The October Diaries: Deadly Friend

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Illustration by Max Brown
Blurbs by Shannon Neale, Sean, and Christof
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The October Diaries: Sorority House Massacre

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 Illustration by Max Brown
Blurbs by Sean and Christof
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The October Diaries: Dead Silence

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 Illustration by Max Brown
Blurbs by Sean and Christof
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ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE: Jarmusch as Vampirically Cool Genre Equalizer

Jim Jarmusch is cool. Very few would have the misguided nerve to argue against this claim. His writing is cool, his directing is cool and his hair is very cool. His scripts seem to be written with the implicit intent of being undersold while his directing technique routinely undermines flash and outright refuses to sizzle. He often casts musicians like Tom Waits (who might be the epitome of cool) in leading roles and he is never afraid to let a shot linger glacially long enough to outlast contemporary audience expectations of what is appropriate.

Jarmusch is cool enough that venues should consider starting his movies an hour after the listed showtime in order to allow the images to arrive fashionably late to the eyeballs.

Illustration by Max Brown

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CHILDHOOD MACHINE TEASER

CHILDHOOD MACHINE — Teaser from the WHITEMAN BROTHERS on Vimeo.



YOUR CAT IS DEAD

The project file went corrupt! Motivation to retrace steps and re-complete not likely to be found for a good long while. So, while not quite finished, enjoy the rough/final version of YOUR CAT IS DEAD: A CREEPER’S GUIDE.

Inspired by two lost cat posters from SE Portland. The posters are real and the stories almost are.

Words written by Sean Whiteman.
Words performed by Christof Whiteman.

Starring Hemingway the cat. We’d like to thank the owners of Hemingway, whoever they may be.

CLICK TO FIND OUT THE FATES OF FRANK AND MARCOS.



Your Cat is Dead: A Creeper’s Guide



Sean Whiteman is a Man Hating God Destroyer

Writer: Santiago Vernetti

I look forward to the day we can all share a hearty nervous laugh in the memory of the long dead and buried postmodern cinema. Most of today’s artists have seemingly resigned from any attempts at cinematic progression, preferring instead to embrace the all too common delusion that postmodernism is simply a passing wave. They’ve convinced themselves that it will soon crest, washing away all the cinematic sequels, remakes and adaptations its waters have carried over the past few decades. While most lay catatonically in this collective stupor, the 2007 summer marks a record high in cinematic unoriginality. Die Hard 4, Harry Potter 5, 28 Weeks Later, Evan Almighty, Fantastic Four 2, Hostel 2, Oceans 13, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Resident Evil 3, Shrek 3, Rush Hour 3, Spiderman 3, The Simpson’s Movie, Hairspray, Halloween, Transformers the Movie, Nancy Drew, Underdog, Revenge of the Nerds… it seems this wave is more akin to a rising flood. A flood that provides very little evidence to suggest any plans of receding any time soon. Where the majority drown, Sean Whiteman diligently treads for dry land. With camera locked and loaded, and a few dead bears to his name, Whiteman has arguably produced the only thing super about this summer: Head Crumbs.

Stylistically, the “Texas saga” finds its roots in the modernist tradition. Riddled with self reflexivity, social/artistic commentary, and experimentation, Head Crumbs is Whiteman’s most progressive (dare I say radical?) work to date. Head crumbs is not only a refreshing concept amongst a sea of uninteresting cinema, but is executed in an outstandingly complimentary aesthetic. Not only can Sean Whiteman wrestle a grizzle single handed, he seems to know a thing or two about his craft. True, the piece is not without its technical flaws or shortcomings, but it is in the conceptual framework of the piece that these imperfections are actually welcomed, even embraced, regardless of artistic intention.

Wittily divided into three parts, Head Crumbs falsely advertises the typical three act plot structure. As with most of his structural critiques, Whiteman articulates his concerns with the subversion of narrative conventions, challenging audiences’ expectations and ultimately their involvement in the viewing process. Whiteman introduces part one just as “the tide shifts” and completes part three with not only an unresolved conflict, but with complex ambiguous metaphors. Though, his greatest subversion, and the most important element of Head Crumbs, is how Whiteman explores and deals with the idea of narrator.

The tradition of narrator within a greater fiction is literary, and for centuries it has carried with it the characteristics of a third person omniscient. This conventionally “effaced narrator” (to borrow the term from Henry James) provides an author with a direct voice, and one that holds unquestionably supernatural characteristics once the audience immerses themselves in the illusion of the fictional. The narrator takes on the godlike qualities of omniscience and omnipresence over the domain of the characters. The cinema however, presents an troubling obstacle in this respect to the effaced narrator. Though the cinema has its predisposition to the illusion of metaphysical dualism, it does so with respect to the camera and its transcendental relationship to the viewer. Were the voice of the narrator to be heard in a particular film’s soundtrack, the narrator would be revealed to us as character with a distinct voice. From this aural information we could suppose a number of things like age, gender, education, bringing the narrator further from godlike ambiguity and closer to definition representational of out natural reality. In this case, only the camera would remain a supernatural entity, superior to the narrator who now resides within the domain of the other characters. The possibility of a truly effaced narrator in the cinema is limited to the use of text (such as in the famous “One Year Later” device), but what Whiteman is concerned with is not the possibility of the effaced narrator in cinema, but of the greater issues of the authoritative nature of the conventionally effaced narrator. Not only does Whiteman give us a narrator with a voice and an image, he gives us the his own voice, his own image. Thus we are introduced to Sean Whiteman the narrator. This presents us with an interesting self referential paradox. The representation of Sean Whiteman claims to be Sean Whiteman, but isn’t the persona of this narrator Sean Whiteman merely a fictional construction of Sean Whiteman by Sean Whiteman? Yes. Of course. But by blurring the lines between authorship and narration, he is calling into question his own authority. Which, aside from being an interesting exercise in logic, is the most punk rock thing you can do.

Structurally and conceptually, Head Crumbs is a true work of avant-garde cinema! A progressive and political action in contemporary art criticism! When applying a psychoanalytic methodology, its narrative can even be viewed as a feminist battle cry in its depiction of male character Super Summer as the exhibitionist, and the female character Flip Flop (“more of a behind the curtains sort of gal”) as taking on the traditionally patriarchal role of the voyeur. Needless to say, this and many other events that unfold in the narrative are worth exploring and can be discussed on a multitude of levels. Yet, in remaining faithful to Whiteman’s commentary on the narrator, we can all agree he’s saying a lot about human relationships… but in the end, the most important thing he’s saying is, “Who gives a rats ass about the opinion of a man hating, modernist, god destroyer?” So let’s all take what we will from Head Crumbs and give our applause to Sean Whiteman, a filmmaker who, unlike so many of his contemporaries, has arguably the most important artistic quality there is – authenticity.



Head Crumbs: Part Three


Watch: Head Crumbs: Part One
Watch: Head Crumbs: Part Two



Head Crumbs: Part Two

Watch: Head Crumbs: Part One
Watch: Head Crumbs: Part Three