R3TUAL Reveals Meaning Behind the Term "Moving Pictures"

Ben Staley and Eleventhreehundred Pictures have taken up the challenge to present a surreal work of art in a new way...as a moving picture. "Huh", you retort, "Film is film. Movies have been around for a hundred years." "Well, yes and no", says Staley, "A cinematic story, whether adventure or narrative, is far different from a piece of art actually come-to-life. When art is constantly fluid, only then can you have a true moving picture."

Hollywood, CA, January 02, 2007 --(PR.com)-- From the clouded times of prehistory when men first lived in caves there has been art... paintings and statues and drawings... static representations that captured a story or a history or a moment of time. With the advent of film in the mid-1800's, this field expanded to include photography. In the early 1900's with the development of cinema, art became alive with the telling of a story that changed and grew... that illustrated or shocked or praised or amused... that gave the viewer another world in which to lose themselves. All wonderful and lovely... but more like a book that has come to life. Artist and filmmaker Ben Staley wanted to go back to the roots of art to incorporate movement with narrative in a portrait study. As an artist, he had always accepted the challenge to push the envelope and create something where nothing existed... to bring as many aspects of a genre together in order to make something entirely new and different. So, like a multi-act play that uses the same set onstage as background for a number of intertwined stories, Staley and ElevenThreeHundred Pictures succeeded with R3TUAL in building a better mousetrap.

Set in Hollywood's once glorious Gerswin Hotel, Staley uses one of the rooms as his canvas... the players moving in and out of our reality like ghosts in the night to silently tell their tales. To quote Staley when he was first planning the project: "I am an artist and a filmmaker among other things, and have decided to do something entirely new. I will essentially be filming a two-hour movie live, altering it in post, adding FX and graphics and such and then projecting it for show. I will be essentially creating a moving digital painting, with the idea that every time you see it will subtly, or not so subtly have changed. Over the course of the viewing you would see something different every time you blink your eyes. Though this will be rehearsed and planned before shooting, it will also depend heavily upon the improvisation and energy and enthusiasm of the actors and models that participate. I will be changing things and sculpting performances and actions in real time as we are doing it. There will be no second takes, the camera will never stop and never move. Some performers will be nude for all or part of the time... some will wear masks or costumes. When it's done I will take all the footage and chop it up and do my thing with it. This should be extremely challenging and ultimately quite rewarding to pull off. I have faith it can be done. Everything will be very abstract and will require a lot from the eventual audience in terms of individual interpretation. Ultimately we want the viewer to think... to open his or her mind and see something they have never seen before." In that, Staley delivers everything he promises... and more.

Reviewer Leon King had this to say: "The soundtrack is as eerily familiar as leaves scratching against a window on a windy Autumn night. The viewer will study the subtle light and shadow of the decaying room as characters suddenly appear in the scene to interact in ways that amaze. R3TUAL is a delightful work of art that would honor any wall upon which it might be hung, but Staley goes further to create a looped 90-minute film that is in every sense of the phrase a "moving picture". A viewer's eyes might turn away for a few moments and then return to find only some small thing subtly altered... or while staring intently, blink and find the entire scene changed. One cannot let down one's guard for a second. There are more wonders in Staley's constantly changing vision than can be recounted here. First premiering at "Bluespace", an avant-garde gallery in Hollywood, R3TUAL has been traveling from showing to showing ever since... quietly... like a ghost in the darkness... each new showing like opening an oyster to reveal a fabulous pearl... every viewing revealing something new and magical. One must visit Staley's website to learn where and when the next "R3TUAL" will be performed... or better yet, purchase a DVD to enjoy at leisure."

Starring Johnny Holliday, Aschleigh Farynn, Michael Q. Schmidt, Rhonda Jackson, Beth Ashby Ferrara, Carol Saenz, Miss Pixie, and Brian Christopher, R3TUAL gives a viewer moments that touch at a disturbingly deep level. 

Be part of R3TUAL in 2007. Visit http://ElevenThreeHundred.com

ElevenThreeHundred Pictures
Ben Staley