In September, I was in Amsterdam for a couple of weeks and had some observations.
WATCH ::: http://vimeo.com/32831374
Amsterdam has a bad rep ::: coffee shops, red lights and canals. And, for my first ten days here I experienced none of it…successfully and without trying i avoid the trap/crap…what a beautiful and romantic place…It’s the last day of my trip and i purposely engage in the tourist game of red lights…before i describe my first encounter, i’ll name a few fantastic things about this magical place.
The light ::: the most incredible light that illuminates colors and reflects everything brighter, cleaner and more intensely. At every moment, every light change, I’m amazed… (not because i’m high!)…The bicycle ::: in an effort to promote being green, even the prime minister bikes to work. It’s the ultimate way to experience the town…
The air ::: you breathe, deeper, louder, happier … there is a crispness…it’s September, the leaves have started a paced descend…the rain is gentle, frequent and short, welcoming and we accept it…a perfect introduction to fall. I could go on…but… let me make some observations.
The inspiration for this one came from Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil.
Perhaps most obvious here the female voiceover in English (by the brilliant Sarah Enid Hagey)- usually my disguises are foreign in which the melody of the language attempts to suit the images. There is so much to be said about Sans Soleil but one thing I really connected to is something Marker mentioned in an interview which very much reflects what happens during an artistic creation…That is, Marker confirms what most of us find to be true (at least I do) when filming : “I photograph a story I didn’t quite understand. It was in the editing that the pieces of the puzzle came together, and it wasn’t me who designed the puzzle. I’d have a hard time taking credit for it. It just happened, that’s all.”
Reminds me of The Song of Ceylon where Basil Wright just shoots on instinct not knowing why…but somehow magically these unconscious decisions manifest into a message through the work.
San Soleil is political, it’s personal, a stream of consciousness, observational commentary, a diary, an intellectual provocation and a historical document, a reminder to be all at once. The narration of film itself if full on brilliant comments, one among many that I relate to : “I wonder how people remember who don’t film, don’t photograph, don’t tape…(images) have substituted themselves for my memory. They are my memory.”
P.s. Fantastic sounds by Stian Westerhus