I get in tracks of time where it seems life is nothing more than a catalog: the movies I’ve seen, the hours I’ve worked, the food I’ve eaten, the words I’ve written. As if taking down shorthand for a real biography to be recreated later on based on this catalog. I’ve been reading The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa and it’s creeping into my perspective of things. It’s not exactly a pessimistic view of life per se. It’s that way of looking at things that sees exquisite wonder in the banal, and listless tedium in the extraordinary. It’s looking at everything as a paradox.
For awhile now I’ve been getting that edge-of-postal feeling about work, which is usually my brain’s way of telling me that it’s getting to be time to try something else. What that “something else” is I’m not sure. I have a few ideas.
I suppose another thing that’s causing me to feel wistful (one of my favorite words, by the way) is that I’ve been thinking recently about my unfinished film “Pause of the Clock,” a 16mm feature film I directed in college. We basically shot all the footage needed to put something together, but for various reasons I never finished it. Then I graduated. The workprint, sound elements, and negatives have lain dormant in assorted boxes for about ten years now.
Over the past several months I’ve had a desire to watch the footage again (the film exists in a rough cut already) and see if my creativity is sparked into perhaps editing it some more, finishing it. The rough cut exists on 16mm film and soundtracks; I need what’s called a 6-plate flatbed editing table to watch it. And they hardly even exist anymore. Everything is digital now. I’ve been in contact with Chicago Filmmakers, but I found out yesterday that their flatbed has been in need of repair for a long time, and they haven’t done anything about getting it fixed because no one ever asks to use it anymore. I will have to find one somewhere else in Chicago.
The technology I learned at college is useful now only on a theorhetical level. I’ll have to get everything digitized if I want to work on the film again. I’m not saying that technology shouldn’t change; it’s always changing and it should always be changing. It’s wonderful to have shiny state-of-the art tools at one’s disposal. However, new shiny tools doesn’t make anyone an artist. It’s just strange to realize that a film I spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to create is now basically an antique.