Feb 11, 2009

from 84 (2006)

December 2006. As my final assignment that semester in an experimental film class, I completed from 84. From what I recall, the project was to embody something personal - a diary of sorts. It was a broad focus, but having recently gone through a bunch of childhood pictures I decided that my personal experiment would consist of the abstract patterns and textures cropped, largely out of context, from those photographs (many as you may have guessed were from the year I was born, 1984).

My goal was to create a video patchwork that related to those loose first memories and how despite experiencing a wealth of new things in our first years, we lack the foresight to tell ourselves to remember. There are obviously numerous clues relating to my own childhood in my selections. Wallpaper of my bedroom, toys, clothing with race cars, random family members and different outings all mix together with other indiscernible fragments to create the illusion of a lost past.

To assist in the viewing, I used repetitive narration to directly address the common idea of locking numerous moments, periods of time, or memories in a photo. However, I also intended the repetitiveness to portray a sense of continually looking over the past and still coming to the same conclusions about it or landing on the same highlights. In many ways this short was influenced by the video poem I made earlier in the semester, Alphabet, about trying to recall my first day of school.

What I think is most successful about from 84 is that its depth is dictated by the viewer. Some will find clues that relate to their own past, some are simply guided by the anchoring wide-eyed glare of my central baby picture, some are taken in by the words, and others will find it to be completely pointless and empty. And therein lies the wonder and completely generic nature of childhood.

Like I've tried to do in so many of my other experimental shorts, I incorporate a bit of whimsy with as much of a clear thread throughout the piece as possible. I'm not trying to trick anyone or appear overly ambiguous to fake meaning, but in this genre especially, many freely express a love/hate relationship. Keep in mind that the experiment here is as much about what you choose to look at, as it is about what visual triggers are provided.

In short - keep an open mind and think critically. 

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