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You Too Can Look Out the Rear Window Window, at the Sydney Film Festival

The 2013 Sydney Film Festival is bringing out Jeff Desom's intense, insanely complex-looking video installation Rear Window Loop. Projected on a 10m-long surface, the panoramic piece allows you to see the world as it appeared to Jimmy Stewart's paranoid, wheelchair-bound photojournalist Jeff in Hitchcock's Rear Window possible murders and all.

The effect is created by splicing scenes together in After Effects, a process more complicated than it sounds in this sentence. "I dissected all of Hitchcock's Rear Window and stitched it back together in After Effects," says Desom on his website. "I stabilised all the shots with camera movement in them. Since everything was filmed from pretty much the same angle I was able to match them into a single panoramic view of the entire backyard without any greater distortions. The order of events stays true to the movie's plot."

The three-channel projection runs for 20 minutes. You can get a good idea of the process as well as the finished product in this video, also from Dessom's site.

Rear Window Loop won Best Remix in the Vimeo Awards and Golden Nica at Ars Electronica and will be installed at the Sydney Film Festival Hub at Lower Town Hall, which since last year has been the festival's route to incorporating art happenings, interdisciplinary works and playtime, acknowledging the role of film outside the cinema. It's curated by Sydney's favourite cultured revellers, The Festivalists (Jurassic Lounge).

The Sydney Film Festival has also announced the first 27 films of its 2013 program as a taster. Most hotly anticipated is the neo-Gothic thriller Stoker from Park Chan-Wook (Old Boy), which stars Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Jacki Weaver. Other highlights include Wadjda, the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia (and by a Sydney Uni graduate no less, Haifaa Al Mansour); Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls, a documentary about Burma's first girl band by Australian director Juliet Lamont; and Comrade Kim Goes Flying, a romantic comedy that's also the first North Korean movie to screen at the festival. The full program will be revealed on May 8.

You can see Rear Window Loop at the Sydney Film Festival Hub at Lower Town Hall from June 6-14 at 5-6pm and again from 10pm-midnight. The SFF itself runs from June 5-16.

April 3, 2013 by Rima Sabina Aouf

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