Stay the Same

#28 Henry Darke sings Stay the Same

I have just had a visit from my good friends and felllow filmmakers Henry Darke and Harry Wootliff. Henry is also a musician and a few months ago he wrote this song in response to my film. It seemed apt to record it on the platform where I film myself every morning. Except we did it in the evening and got eaten alive by the midges (this was just the first take).  Henry’s band Only Pictures now perform the song regularly at their live gigs. I love it. Thank you Henry!


Cesar Kuriyama – One second every day
26 March 2012, 10:33 am
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Cesar Kuriyama is making a film using one second of film from each day of his life from. He started on his 30th birthday which, coincidentally, was the same week I started filming Stay the Same.  His is a fascinating and incredibly ambitious project also about time, memory and the desire to capture all of lifes experience somehow. Here is what he has recorded so far.

Kuriyama’s project makes my painfully slow film making process seem like a breeze. His film, if he continues, will only truly be finished when he dies. In the TED blog he says he believes that the film will be how he remembers his entire life. The act of documenting and creating of images definitely changes the way in which we remember and construct our own narratives. But I am not sure if we can know in advance how we will remember things. It is a really interesting question. It is going to be equally interesting to follow Kuriyama’s project and see.  It makes me think that it would be great if Cesar Kuriyama and Jonas Mekas could meet.

Thanks again to Simon Lynch (see previous blog) for sending me the link to Kuriyama’s work.

#24 Simon Lynch who I haven’t seen in ten years

Simon saw this project in the papers and got in touch through facebook last month. I went to university with Simon. We also worked together as interns in the Labour party media unit in ’97  helping make short films about how great the new Labour government was going to be (we were young!). As a result of this all we spoke on the phone for the first time in at least ten years last week. Afterwards he wrote me an email (which he agreed I could quote here!). He said “Often, ‘life’ seems to get in the way of keeping in touch with anyone – don’t even think this is a pre/post Internet thing – there just is no time… Which is exactly what I may or may not have been able to say to you about your project [on the phone]. When I look at what you are doing, I feel an extreme jealousy of your choice. Yesterday, we were busy. Today, we have no time. For anything. Maybe the story of what you are doing is about both ‘recording’, but also ‘re-calibrating’ time? Placing a stop on the constant flow of stuff and finding another way of dealing with it. Perhaps I am just projecting my own personal desires.  Anyway, I still think the angle of other people doing the same thing could produce a great piece of work.

I like the phrase “re-calibrating time”.

Simon sent me some links. One to Noah Kalina‘s everyday project, one to Cesar Kuriyama who is editing together a second of film from each day of his life and and one to the work of Jamie Livingston.  Livingston documented his life with a polaroid photo every day between March 31st 1979 and October 25th 1997 when he died of a brain tumor. He was an artist, filmmaker and circus performer. The pictures are publishe here. They are incredibly rich and moving.

These peices also relate to Jeff Harris’ 4784 Self Portraits and Jonas Mekas As I Was Moving Ahead I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty. They are all about our relationship with time, memory, personal narrative, representation and the visual image.

Simon is convinced I should create a peice of work about people who are documenting their lives in this way. In many ways this is exactly what this website is an attempt to do.  I have always seen the site as a peice of work in itself.  Alongside documenting the process of making the film, the website documents the research and development of ideas behind the film. A film which in itself is about the desire to document.

New work will almost certainly come out of this process. But it’s good to be reminded of this as sometimes I forget.

A little bit of blue sky
7 November 2011, 8:33 am
Filed under: ALL, Diary entries | Tags: , , , , ,

I made this little film during a rare moment of escape last week.

I jumped on a boat straight after filming, caught a train, and spent a few hours in Glenfinnan before surprising a friend there who was arriving from London. It was all good timing, a private boat  happened to be leaving that morning just after filming. I enjoyed the journey so much, and just wandering around somewhere different even more. It felt a bit like being on day release!  I stood on a little bridge looking at a river and thought about life and stuff, as you do, then I noticed what I was looking was kind of beautiful so I filmed it with my new mobile phone. It was only when I got home that I realised I had been using the phone the wrong way up – which is what happens when you abandon civilization for too long then get a new phone!

The only thing I have done to the film is flip it over and run it backwards on the right hand side (partly because it was the wrong size!). It is just leaves floating on water recorded on a mobile (you might want to put some music on while you watch it), but it captures a moment on a little bridge in Glenfinnan thinking about life and stuff.

I have started sending out letters and am really looking forward to responses (my mum has already sent me something!) and I have had some really nice unexpected conversations with people who live here as a result of writing about the project in the local newsletter.

I guess this is an example of what a potential response to this project could be, it just happens to be my own . . .

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