Niklas Vollmer-Reading the Water
Reading the Water (40 minutes) is a high-definition experimental ‘home video’ and personal-poetic essay that mobilizes the coast of Maine—the sandbox of the Vollmer’s youth and his marine biologist and naturalist professor-photographer father’s area of expertise—as a metaphor for exploring the depths of masculine relationships and family ecosystem sustainability across three generations. The videotape’s title employs the idea of “reading” the surface of water—akin to unpacking the meaning of a photograph—as a means to navigate what is below; it “reads” the water both in content and form and utilizes playfully reflexive editing techniques and wry cinematic disruptions to unveil the complex and fragile dynamics of the family ecosystem vis-à-vis a behind-the-scene reveal of the videotape’s construction. Vollmer also harnesses on-screen text to incorporate his (then) 3-year-old son’s well-expressed need for emotional presence from his biological ‘fathers’—a strategy that also gives voice to the maker’s own buried, yet still present, need for his own dad. The work is also a love letter to his son and father.
Daniel Robin-Neighborhood Films
Using their unique vision of documentary storytelling, filmmakers from around the world give the internet viewer an intimate look at their neighborhoods and the stories about themselves and or the people who live there, in 3-4 minute episodes produced exclusively for the Web. The concept is to create a commmunity of neighborhoodfilms. Neighborhoodfilms.com began with Daniel Robin’s series, “The Valet Chronicles,” which is about a corner, and its inhabitants, in North Beach, San Francisco
Niklas Vollmer-Happy Crying Nursing Home
With an almost frightening intensity, videomaker Niklas Sven Vollmer captures the enveloping void of fatherhood in Happy Crying Nursing Home. In penetratingly honest detail, Vollmer charts the feelings of loneliness, jealousy, and tenderness, the bitter complex cocktail of despair and love that define his relationships to his child, his partner – and his camera. An emotion-laden evocaion of the disorienting, thrilling, and disturbing sensations of new parenthood, Happy Crying Nursing Home is a powerful and witty, self-referential treatise on technology’s gendered function and an analysis of what the camera means in a father’s hands. It treats the paradoxical elements of helplessness and control asserted each time the camera comes on.
Niklas Vollmer-Other Side of the Tracks
The Other Side of the Tracks Project is a series of video docu-plays of week 15 of Suzan Lori-Parks 365 Days 365 Plays Festival. We solicited individuals who we met in urban, public spaces to serve as actors, readers, and reviewers for production of video docu-plays in an effort to highlight the impromptu series of unlikely non-actor ensembles on the internet. In presenting the project to the public, we chose to employ prosumer grade video equipment and consumer-based desktop based web publishing software to match the grass roots nature of the project.