META journal #1 – “Shirtstorm”

As I move forward towards actually (and finally) making a feature-length movie, the ideas just keep coming.

I love seeing how they fit together into a giant puzzle that even I don’t really understand but that speaks to me in its own language.

I wrestle quite constantly with how to organize the ideas– what do they mean, and what exactly do I want to say in the end by saying them audio-visually to other people? I think this kind of self questioning and constant reorganizing of one’s internal, mysterious, babbling brook of ideas into a digestible, even palatable experience carries something inherently suspect along with it though. It all smells a little of the old carney barker with his suitcases of snake oil. At least these are my recent impressions.

I really appreciate a simple story, well told as much as the next sentient life-form or guy, but while I spend so much of my time dreaming up stories for other people to absorb, if I really push things and shape them into what seems like a well crafted, conventional story structure, I just feel like I’m doing the same thing that’s been done over and over again and my conviction wains. There are so many tricks it seems to me, involved in crafting a sweeping narrative. It seems more honest to just follow your gut and go after things that attract you mentally, physically, visually, thematically and look for the meaning in the glove compartment once you’re out of the tunnel.

BUT, given that there is a sometimes paralyzing fear of failure (mostly economic but also creative) involved, it can be very hard to derivate from accepted narrative conventions to see what’s really out there. Because it seems like the the farther you venture a field into what people are not used to, the less people you bring along on the ride and the worse you end up doing– the less gas there’s left in the car for the next trip. Not always though. Sometimes quite the contrary. But what in the end is the balance between the known and the comfortable and the unknown, the frightening, the torturous or painfully mind-blowing?

And when is something really and truly moving, enlightening, and deep and when is it just entertaining?

So many filmmakers end up saying that their purpose in the end is just to entertain. Well what in the end is really the point of that? So much entertainment is just distraction. Distraction’s ok I guess and anyway, I definitely find hugely important personal meaning in things that were produced without any real thought (I think) being given to their over all meaning. Were the authors of the He-Man animated series of the 1980’s thinking about anything but churning out product so they could sell more of their plastic moulded figures made out of God-know-what and under probably horrible working conditions on every level? Or was there more, and why in the end am I greatly inspired by the powerful mediocrity of entertainment products like He-Man and their crumbling, soulless adherence to the rules of hero-myth-quest (though in this case funneled into a meaningless, bright colored container of an afternoon cartoon program hand-tailored to send children into a truly intergalactic state of distraction). I mean, they were so goddamn boring. But why are they spooky and interesting to look at (at least for a few minutes) now?

giphy

Is it because I’m still just a little boy walking around these days in an ill-fitting man suit? Surely. Matt Taylor’s shirt seems and the controversy around it seem to suggest I’m not the only one…

And while I’m trying to keep a straight face in this adult world, does the kid who’s still calling the shots on this long-term bus trip around and around the sun often speak to me about things he remembers, things he liked, even if he new they were of poor quality at the time? He definitely does. But he also whispers to me in the patterns he sees now, linking so much pop-cultural debris, so many recent global events and the world history that transpired, arrived and flew by, in my life time. The pop-culture garbage pile, the clippings of what just happened and I already forgot about link up with my personal triumphs and defeats. My inner pilot seems to finally recognize a path through the wilderness. And I either panic or stare into the internet and let years go by while I distractedly surf, or, instead, I have to take a deep breath, put my shoulder to the wheel and agree remorselessly, to follow his lead.

JC

Paris end of January 2015, (where the year started off pretty badly but is steadily now getting better I think)

Visual Investigation #1 of Matt Taylor's shirt with background from a painting by Adam Sorensen with photos of Mylène Jampanoï from her campaign for Agent Provacateur

Visual Investigation #1 of Matt Taylor’s shirt with background from a painting by Adam Sorensen with photos of Mylène Jampanoï from her campaign for Agent Provacateur

the real deal

the real deal

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