Wednesday, September 19, 2007

shiny new flakes . . .

i feel great, just like this (left). fall is here in Utah, and it's my favorite time of year. i love the anticipatory moment of curiosity regarding the nature of my outerwear; light sweater or simple layers? shell or wool coat? break out the UGGs? (i finally broke down; they are simply the best winter boots, despite looking a little Clan of the Cave Bear'ish and not at all as sleek as those pictured, left; can one *really* feel like that? i like to think so).

we'll be taking a traditional "leaf tour" soon; we actually do that. it's pretty nice. the canyons here may as well be Switzerland. when i moved here, i didn't imagine that we would have such great mountains (Phoenix had "hills," which were then "mountains" to us. now, we know better).

i'll be working on my new film soon. i'll be talking to student and other novice filmmakers along with veteran independent filmmakers who will talk to me. i'm interested in what people are doing outside of mainstream cinema (although i am most certainly a dork for mainstream cinema). i'm also planning on learning more about my camera. for my first documentary, it was "point and shoot" as i could, as i could get access, find time, travel, etc. i "found" some decent footage and am proud of the work, but i once screened it for 2 women who work intimately with the Sundance institute, and they had all kinds of things to say about my shots, my naïve use of negative space (which, while not intentional, i could defend as a move that aligned w/ the film's dystopian themes of Orwell's 1984).

one of the things i like about filmmaking is thinking about how i will/might/someday talk about the film in my pithy Q & A. i can't actually approach this kind of thinking until i am well into the process, but it's still pretty cool. and, i mean, if i don't dream of speaking from that podium, i am not being honest (this is our culture, at large, but it's also a cliché, a convention that attends participation in film culture). it's quite a pleasurable activity, inventing clever ways of talking about what amount to lucky finds and/or mistakes as "revolutionary" filmmaking moves. and what's truly fascinating about this activity is how it's often quite simple to discover ways of justifying the moves, which makes me wonder about the moves themselves, about the possibility that my subconscious is asking or compelling me to make them for the very reasons i am after-the-fact discovering. i like to imagine that David Lynch would agree with me here; in his book on meditation, he talks about the creative imagination in just this sort of way.

in a piece i wrote for Composition Studies, a piece that evolved from both my CCCC's 2007 and my PSU 2007 talks, i consider Jean-Luc Godard's "revolutionary" use of the jump-cut in just this way; many will describe it as a novice mistake, but i like to think of it as Godard's techne, his ability to discover the available means . . . in the sense that with his limited funds and crew he did what he could with what he had in order to move the narrative forward (sometimes, backward) in time. and it worked. and he was/is considered a genius. and there's nothing to say that the move wasn't in some Wimsatt and Beardsleyean way intentional, even especially if we are talking in Lynchian mode about the subconscious exerting its will, expressing its desire through the filmmaker's conscious activity.

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