Saturday, August 10, 2013


Thumbnail picture for the film "The Title" 

This multimedia project wasn't all clear from the start, but I filmed a few bits that I thought I might like to use, and added other video clips and stills as I was going along. Martin helped me with the theatrical scenes where I'm dressed in black, in a Victorian style. There must have been a thousand little bits in the end. Premiere Elements isn't really designed to cope with so many layers and general complexity. The uploaded version still has a few faults in it, but I will leave it for now and fix it later. I spent a few weeks with this project and really need to get it out there and out of my mind!

This short film is a collaged conglomerate of fragments from my own life as well as my family's history - stills, moving images, performance, a poem I wrote long ago back in 1985 - the only poem I ever wrote! In the film a part of it is performerd in the original Swedish, with the English translation overlaying the imagery. And last but not least, there are many of my handmade collages. It's packed with symbolic imagery and the narrative (a kind of journey) is really an explanation to the art work. However, as this may not be immediately obvious, this multi media show can be taken in intuitively as well. It's an emotional life story, and I hope that comes across as the main objective for this project. Ultimately, the idea behind the quote "All the World's a Stage, and Men and Women merely Players" (Shakespeare) is once more one of the main themes of my work.

Ggenerally speaking I'm leaving it to people to make their own conclusions about this work, but of course I hope, as always, that there is universal appeal as it speaks about entitlement, loss and restoring a sense of dignity. The title "The title" refers to the idea of being "entitled", either physically (health, money, and other good things in life), or emotionally (having a sense of worth, dignity and spiritual stature).

The idea of using a journey as the narrative that pulls it all together is of course not an original one, but one that makes a story easier to watch and tends to keep the audience's attention. I decided on this format because "the journey" is a deeply archetypal metaphor or "monomyth" (Joseph Campbell) that is present in all cultural traditions, speaks to everyone on at least some level, and because it helps making sense of the fragments.

I think this representation of a heroe's journey should be taken with a pinch of salt, but
it can offer some viewpoints that clarify the concept of a journey through life that
is full of hardships but also some sort of benefits and rewards.

I also used the old film effect quite a bit because it helps create a sense of the past (which is an important element in this project), as well as providing great texture. I ponder each effect quite a bit, as it needs to support the symbolism or message that I want to get across. 

I think you can't make a long film with this much symbolism, there's a point where it overwhelms the brain. Recently, we watched some older Ingmar Bergman films and I was thinking how they were always said to be deeply symbolic. I saw them when I had just entered university and loved the atmosphere and the way Swedish was spoken, but I didn't get the symbolism. Now I realised, there is hardly any there at all! In my favourite, the tender "Wild Strawberries", there's a dream sequence that has some symbolism in it, notably in the clock without hands. Sometimes the weather is moody, which is meant to enhance the melancholy in the story, but that's not really symbolism, it's just mood. Of course, as a Cancerian I can recognise another Cancerian's flair for moodiness! The empty streets... oh so de Chirico, who was also Cancerian! Strictly speaking, Bergman's strength lies in conveying mood, but not really in the use of symbols - in fact, some of his movies are actually just nonsense. Anyway, this medium allows a lot of imagery that speaks to people as if they were symbols, because the performance in 3D can convey so much in so little time with the help of props, environment, music, temporality and other attributes.

The dream sequence in Ingmar Bergman's "Wild Strawberries" ("Smultronstället")

The classical music for my film was taken from a site with copyright-free classical music, Musopen, which I can highly recommend. Youtube suggested that I had nicked some music called "Tranquillity" from someone else's album, but the performer whose piece I used has never participated in any project called "Tranquillity". My guess is that someone else also took the Baroque piece, which obviously wasn't originally called "Tranquillity", and used it on their CD! Let me guess... with added birdsong and water splash... I have therefore debated Youtube's suggestion with a clean conscience. Oh and of course, Martin did some wonders to some of the recordings that weren't really up to scratch.

And of course, I always wanted to be movie star! I remember in the distant past, that a good friend of mine said about me that I'm always quite theatrical - and she meant it as a compliment, rather than in the sense of "drama queen". I think I have an imbedded sense of the theatrical, and it feels good to get some outlet for this side of my creativity.

I would love to hear comments!