In an earlier piece published on this blog (which you can read here), I wrote about the connection between filmmaking and dreaming. How the two are so closely related and alike. They are fragments of memory, spliced together to form, not a complete whole of a moment, but a complete perception of a moment.
An old 8mm movie isn’t the actual moment, but is rather one viewpoint of a moment, frozen in time, and able to be played back. Light springs through the film, then through a lens, then onto a wall or screen, and voila! a moment from the past springs to life in front of us.
But then, to take this even farther, we can then move the frames around in editing. We can rearrange moments. Changing the context of a moment can change our interpretation of a moment. This adds new subtly to the arranging and preservation of old home movies. Now I can take one perception (one viewpoint) and rearrange it to make it something else.
Thus we come to a new experimental short film I made a few days ago. It is a rearrangement of old home movies from my family. The film was scanned to digital many years ago and I was tasked with its safekeeping. But when I started thinking about the relationship between filmmaking and our dreams (and our memory), I decided to pull the footage into the editing suite on my computer and tinker with it.
I made two cuts of this short, “Things Like Dreams: Distorted” and “Things Like Dreams: Linear”. The linear version came first, and is simply the footage arranged in chronological order. The distorted version came next and features the same footage, but rearranged and chopped to bits. The idea was to visually demonstrate how I believe our memory and our dreams work. We don’t remember complete moments, but rather fragments of moments.
Thus, I have, to the best of my ability, tried to simulate memory. I’ve tried to simulate dreams. I’ve tried my best to take these old home movies and make them fragments of reality.