(image borrowed from http://thsmss.tumblr.com/)
The Dungeon Masters; GasLand; The King’s Speech; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Bird Song; Crazy, Stupid, Love.; This Must be the Place.
I haven’t posted a blog in a while… for which I am deeply regretful. I have conducted some deep root cause analysis as to why. I have furrowed my brow and ploughed recklessly to the inner reaches of my psyche. A valiant wayfarer, I have laced my boots and trod a trope pilgrimage seeking the enlightenment to my indolence.
No longer disheveled of mind and disarranged of thought; I have returned home. Carrying the burden of realisation and the enormity of expectation; I have swum from the miasma of my mind and alighted upon the plane of (relative) reality.
My findings are thus: I have been depriving myself of any motivation; I have calloused my senses to my environs and I have bloody well not listened, read, watched, looked, heard, observed, felt, attended, nor absorbed anything new nor old! I have lived in a vacuum of this annexe, that car, their office and those TV channels… for which I am deeply angry.
So. So, now. So now, then. So now then, there, there. One mustn’t be too absorbed by pitiful introspection and their own deplorable state. One must stride forth, armed with the knowledge of their findings and carve a new line through the earth. One must plant new seeds and nurture the new thoughts as they sprout and grow.
How does one achieve this? I watched some films, some documentaries too, and something happened, I started noticing the cinematography. I don’t understand any of it, but I started seeing things. I even listened to some soundtracks.
It shouldn’t be of any surprise to me that cinematography provoked me. It is one of its key functions: “You want images that unsettle the audience…” It worked, I watched films, I felt some inner reshuffling of priorities stirring and I woke up this morning with the urge to type; to strike the keys and convey this message; to expound and explore the tacit link between seeing, hearing and doing.
I don’t intend to technically analyse films, as I’ve offered in a earlier post, I lack the nous required. Instead, I just want to rave about the beauty of ‘it’ all and what it makes me want to do.
GasLand and The Dungeon Masters inspired me with lovely set up shots. The panning and still shots set a scene or view of where the viewer is going to be. I dare say that a parallel to still photography could be drawn to urban and landscape photos. Whatever, I urge you to find The Dungeon Masters and let the slow-panning-scene-setting-shots envelop you and transport you to where the action is. During The Dungeon Masters there are a series of shots taken within an apartment over a period of time. To convey the passing of time, the filmmakers use seasonal wreaths on the door of the apartment at each chapter page. It may be contrived, but it is so very wonderful that I want to copy it with a wee picture window in our kitchen. I hope I have the discipline to capture this scene as it evolves and grows throughout the year. The crab apple tree has only just lost the last of its fruit and will bloom in a few months, it will make a picturesque bokeh background.
The King’s Speech, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy and Bird Song present such powerful feelings of period and nostalgia without that evil of being clichéd nor affected. The King’s Speech must be shot on some seriously fast and wide lenses. In some of those shots, the closeness of the lens to the actor and the aperture blur, well, it’s just dreamy. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy makes me want to sit around some clubs, dimly lit bars and places where serious thinking occur, just so I can get the sort of shots that the cinematographer, Mr Van Hoytema did. Cripes, just look at all the brown, books and parallel convergence with the above shot of Benedict Cumberbatch. In Bird Song, I was absorbed equally by the contrast between the abject horror of the trenches and the luxurious beauty of the protagonist, his lover and the South of France.
Now, as for Crazy, Stupid, Love. I was sucker punched by the soundtrack. Imagine poor little old me, just curled up in a blanket on 4/9ths of the couch, settling in for rom-com night, then whammy! Grizzly Bear, The Acorn, Bonobo, Junip, Andrew Bird, The Middle East… and, of course, Talking Heads.
That Talking Heads song is a double whammy! Talking Heads is so deeply ingrained within me as an immediate reference to my childhood and the song itself is David Byrnes’ greatest love song. Hrm, it may actually be a triple whammy: The live version of the song, on the Stop Making Sense film, is divine. The lamp, the books, the lighting, oh my, oh my - it’s all so wonderful. Today I walked around
the house this home, seeking diffuse lighting and mysterious subjects that I could shoot.
So that’s where this heady journey of bokeh, brightness, blush and blare leave me. I have indulged myself with music and movies and I am motivated for it. But I need to make peace with the english countryside. I have spent the last 21 months writing a photographical love letter to it, but I’ve not been taking my cameras with me recently… next blog subject.
Oh English Summer…