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Saturday, March 18, 2023

Sundance 2022 Women Directors: Meet Amanda Kim – “Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV”

Amanda Kim is a Korean American director and producer. A former artistic director at Vice Media, she led U.S. video course for i-D, Creators, and Garage journal. Kim additionally labored on Viceland, Vice’s TV channel, as a artistic producer in an experimental incubator the place she directed a manufacturing crew to check out pilots and progressive content material codecs.

“Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV” is screening on the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, which runs from January 19-29.

W&H: Describe the movie for us in your personal phrases.

AK: It’s a playful and emotional story about video artist Nam June Paik’s creative and private odyssey.

Though he’s most famously often called the daddy of video artwork, the movie facilities round Nam June’s phrases following him on his journey from East to West and his discovery and need to make use of video/tv as a creative device. He skilled firsthand the methods through which know-how was used to amplify ideological division, splitting his nation and forcing him to go away his house nation.

Through video artwork, he investigated the methods through which know-how could possibly be used for higher communication and world connection moderately than division. He created an digital Esperanto via his video artwork, a brand new approach to talk with the world.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

AK: I used to be drawn to Nam June’s story due to my very own itinerant background as a Korean rising up in Japan after which shifting West. I associated to his nomadic life and multicultural id. He didn’t see the world in black or white phrases however as a hybrid and I actually gravitated towards that perspective. It’s inspiring and refreshing at a time when every little thing appears to be categorized in binary phrases.

I used to be additionally interested by his work, which is filled with humor and leaves you with questions. I wished to study extra and found how layered his artwork was.

W&H: What would you like folks to consider after they watch the movie?

AK: I hope folks will really feel the necessity to query and problem the world round us and the applied sciences which have develop into so ubiquitous. I hope folks will really feel hopeful concerning the potentialities that we’ve got but to uncover.

I hope folks will really feel the enjoyment and humor Nam June introduced into the world via his presence and work. I hope folks really feel the facility of artwork as a method of communication and investigation.

W&H; What was the largest problem in making the movie?

AK: The greatest problem was convincing people who I might do it as a first-time function director after which ensuring I might inform the story I believed in whereas navigating a number of events that had various concepts of what they thought the story ought to be.

W&H: How did you get your movie funded? Share some insights into how you bought the movie made.

AK; This is my first function. I had by no means even directed a brief. So it was understandably fairly difficult to seek out funding sources at first. But my good friend David Koh, who’s a producer on the movie and was Nam June’s assistant in his faculty years, inspired me to make a remedy and to begin recording my analysis interviews with Nam June’s contemporaries.

You don’t must be totally funded to make a documentary, so I began filming utilizing an iPhone and cameras I had entry to via good friend favors. Then I used to be accepted into the IDFA discussion board, the place you get to pitch your mission to a gaggle of worldwide co-producers and distributors.

I obtained cash from personal buyers, grants, and Korean authorities funds via my Korean co-producer whom I met at IDFA. What was additionally a bonus was the topic intersected between artwork and movie, so I used to be capable of search for funding choices within the artwork world as nicely.

W&H: What impressed you to develop into a filmmaker?

AK: I by no means thought I used to be going to be a filmmaker however I used to be at all times eager about storytelling via artwork. I labored in varied artistic industries from music, vogue, artwork, and media however couldn’t select one. I discovered myself at Vice the place they threw me into the deep finish of manufacturing once I had zero expertise, and it was a sink-or-swim state of affairs. Despite near-drowning experiences, I discovered that I actually loved telling tales via shifting photos.

Filmmaking introduced collectively all of the totally different artistic disciplines I loved. You must be a painter, composer, designer, author, and put on many different hats to make a movie.

W&H: What’s the perfect and worst recommendation you’ve obtained?

AK: Best recommendation: Trust your instincts however be open to something that comes up. An accident or mistake may turn into proper.

Worst recommendation: “This isn’t commercial enough.”

W&H: What recommendation do you may have for different girls administrators?

AK: Don’t let anybody inform you which you can’t do it or that your movie isn’t “commercial” sufficient. Keep going!

W&H: Name your favourite woman-directed movie and why.

AK: “Morvern Callar” by Lynne Ramsay

I couldn’t cease fascinated about the movie weeks after watching it and it impressed me to begin writing.

No one is aware of how they are going to cope with grief till it occurs to them and “Morvern Callar” offers with that query in a really sudden means. Though the principle character makes a questionable determination, Samatha Morton and Lynne Ramsey, created a multi-faceted character and you continue to root for her — at the least I did.

I feel these are the strongest sorts of movies – when a personality surprises you. The movie is darkish, unusual, absurd, and shifting.

W&H: What, if any, obligations do you suppose storytellers must confront the tumult on this planet, from the pandemic to the lack of abortion rights and systemic violence?

AK: I feel storytellers subconsciously or consciously are responding to the world, nevertheless delicate or overt that messaging is of their work. I don’t suppose it’s a duty a lot as an inevitability.

It’s laborious to make a movie, so the one approach to endure the lengthy and turbulent journey is if you happen to really feel the story is necessary sufficient to inform. Even if it’s not a “confrontation,” it’s a response to the experiences of participating with the world round you.

W&H: The movie trade has an extended historical past of underrepresenting folks of coloration onscreen and behind the scenes and reinforcing — and creating — unfavourable stereotypes. What actions do you suppose must be taken to make Hollywood and/or the doc world extra inclusive?

AK: I feel it’s necessary for the trade to present more room to underrepresented folks in a considerate and fluid means. Shifting casting/hiring practices are necessary. I need to see extra Asian faces behind and on display, however I feel sure methods of promoting movies as “Asian films” can create unfavourable reinforcement and emphasize the “difference” additional. I perceive this may be a necessary first step in course correcting however generally I feel we’ve gone too far.

That being stated, I feel it’s actually constructive to have extra of those conversations and it’s necessary to have the ability to discover position fashions or be position fashions in these communities.

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