg, ABC Australia)
Fig.1 Agnès Varda, 2000. Les Glaneurs et La Glaneuse
Fig.2 Jean François Millet, 1857. Musée d'Orsay