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This is a sublime short film by Joe Taylor, with a tip of the blogging hat to Patrick Zimmerman for flagging this up. He shot it with the stunning Red One digital HD camera (if I had a million dollars…). Taylor’s filming style reminds me of some of the atmospheric work of Ron Fricke of Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka fame.
Both cinematographers rely on stunningly framed shots of beautiful landscapes, even if the landscapes are beautiful in subtle, slightly under appreciated ways like the scenes of rusting windmills and half-collapsed barns.
I grew up in rural Illinois, and I still find farm scenes very evocative. They whisper home in my ear. They wrap me, sometimes uncomfortably, in the warmth of nostalgia. When we’re younger, home seems something to escape from, but as we grow older, the burnished memories beckon. The sharp edges are worn smooth with time, and we long for something that probably never was and probably never will be.
That speaks to the tension I find in myself so often. I am a nomad who longs for a sense of being rooted. I love the quiet solitude of the countryside and open spaces but, just like Jack Kerouac, need my noisy bursts of city excitement. I am sure that I am not alone in struggling to balance the tensions of my personality. I expect there are few who stand poised on the fulcrum of their conflicting desires apart from all too fleeting moments. However, I know that too often I fail to savour the moment I’m in and instead long for moments I remember or at least think I remember.
I suppose that all this is part of the human condition rather than a personal failing. Contentment has always been elusive, and the bliss of it is probably – like all positive emotions – twinned with its absence. The tricky bit for me comes in feeling my way through these tensions in my personality. Am I simply suffering yet another bout of the ‘grass is greener’ or are these slight pangs of dissatisfaction something I should pay attention to?