Tuesday, April 8, 2008

loose concept for film?

How do you construct a profile of someone's life? Certainly presenting a life through a falsely linear and chronological order is insufficient. In fact, any attempt to present an all-encompassing portrait will prove inadequate. However, the best method i currently can conceive of is a conscious attempt to capture the fragmentary nature of life moments --- the complex web of connected impressions, emotions, and experiences --- dispersed throughout one's 'past' and 'present'. Symbols (a childhood toy, your home, a high school notebook) become containers which act as worm holes to transfer us fluidly through these temporal fragments. The emphasis is placed on motion. Once in a while we place our finger down and stop the spinning coin to reveal an image. This new structure allows us to manipulate past conventions and enter a realm in which the need for many past documentary techniques can be re-envisioned. For example, establishing shots no longer simply establish place and time, they distort place and time, becoming a river, carrying one 'paused' moment to the next. Today in aesthetics we were reading Dewey. This passage popped out to me in light of this stream of thought: "Experience like breathing is a rhythm of intakings and outgivings . Their succession is punctuated and made a rhythm by the existence of intervals, periods in which one phase is ceasing and the other is inchoate and preparing" (Nature of Art 148). Essentially, the film is trying to get at the rhythm of Alex's life (using symbols, experiences, performances, interviews, etc.), to punctuate revealing and perceived meaningful intervals. After class Nancy mentioned that the term "holiday" derives from the meaning "hole in time." These punctuated moments are basically personal holes in time, significant holidays or plot points of one's formated identity. Of course, this is not to say that each point moves to the next point causally, but rather, relationally. In other words, it's not a + b = c. It's a series of seemingly scattered impressions connected relationally. When I was on my mission in Thailand, I went into a bathroom of some other elders. In the bathroom I saw a bottle of Cool Water cologne. Having worn this cologne most of my time in high school, I picked it up and smelled it. A flood of memories carried me through high school and fractured memories. I didn't only smell Cool Water, I smelled Cool Water covering up the marijuana smoke on my clothes. It made me think of visine. It made me think of my girlfriend. It transported me. This is what I'm talking about. This is the loose concept for the structure of the documentary --- a passage through moments, symbols, and abstractions, transporting the audience through the motion of dream-like manifestations of life at its most earnest and open form. This is just the beginning of questioning. Within questioning, there seems to be implicit motion, less concrete, but more substantial than answers. My mind is blown.

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