Conceptualist Films
Ideas in Images

Hollywood Film Festival Beckons! August 25, 2015

Hello! For this Media Monday on Tuesday, we have an exciting announcement – our film, F For Franco, has been selected to be shown at the Hollywood Film Festival in Los Angeles in September! The theme for 2015 is, “What is the Future of Hollywood?”, and CF’s experimental journey into the creative mind and process of the art of multi-faceted James Franco is a perfect fit for discussing the possibilities of film beyond the tried-and-true formulas. More details to follow, but we are very pleased to show our film there! Here are just a few stills from our film – have a wonderful day!






Videostills of Douglas Gordon's and James Franco's collaborative Film Project "Rebel" for the Venice Biennial 2011. Film produced at Cinegate Studios Berlin, actor: Henry Hopper, camera George Geddes. Still images show take "Crayons"

Videostills of Douglas Gordon’s and James Franco’s collaborative Film Project “Rebel” for the Venice Biennial 2011. Film produced at Cinegate Studios Berlin, actor: Henry Hopper, camera George Geddes. Still images show take “Crayons”



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As a Babe in Arms in Cuba July 14, 2015

Happy Media Monday on Tuesday! Do you remember much of your earliest years as a child? Did anything stick out in particular? I confess, I don’t remember much of my own childhood; in sharp contrast, Francisco has very singular memories of his first years. Here is a brief, intense glimpse into his early childhood in Cuba. It’s a unique story, to say the least – one, I daresay, that few could match. Enjoy!


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Orson’s Birthday, F For Fake, and F For Franco May 7, 2015

Hello! Happy Birthday to Orson Welles, who would have been 100 years old today. Our film, F For Franco, takes its title from Welles’ F For Fake. F For Fake is about an art forger and a faker, while our film discusses how James Franco uses his experimental art and film projects to fake and forge his own identity. I came across this article today about Welles and his efforts in experimentation, which is precisely what Conceptualist Films is about.

The videos below are from our Youtube channel and begin with a short clip of Orson himself from F For Fake, followed by some of our work on our film – Enjoy!








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Until Something Else April 30, 2015

Hello! It’s been awhile, but I have a post for you this…Media Monday on Tuesday plus one? The music alone will make you sit up and take notice with its eerie otherworldliness (composed by Francisco), as will the subject of this short film. In the 1960’s, some of the best filmmakers of the French intelligentsia turned briefly to the new genre of the avant-garde sci-fi film. The two most oft-cited examples are Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville and Chris Marker’s La Jetée. But as these works were presented more as experiments in pushing narrative form than as commentary on society, Francisco saw this trend as both an inspiration for the medium and yet, ironically, a lost opportunity to use film as a fictive essay form. Reflecting on the pervasive ways that cyberculture has transformed art and identity, Francisco made this “sci-non-fi” film essay, the first of a series in the spirit of those French experiments. Enjoy!


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The Conceptualist and Casablanca February 18, 2015

Hello! We return to our web show with some art by Andrew Neumann.  Neumann’s art often consists of a melding of different types of media; for example, combining photography, machines, and film into a single work that can’t be easily categorized, but is mesmerizing to experience. Rarely are any pieces static, something is almost always in motion in some fashion. In Episode 5 of The Conceptualist, Francisco shows us some of his artwork. It’s a quiet reflection on the space, order, and distance in a room of his installations. Fans, machines offering soothing words, and That Moment in Casablanca come together in this latest web show in the series. Enjoy!






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Book Review to accompany one of our upcoming films September 29, 2014


Hello! As I may have mentioned, we don’t like to be bored here. Francisco’s book,
The Engagement Aesthetic is filled with still images depicting the new media art he is discussing. So, it made perfect sense to make a film based on the book, where the art, which almost always requires some form of the moving image to activate it, could be even better represented.

Here is a very thoughtful review of the book from Elizabeth Mix of Butler University:

Ricardo (art theorist and documentary film producer) wisely avoids pitfalls associated with new media: the fast-changing nature of the technology that underpins it, and an unlimited array of possible examples to discuss. Instead Ricardo focuses both on the experience that new media provides and its critical difference from earlier, specifically object-based, or “modern,” forms of art. The book’s title might mislead potential readers, as Ricardo’s work is not really about aesthetics per se; nor does it fit into the category of art criticism. Rather, the author posits that digital media inspire an interaction with an audience, and that this engagement can be productively explored through the artistic process of critique (an open-ended and reflective process of exploration that begins with the senses and avoids judgments). Each aesthetic property identified (e.g., metonymy, performativity, reflexivity) is linked both to art history and theory (including Merleau-Ponty, Bakhtin, Barthes, Benjamin, Habermas, and others). Despite the weightiness of the material, the short-chapter structure and restrained use of jargon makes this volume surprisingly accessible. While this volume’s most obvious use is as a textbook for a graduate-level course in new media theory, it may find a wider audience among practicing artists. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students through professionals/practitioners.
–E. K. Mix, Butler University

Watch for some sneak footage of this film to come soon! Have a great day! 🙂

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