THE MEANING OF STYLE (5', Malaysia, 2012)

 

The experimental British filmmaker PHIL COLLINS traveled far, all the way to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, to explore the relationship between East and West. He brought back a tropical fantasy featuring a cast of left-wing skinheads and exotic butterflies that seduced many film festivals, from Sarajevo and Rotterdam in Europe to Bello Horizonte in Brasil and Telluride in USA. Originally commissioned by the 2011 Singapore Bienalle, this single-channel video installation is an acid and at the same time strikingly beautiful reflection on complex topics such as the construction of identity in relation to mass media and the contemporary forms of (neo)colonialism.

Director: PHIL COLLINS

With the support of:

 

Cinematography: HIDEHO URATA

Editing: SHANTHA KUMAR

Music: GRUFF RHYS & Y NIWL

Producer: FRAN BORGIA

Production: SHADY LANE PRODUCTIONS, AKANGA FILM ASIA



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www.shadylaneproductions.co.uk/

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From his first video shot in the refugee camps of Stenkovec and Chegrane in Macedonia, during the Kosovo crisis in 1999, to his nomination for the well-known Turner Award for contemporary art in 2006, PHIL COLLINS is a distinct voice of experimental and video art stage. About his work, Collins said: "A camera brings interested parties together. It attracts and repels according to circumstance or whim. A camera makes me interested in you and you maybe interested in me. In this sense, it's all about love. And exploitation." His films have been screened, in solo and group exhibitions, all over the world, in prestigious venues like Tate Britain, ICA Institute of Contemporary Art London, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst Belgium, and many others.

 

Centre Pompidou / Sarajevo 2012 / Rotterdam 2012 / Hamburg IFF 2012 / Curtas Vila do Conde 2012 / Telluride 2012 / Sydney 2012 / Bello Horizonte 2012 / Guanajuato 2012 / Worldwide ISFF Toronto 2012 / Singapore Art Biennale 2011 etc.

 

“Shot with Malaysian skinheads in Penang, the film is a meditative fantasy on signs, signals and butterflies, leading to pointed reflections on ‘the relationship between British colonial history and popular culture in South-East Asia” (PHIL COLLINS)

 

"THE MEANING OF STYLE is a unique experience in many ways. (...) Using a sequence of slow motion panning shots and a dream like soundtrack the characters are shown as fully embracing western culture. They read western publications, such as Melody Maker and the Radio Times, they listen to western music, they dress in western clothes and they fight among each other just like western youth. In many ways THE MEANING OF STYLE is an abstract portrait of two worlds coexisting in relative harmony. Throughout the film East Asian symbolism is repeatedly persistent, with butterflies and Buddhist swastikas forming the setting, while western habits are all too dominant. Above all, this piece stands out for its brilliant conjugation of simplicity and visual beauty taking the audience into an artist vision of two worlds colliding." (Fernando Vasquez, NISIMAZINE).

 

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