blackbirdonline journalSpring 2010  Vol. 9  No. 1
JOHN BRESLAND | Video Essay Suite


Contributor’s Commentary
Shortly before writing the text for Mangoes, I was under the spell of a film I’d recently seen and loved, The Five Obstructions, in which Lars von Trier puts his mentor, Jørgen Leth, through a series of sadistic trials. My own modest obstruction in Mangoes, self-imposed, was to acquire video, record sound, and compose a score using only a cell phone. In the end, I cheated. But just a bit. For the most part, Mangoes is authored on an iPhone. I recorded the score using an app called Euphonics. Throughout the process, I missed having a sharper lens, a larger, more “professional” camcorder that gave more control over the image. But at the same time, authoring a video essay with something you can fit in your pocket confers a certain intimacy; it’s an overall lower-key enterprise. For me, a more personal essay was the result.  

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