Dailies: June 16, 2013

It seems like no matter what we do or how many films we have made, the bulk of the processing occurs the day before the screening. On Friday, here in Tyendinaga, we processed three lovely films with our high school student participants. And despite the heat (and ensuing stuffiness in the darkroom), it seemed to be a really positive experience for them. Both want to go to film school when they graduate-we’re so proud!

So last night, of course, was the screening at the Mohawk Community Centre (or Council House, depending on who you talk to). There was a last minute scramble to get black plastic to cover the many windows–one thing we failed to consider when we started these screenings in January was that ultimately one has to wait quite a long time for it to get dark enough in the evening to watch movies. And, despite initial doubts, there was popcorn (we’re 6/6 on that). We had an excellent time showing the films and, for the first time ever, did some narration. Typically we have allowed the films to speak for themselves, not wanting to impose on the participants’ chosen images. However, it did seem to be helpful to provide context to some of the films by telling the stories that didn’t make it on camera. We’ll sound it out and see how it goes, maybe it’ll become a regular thing. We were also thrilled that some of our participants from Gravelbourg, SK had been able to finish their film idea and send it to us. It was a fantastic little film from the snowy spring that brought the birth of the adorable future film star Emmy Lou.

The Tyendinaga films turned out beautifully. We had some very contemplative collages of the surrounding lands, and in particular even the unfocused sections of one of the films was delightfully abstract. A stand of trees became a swirl of distorting triangles! I will be so happy to get back home and finally be able to share the images we have gathered.

Speaking of going home, yesterday’s screening marks an important milestone for us. We are now halfway through the project–6 communities down, 6 to go. It is almost impossible to consider directly the breadth of the experiences we’ve had; it’s like looking at the sun. I hope to be able to distill these friendships and encounters with all kinds of landscapes and weather and occupations and dialects into something definitive and digestable. And if we can’t make that happen, at least the films will tell the story.

Alexandra and I want to thank everyone from the bottom depths of our hearts for all the support and kind words so far. it can get a little lonely out on the road and it means so much to us that people read the blog and send us messages and so on. Please stay tuned for the next six months as exciting things are coming. We may be in the back nine but we’re not slowing down.

Yours,

Ryder

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