Retrospective on Mark Rappaport

Each year, the Spektrum (spectrum) program tries to offer new ways of seeing the diversities of forms in documentary film. A personal take of the directors in describing the world through their perspective. In this year Spektrum we pick Mark Rappaport, an underground director of the 70s American cinema. Rappaport utilizes footages of popular films constructed within a specific narration, creating a harmony of visual and narrative with a premise. He calls his work a video essay. A kind of commentary born from the filmmaker’s thesis. As a relatively new form of media (especially in Indonesia), video essay has no specific structural rules, though there exists a habit on a supercut, repeated appearance of favorite scenes on the idols. As far as things go, it is agreed that video essay is a collective clips from one or more than two films in exploring new discourses on said film/s.

The video essays of Mark Rappaport combine clips from films that illustrate his rich insight on cinema. The pieces are made complete in structured narrative achieved by a voice over. It is as if the filmmaker wants to engage the audiences to re-interpret these collective of visuals. The works of Rappaport we include within the range of spectrum that gauges the ideas reassembled in the video essays. Through his works, we enter an articulation of thoughts. The reworking of the audio and music is also part in which the filmmaker builds impressions to the audiences.

Mark Rappaport’s video essays in this Spektrum program encase his interest in the world of cinema and all of its elements. He adds his flavor in the absurdity of his interest on mirror and table in the film The Vanity Table of Douglas Sirk. He also teases the audiences with “what we don’t know on the screen”, as he collages the facts surrounding a star in Becoming Anita Ekberg, or his personal interpretation on a character in a film in Sergei/ Sir Gay, even the artistic elements employed in a film in The Circle Closes. Rappaport’s video essays are closer to a personified narration. Watching his works, in mosaic of classic movies clips, we see how personal stories are presented in dramatic flair where fact and fiction are blurred. Inviting the audiences to study his pieces in enlightening interpretation, including little elements in cinema constructed in his narrative essays.


Currated by Alia Damaihati, Co-Currated by Sazkia Noor Anggraini

  • FFD 2017 | Becoming Anita Ekberg
    Becoming Anita Ekberg
  • FFD 2017 | Sergei | Sir Gay
    Sergei | Sir Gay
  • FFD 2017 | The Circle Closes
    The Circle Closes
  • FFD 2017 | The Vanity Tables of Douglas Kirk
    The Vanity Tables of Douglas Sirk
velit, commodo vel, risus et, quis fringilla