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Some Exuberant Woes About (Not) Filmmaking

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

On my attempts at interviewing people for this blog:

On the painful loss of a filmic masterpiece (you’ll have to take my word for that one) (I lost the hard drive, don't ask):

On all that I had to face about my own one-sided games of hide and seek with the truth which I could not have mapped out without those powerful lessons on how to reveal, and reveal, and reveal, oh so lovingly, all that wished to be revealed, honored, held, held up to the light through me, through the film and even through its loss:

On people's tendency to refuse to express that which is really worth expressing, to refuse to witness or to acknowledge another's witnessing, as if they could just ignore reality away:

People rarely know in which way they are beautiful. People, we, of course, don’t know in which way we are ignorant. But film is such a direct capture of the two most leaned-on 3D senses, that in the hands of a self-accountable, passionately cautious person who is dedicated to love it can become a brilliantly unavoidable revelation. Even in the hands of a troll it can do that, but let's be more considerate with the word 'revelation.' An interview, though… what can I do but publish it as is, or mish-mash it into a poem that no one will recognize as an interview? Ah, but a film. You see. You see?

And do you see how essential it is that I not twist and turn into a weapon that which was meant as music, as exaltation of who we are, a reminder of how exquisite life is and how possible to turn towards? This is why the film was lost, I tell myself these days. It is because I wasn't ready to wield that power. You know how I know that I wasn't? In the process of creating with tender loving depth and dedication, I developed tools, a touch. Maybe over lifetimes, as it does feel quite practiced. And these tools, this touch, in the wrong moment, found themselves in, as, the wrong hands. With their power I took vengeance on my subject (friend&roommate) and I hid. I confess.

The camera stays on a shelf, dusty. I pretend that I'll never feel its weight in my hand again, never swoop in on anything with its majestic zoom, never film at night to reveal its lovely, crumbly noise. I pretend I'll never serenade it with my life again. Walk around town with it like it's a trusty old basket for collecting pebbles, feathers and berries that I do not intend to lose. Now I walk around town with the loss of all that laborious hope. Hope for transformation, for communication of that deep roaring song that can only be funneled like that, into fractals of video that coalesce into utterly unexpected harmony.

And I try to interview. As a way to collaboratively express life. And I'm sure it will eventually work with the right people, but I am not a journalist. I seek that which people are too afraid to give. I seek the power and purity of truth. I will not take all your showiness and self-curation and hang it up on my blog just like that; this space is sacred. It is reserved for that which comes from the intention to be fully here, to write what must be written and only that. It is not going to be perfect but I will not go into some elaborate disclaimer right now. What I mean to say is that with interviews or written work, I can't extract from what people, or even nature, or objects, give me in order to exalt it while keeping them intact enough within the result. It becomes fiction, and I love writing fiction, but film for me is a different type of archeology and craft. It's like dropping a huge mirror from the top of a rocky mountain so that it crashes down, leaving shards all along the way which you then pick up, walking slowly, eagerly, fusing them back together with the power of some crazy technology that maybe shouldn't even exist (ahem) until suddenly something is seen, magic is visible. Whereas writing is like finding different ways to collect and serve water. Making sure that the content is supple, hydrated enough to be poured with agile focus into just the right vessels. One ends up all drenched and happy, playful and tired from all that sweet swimming, not to mention all the mopping. See, I don't mean any disrespect to writing. And perhaps film does not hold a definitive culmination of anything for me, not even once. But the seeming need, unshakeable (I've tried), to go for it fully again, I think comes from a pure place. How many times did I walk away from the editing screen with a smile on my face, my heart beating fast, tears flowing, and lay down to breathe, to just try to allow that energy to be? If I'm ever ready, the equipment will be attainable. My schedule will open up. I'll be strong enough to bring through what I must and only that. But for the time being I'll just write about filmmaking. Here, on this blog. Where else? It seems these days that I have nowhere else to go to speak. Conversation won't do, ususally. It would if it would, but it tends not to. But I won't allow this to turn into a diary entry. If you think you'd be good at being interviewed, email me.

Something is coming to me now about the voice, recorded. “Grillos y canarios, martillos, turbinas....Ladridos, chubascos...” But then I'd want to put an image on it, I know myself. Or would I? That's like saying I need to illustrate this post, which would be nice but is not necessary. I am so serious about my art, and then sometimes it all falls apart into laughter and love. Here's to more of that. The latter. Did art school help? I feel like I just eyeballed everyone suspiciously, allowed them a glimpse of my guts when prompted, then left. A few teachers left a delicious mark on me, like when someone kisses you on the cheek and you don't realize they were wearing bright lipstick. I only just noticed my cheeks are all colorful. But not more than that, you know? Not to complain. To elucidate. And yet this urge to return? Am I forgetting that I was bored and lonely then, too, except way more beaten down, like a little old mushy lemon being rattled around in a canister? Now that I've removed myself like the smallest matryoshka doll from that canister and many others, I actually begin to know peace. I would love to have community, but not at the expense of this deepening relationship with my source.

Films. They are collaborative. They can include the color pink, multiple shades of it, at the same time as the word "love" in both Spanish and English, and also in the scene could be this whole sprawling town as seen from the top of a mountain with waving grasses and the gentle roar of the wind, and a smile, and a breath taken at the same time, and then held at the same time by filmmaker, subject and viewer. What clunky words, those last three. But how sweet the breath.


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