On November 8th, 2013 I celebrated a HUGE milestone, 5 years in the making. Pictured here, you see me holding two DVDs of The Illusionists, before rushing off to FedEx to ship them to the first film festival. Answer due in early February. In between now and then, I’ll have to develop the patience and detachment of a Tibetan monk. Luckily, there is still plenty of work to do to keep me busy. Namely: getting a celebrity to do the voice-over narration for the film, replacing the current one. Wish me luck!
YouTube is proving to be a treasure trove of invaluable film records. I have just found this clip, from Italy’s public channel Rai3: “8 Minutes on the Set of Fellini’s 8 1/2″, which happens to be my number one favorite film.
Vimeo user – and undeniable cinephile – “Kogonada” has been editing video compilations that show off the signature shots of famous directors. My favorites: a compilation of Stanley Kubrick’s “one-point perspective” and Wes Anderson’s high angle shots.
I wish I could live in the world created by Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” – I’d have my memory erased at the end of each working day, so that I could accurately assess whether an interview bit is effective…
Minutes ago, while checking the news, I saw this headline: “French Filmmaker Chris Marker Dies at 91.” And my heart just sank. Chris Marker (aka Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve) happened to be one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. “Sans Soleil” – an extremely poetic, evocative documentary he made in 1983 left a big, important imprint on me. Same goes for “La Jetée.” I admired Chris Marker the filmmaker. And Chris Marker the man, for his reserved nature, his intensity, his originality and his uncanny ability to combine poetry and politics – with thought-provoking effects.
I just returned to Paris after a 10-day stay in Tokyo, Japan, where I filmed key sequences and interviews for my feature-length documentary The Illusionists.
Simply put, I had the time of my life. So much so that I miss Tokyo, Japan and the Japanese in an almost visceral way and I’m constantly daydreaming about finding a way to spend part of the year there – on a regular basis. I experienced a calm, serenity and sense of connection there that I hadn’t felt in ages and carry enormous respect and admiration for the innate elegance, dignity and utmost civility of the Japanese. That said, there were low times in Tokyo, a low time to be precise: a rather traumatizing incident involving my gear.
Last night I stayed up late reading “I, Fellini” in bed. I stumbled upon another amazing passage: words of wisdom from Fellini regarding filmmakers and creative freedom, money, and “the American Dream.”
I pick off a shelf “I, Fellini” by Charlotte Chandler – a wonderful biography of the director, with first person narrations by him, put together over the course of a 14-year-long friendship. I jump to the chapter about “8 1/2″ and here is what I find: the words I needed to hear.