Saturday, December 12, 2009

What To Do?

I've been anxious lately about a project. I have the opportunity to have a video piece, for a month long stint, in a gallery in Philadelphia as part of a show with all the Fine Art Faculty at Rutgers. This is a great opportunity to do a small non-traditional-narrative or experimental documentary piece.

I know it's silly, but I am really torn about what project to commit to and submit. I am such an anxiety riddled person that it actually keeps me up at night.

The idea I really want to go with is based on Walt Whitman. It's called "Procession". I like the idea very much, but it would really work best in the Spring. Specifically, March, the month of his death. I want to take the 2.3 mile walk from his home to this grave and document it, just as they did during his procession. Of course the landscape has changed much and the piece would concentrate on that, culminating in a live musical performance at his tomb. The piece would also feature details from the day of his death and the funeral procession, speeches at his tomb, and his poetry that looked at death.



Darest thou now O soul,
Walk out with me toward the unknown region,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow?

No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, are in that land.

I know it not O soul,
Nor dost thou, all is blank before us,
All waits undream'd of in that region, that inaccessible land.

Till when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds bounding us.

Then we burst forth, we float,
In Time and Space O soul, prepared for them,
Equal, equipt at last, (O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfill O soul.

At his funeral, Robert Ingersoll gave a tribute to the Poet. It ends:

"He has lived, he has died, and death is less terrible than it
was before. Thousands and millions will walk down into the "dark
valley of the shadow" holding Walt Whitman by the hand. Long after
we are dead the brave words he has spoken will sound like trumpets
to the dying.

And so I lay this little wreath upon this great man's tomb. I
loved him living, and I love him still."

Another idea I've wanted to do springs from my film De Luxe. In researching the Blue Comet I kept finding information on the zeppelins that came to Lakehurst in New Jersey. I found them so fascinating. There is something so "unreal" about them. It seems impossible that they ever existed, but they did. I started writing a short documentary piece called "NJDIRIGIBLE". It would focus on two airships: The German made Graf and, of course, Hindenburg.

I am having trouble placing myself in the narrative though and this is something I really want to do. If I choose this subject I was thinking of a live orchestrated performance set to archival footage of both airships... But I'm just not sure how to penetrate the subject and make it interesting for others...

"Your Departure Versus the Hindenburg" by Richard Brautigan

Every time we say good-bye
I see it as an extension of
the Hindenburg:
that great 1937 airship exploding
in medieval flames like a burning castle
above New Jersey.
When you leave the house, the
shadow of the Hindenburg enters
to take your place.

Not satisfied, or convinced with these ideas, I tried to think of another topic. I called Steve M. up to see if he wanted to collabroate. He had suggested perhaps a short about just a "regular person"... A film about someone "normal". So then I thought, how about a film about someone normal wherein something unbelievable has happened. And I mean, something you'd tell your friends, family, loves and they don't believe you. So I took an ad out on Craig's List asking for people with unbelievable stories. I posted it Thursday and received four responses so far. One has great potential!

See the Craigslist ad.

Ok. Enough talk of my creative woes.

Had a good night Christmas shopping last night. Got to hang with Michael. It's been a while, so it was fun.

We chittered the whole time. I wonder what people think of us when they over hear all the absurd things that came out of us. We were like two old ladies non-stop chatting away.

Everything from Obama to marriage, age to clothes, and music to diarrhea in the hot-tub. It was a string of non-sequitur delights!

Thinking on it now, I don't think we ever stopped talking. It must have been annoying. Especially to the Aveda saleswoman!

Jeff couldn't go, wish his was there, it would have made it even wilder. Perhaps soon.

Enough writing. I need to brush.


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