Artists' Television Access

Vincent Moon

Friday, September 3, 2010, 8:00 pm, $6-$10

We are excited to bring in music video director phenom Vincent Moon for an evening of music shorts.  Moon is one of the most exciting artists working today, reinviting the genre of music videos through his intimate and profound take away shows.

A recent Artist in Focus and winner of the Sound and Vision Award at CPH:DOX, who have the following to say on Moon…  His real name is Mathieu Saura. But it’s under the name of VincentMoon that music fans from all over the world – or at least those with an internet connection – know the 30-year-old comet of a filmmaker, who has reinvented the music video as a documentary. After having studied under the photgraphers Michael Ackerman and Antoine D’Agata, the young music nerd started getting increasingly interested in moving images. The combination of music and film could easily have ended in MTV-land. But according to Moon, the usual music video has long been stuck in a closed marketing circuit.

With his ‘Take Away Shows‘, he has since 2006 offered a non-commercial alternative: small, short films that capture the musicians out in the alleys, hallways and elevators of reality, without amplifiers or special effects. The Take Away Shows paved the way for larger film projects, and Saura’s far-reaching resumé now also includes concert films and documentaries – all of them equipped with the special shadow/light aesthetic that can give his images an almost abstract quality.

Moon’s greatest strength, however, is his ability to capture the music without superfluous embellishments. He is a musical adventurer, constantly seeking for new musical treasure chests. But he not only discovers: he also participates, with his camera as an instrument – and as an initiator of events

Vincent Moon was born in Paris in 1979. At the age of 18, he decided he wanted to see it all, to learn things on his own, out of curiosity, even if that could have led to overfeeding, and so for ten years. From that experience, images came out, through photography first, which we studied under the influence of Michael Ackerman and Antoine D’Agata. Some years later, as he discovered the work of Peter Tscherkassky, his images gained movement/motion. He made use of the Internet and developed various projects related to music, directing videos for Clogs, Sylvian Chauveau, Barzin, The National. In 2006, overwhelmed by the beauty of Step Across the Border, directed by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel, on the English guitarist Fred Frith, he created the Chryde and Take Away Shows project, La Blogotheque’s video podcast

This series of outdoor/wild documentaries consists in improvised video sessions with musicians, set in unexpected locations and broadcast freely on the web. In a year, he managed to shoot over a hundred clips with bands like REM, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Grizzly Bear and many more. He perfected a style immediately recognizeable of intimate, fragile, dancing and shadowing long shots, and at the same time changed the whole idea of what should be a music video.

While he works on his Take Away shows, Vincent Moon also keeps side projects, exploring other formats. He directed a movie-essay on New York band The National titles A skin, A night, released in May 2008, also created a one hour movie on The Arcade Fire and works closely with Michael Stipe and REM on several video and web projects related to their recent album: the 48′essay 6 Days, a free documentary on the recording of Accelerate, the experimental ninety-days-long web project called 90nights, and the video for the single Supernatural Superserious. He released in November 2007 his first dvd, a very unique film with Beirut, all the 12 songs from his new album being filmed in the streets of Brooklyn.

In his attempt to find new ways to film music, distancing himself from mainstream and commercial formats, he filmed in 2007 an average length gonzo film on the ATP Festival, Sketches from a nightmare, the first of a serie on this festival, as well as on the Music Now Festival in Cincinnati, in a very different style – a 30 min one shot in a building filled with musicians. In October 2007, Warp Films signed him up as a video clip director. But he doesn’t really enjoy video clips.

Exploring new forms and territories being not only a metaphor Vincent Moon is developing now what will be his lifetime project: to document every country in the world, as temporary areas, on a very unique website – WWW.TEMPORARYAREAS.COM – and not only dedicated to music this time. The first territories explored are Mali, Jerusalem, Iceland and The Lower East Side. A lot is still to come.