The time to time (view this story)

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Michael Fagans Nov. 15, 2010, 9:45 p.m. permalink

Ernesto, Sergio and Jose Carlos:

I am of mixed feelings after watching your piece. My biggest hesitation in writing a critique is wondering if I have a cultural bias toward shorter videos.

Specifically, I liked how the video was shot. Great detail shots, good use of light, I liked the camera movement you introduced,and there is nice framing. I like him playing his instrument and it is a good way to introduce sound  naturally into the piece.

On the downside it felt long and unfocused to me. We didn't get in to the 'meat' of the watch making till around the 9 minute mark and that is what interested me the most about your subject. I felt as though some of the 'chapters' of his life were broken up intentionally to drive the story forward, but it frustrated me as a viewer. I would , personally, rather have had all the relationship material in one section for example.

The danger with really colorful characters sometimes is what to keep in and what to leave out. While the transistor and radio section was interesting it helped unfocus the piece for me.

And this is where I fear cultural bias may be creeping in. The pace of the piece feels very Spanish to me, I have a brother who lives in Barcelona, and it is certainly not American pacing, but it works. But I am left wondering why he is important to me as the viewer.

Is he the last watchmaker in his village? Is he an elder in his community? Does he offer me insight into anything special? In one sense a piece about a watchmaker screams illustrating the passage of time to me, and while I got aspects of that from your video, in the end I did not feel that connected to him or feel the passing of time.

Once again, I even hesitate to raise pacing issues because there are European films and videos that do not conform to US norms that are very successful for me as a viewer. I hope this comment can start the ball rolling and we will see what other folks have to say.

Thank you very much for sharing your work. I look forward to seeing more.

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