About

 

EXPERIMENTAL FILM

What is a film about? It’s odd that people don’t normally ask what a song or painting is about. They still search for meaning, but do not demand it. With film, a traditional narrative storytelling device, people do expect literal translation of the author’s intent.

I can’t do that. The experiment is to embed ideas and thoughts, and a hope for a change in thinking. You can make a documentary, sure, but, as Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski said when he began his career as a documentary filmmaker, once the camera is switched on, the person being interviewed is aware of it, and a performance, as we perform for others in our daily lives, begins. He thought he could make more honest films via fiction.

When we make a film, it is about what concerns each of the participants.

This film is about two things that obsessively haunt us: sex and death. It is about time travel, in that many people remain mired in the past while being terrified of the present, and never feel the abiding joy of living in the moment.

We used both 4k digital and film cameras. With the 4x5 cameras an array of focal lengths are deployed. There is digitized analog-sourced grain overlays used. When used with the inherent grain of film, the hope is to blur the line between still film photographs and match cuts, when possible, to the same location using the 4k cinema camera.

Many of the photographs are processed in a solution called caffenol. If you mess with development times and the amount of chemicals, the results are unpredictable, but almost always look as if the resultant images where made many years ago. There are also a number of images that come from paper negatives. The folds and tears you’ll see are actually, not digitally, created. The paper is loaded directly into the 4x5 camera and processed normally.

The score was produced by Mark Robinson, who founded the group “Unrest.” I drove my 1976 Monte Carlo around town listening to their song “Suki” on cassette. Many years later, I wrote to Mark, told him the Monte Carlo story, and he agreed to produce the score.

 
 
 
 

“But I reckon that this realm of higher needs, of something more than just forgetting about everyday life, of mere recreation, this realm of needs has been clearly neglected by us.”
Krzysztof Kieślowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski

 
 
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“I sensed a mutual indifference behind polite smiles and had the overwhelming impression that, more and more frequently, I was watching people who didn't really know why they were living.”
Krzysztof Kieślowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski

 
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“This, among other things, is where the magic of the screen lies: that suddenly, as an audience, you find yourself in a state of tension because you're in a world shown to you by the director. That world is so coherent, so comprehensive, so succinct that you're transported into it and experience tension because you sense the tension between the characters.”
Krzysztof Kieślowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski