EASY PLASTIC VIOLENCE

 
 

I was into R.E.M. in high school. They saved my life indirectly, beyond inspiring me to wear old suit jackets from second hand stores. Years after I lost all my jackets, I heard a song that Michael Stipe sang with Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses) called “Your Ghost.” It remains one of the most gorgeous tracks I have ever heard. I used to say to myself…you should just write to her and see if she will work with you. What is the worst that could happen? She could say no. She could ignore you entirely (as other people I wrote to did). She said yes.

I wrote to Kristin because I loved her voice. I have never heard anything like it in my life. I was also in love with another voice: Michael Stipe from R.E.M.

They recorded one of the most beautiful songs on this earth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfW4-nP2G1Q

I had watched the french film La Jetée. It is a film comprised entirely of still photographs. I loved cameras and photography. Seemed like a good fit. Then I watched “The Thin Red Line.” I liked to watch films that were pretty to look at, but I was pretty sure I was not getting the point of them. Watching Jim Caviezel, chase after a chicken in one scene continues to seem like something that had meaning which was lost on me. I read reviews of the film. One referred to it as a “tone poem.” Sounded good. I would take my camera and make tone poems. This is one of them.

What does the film mean? It means what you need it to mean. I have read over and over that art should inform its audience on how to get through the most difficult parts of our lives. What stops you from living a full, free life devoid of paralyzing fear? For me, in was anxiety that I never dealt with. It grew into a very hungry monster that nearly ate me whole. I have found the way out, and am on my way to a happier life. How did I do it? Well, the answers are in this film…sort of. Yes, it is comprised of still photography, but these are stills of places I go over and over that make me feel at peace. At home. That I belong there. I often do not know why I feel this way. It is not land I own. Some of the places are by very busy and loud roads with tons of people. I do not know why they make me feel like they do. But i like to feel at peace, so I go back with my camera, over and over again, to capture one moment of a place that makes me feel at peace, without fail, each time I am there.

Sound and music. We know what they can do. We are wired to react to loud sounds. We all have a fear of falling. These are things that we can’t escape. There are other things we can’t escape that haunt us, and most of us have no idea what those things even are. The subconscious drives us. We may feel we are in control, but we are not. The subconscious is. What we want is stasis. This, and our other films, are about all of these things, with sound and music running under it like a river, carrying us along to a better place, if a better place is where you want to be.