Empty time

May 4, 2011

It has been nearly a year since I posted anything, and looking back I can think of few films I have seen for the first time that stand out. The main one is Lars von Trier’s  Antichrist. Certainly it is a serious film, and made with talent, but at the same time rather misguided. But that seems to be the best that can be said of the current cinema, whose directors have now moved so far out of a framework of values that the only way they avoid seeming contrived is to seek psychological shock. In the meantime third world cinema seems more powerful because it is still made inside frameworks of value. This frameworks and the works that reside in them still get respected because everyone is supposed to respect all such non-Western frameworks.

I just came back from a trip in which I drove 5500 miles, crossing South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. I visited the Badlands National Park, Devil’s Tower Monument, Bryce Canyon, Zion, the Pacific coast, Sequoia National park and Yosemite. I took hundreds of pictures, and also of the thousands of miles of open spaces in between. In close up there is nothing much to distinguish most of these places from each other or from the “boring” seemingly endless places in between. What makes them spectacular is to seen them in panorama. To photograph this I had to combine multiple frames, sometimes as many as twenty, in Photoshop.

Of course right away we can understand something of cinema which has no problem in combining and giving us a panoramic view, whether literally, or in some way analogous to that at it covers some subject. I want on this trip conscious of the problem before me of trying to apprehend the immensity of what I would experience in some that that could be apprehended. Part of the idea of taking all those pictures was to see if some would turn out to be such captures and learn why. I still have to review them to see if there was any success.