There is a quality to the gaze that is always political. It is not that children have a more poetic look on life, but that it is vital for them to look, it is vital for them to gaze. It is about getting information, because they are dependent and a lot is not said within families that have a strong hierarchy.
When I’m on the set, I’m learning about what I’m constantly drawn to. Part of it is instinct, and part of it is your own obsession, what you’re drawn to. Once I started making films, without losing that theoretical approach completely, that’s when you start gravitating towards things that move you or that attune you.
Top of the Heap, from 1972, centers on a black D.C. cop who’s frustrated with his job, but this is no run-of-the-mill seventies crime film. First-time director and star Christopher St. John creates a fascinating, volatile blend of police melodrama, Afrofuturism, counterculture satire, and sheer cri de coeur.
Chandler’s film achieves a chilling elegance. Bulletproof forgoes the overly scripted, interview-heavy approach of many contemporary documentaries, and instead presents a stream of unhurried tableaux, crafting a nuanced and complex vision of the nexus where guns and schools meet.
"You participate in the narration of the film with the light, with the ambience, with the climat of the image. So, the image is not only a technical performance, it is part of the storytelling, it participates in the narration. And that is the deepest definition, I think, for cinematography."
"As humans, we always want the fireworks. We want the show. But actually a volcano is always erupting. And, as is also true about cinema, the more you learn about the language of a director, the more you can appreciate the idiosyncrasies or the details."