Press Play

GREY MATTERS: Chaos Is Here To Stay

When a movie turns into the biggest film that isn’t a sequel or a remake in Earth’s history, you can bet that Hollywood is going to figure out what made that film such a billion dollar baby. That movie is Gary Ross’s "The Hunger Games," and the most easily utilized element of that film is something not much loved around here—chaos cinema.
  • By Ian Grey
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  • March 30, 2012 9:19 AM
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VIDEO ESSAY: CHAOS CINEMA, PART 3; Matthias Stork addresses his critics

Editor’s Note: Press Play is proud to debut part three in Matthias Stork’s Chaos Cinema, the latest installment in an ongoing consideration of a phenomenon that Stork defined in two video essays that ran on this site in August, 2011. His first two chapters touched off a firestorm of debate that’s still going on. Just last weekend, New York Times contributor Alex Pappadeas cited the piece in a year-end “Riffs” column. Citing bizarre images in "the trailer for 2016, a possibly nonexistent sci-fi movie from Ghana," Pappadeas argued that the major problem with the style is that it does not go far enough. "The standard knock on Chaos Cinema filmmakers is that they’re constructing narratives entirely from rupture and collision," he writes. "But if movies are going to go there, they should really go there. Let’s stop asking directors who clearly have no affinity for story or character to pretend otherwise. Instead, let’s let the alien kick the baby, and see how far the baby will fly." That’s what Stork is doing here by addressing his critics directly using the form that has served him well in the past, the video essay. The full text of the piece’s narration is printed below. For context, we’ve also reproduced Parts 1 and 2 of Chaos Cinema as well. The comments section is open. You may fire when ready.
  • By Matthias Stork
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  • December 9, 2011 6:12 PM
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Matthias Stork: Chaos Cinema/Classical Cinema part 1

Matthias Stork is more likely to be found hunched over a research desk at the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library than in the darker recesses of a multiplex cinema playing the latest Hollywood visual effects laden action flick. He is, after all, a graduate student in the Department of Film and Television at UCLA. He has an M.A. in Education from Goethe University, Frankfurt, in his native Germany. His current focus is on German expressionist films of the 1920s.
  • By John Bailey
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  • November 8, 2011 1:09 PM
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VIDEO ESSAY: CHAOS CINEMA: The decline and fall of action filmmaking

Chaos Cinema Part 1 from Matthias Stork on Vimeo.
  • By Matthias Stork
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  • August 22, 2011 8:30 AM
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