An interview with Aaron Katz who made “Cold Weather”
February 3, 2011, 3:25 am
Filed under: Film

Aaron Katz is exactly the person who made Cold Weather. Yes he is. I know it sounds trite, but I stand by the statement as the most efficient way to describe Aaron’s relationship to his movie. Though… I should explain-

Film as an artform involves more permutations of the passage between idea and outcome than any other mainstream visual art. The amount of directorial decisions a filmmaker must (can) make are exponential compared to those of the painter or the photographer. The filmmaker is afforded/burdened with that many more variables to influence (lighting choices, casting choices, performance, locations, dialogue, etc…). The film can incorporate or deny the elements of color that make a painting, the nuances of writing that make a narrative, the selection of moments that make photographs, and the poetic juxtaposition of all the aforementioned. As such, though the end product in film may potentially convey a sense of realism to the audience unreachable by any other artform, it inevitably faces the danger of that final reception by the audience taking place at a great phenomenological distance from the original idea or sensation the filmmaker aspired to.

The traditional narrative historically involves the greatest number of these permutations (as opposed to more experimental films which limit their concepts to fewer or singular variables of narrative or visual action). And in film, these elements are usually carried out by separate teams or separate people; you know your gaffers, and your cinematographers, and your editors, and producers. So not only is the film beleaguered  with the onset of the arbitration of innumerable artistic possibilities, but each time one of these is implemented so is the risk of interference from another mind.

You can listen to songs or look at paintings where the humanity is somehow absent, where you can tell a person started making it, but veered in their path of conception to expression. When the process of making a film is as complicated as it is and each step so specialized, it would be essential that the filmmaker either master every step or make careful decision as to who to entrust those steps to. With the technology available, this has only recently been made possible to people who have not spent any less time than decades gathering the resources and expertise they need to make a masterful movie.

Cold Weather is symptomatic of a new era of filmmaking where those specializations are compounded by mature technologies so that the vision in all its calculated complications carries through fewer vessels than what have dominated the past and so manifest what is, in that a complicated transmission has come from one person to the next, a more pure movie.

I met Aaron Katz and I watched his movie and he is exactly the person who made it.

Anyway, Cold Weather was written, directed and edited by Aaron Katz. It opens at IFC Center on Friday, February 4th after premiering at South by Southwest in March. The film stars Cris Lankenau, Raúl Castillo, and Robyn Rikoon. The film has a very nice score by Keegan Dewitt. It’s the music you hear in the interview. The score will soon be downloadable from Keegan’s website.


Lucas Green