Friday, May 20, 2011

Finding Oneself in Flight. Or Not.

I like searches that lead to other searches. Existence that lacks resolution. A drift of self that becomes a strange sort of home after a while.

These are the themes I’ve been writing about for the past eight years in a novel titled Elsewhere. I’m fascinated by a placelessness of identity that can overtake, if not guide one, especially in travel. A diaspora of self that afflicts and enlivens at the same time.

It’s difficult to capture such a state in words without becoming too indulgent and losing the narrative thread of the novel, which was why I really enjoyed the coincidence of coming into contact with a film, Volo, that my old friend Jerome Carolfi has been working on. He calls the film “a meditation that blends travel and dreams, confronting travel as an escape from reality and dreams as signposts which reveal our deeper psyche.”

Those words don’t do the film justice, though. What I admire about the film is the way he’s captured the textures of such moments of estrangement and quest, a disjointedness of self in flight, through the layers of his collage of images. He’s truly created an arresting dreamscape.

It’s a reminder for me of the power of experimental film, which is more akin to poetry. As a viewer, you follow the mood rather than the action of a main character. The plot points become internal. The experience becomes the narrative. You drift, in short.

The only weakness of this film is my amateurish voiceover, but I was honored to be invited to contribute. Please watch.

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