I bought a 16mm Bolex windup camera in 1987. And that is the camera I use. Wow. Can you think of all the cameras and cell phones and computers and laptops that each one of us has had in those intervening years? And I love that. I don't have to worry about batteries.
What was especially difficult was letting myself be guided by these unknown forces orbiting around me. It all goes back to af Klint and Kandinsky, who in their practice strived to make the unknown visible, to give visuals to things we know are there but cannot fully articulate.
"There is something going on right now, all over the world. We all feel we are all together in this. We do not really know anymore how societies function. We do not really trust that those in power are really governing in our interests."
I think there is a mystery that happens between an image and the spectator. The temple of cinema is an experience that you cannot exchange with another, or by watching films at home. The images can’t penetrate the spectator and be there for a long time.
The film, if it is about anything, is about the end of something and uncertain futures, the loss of spaces like this and the loss of those communities and the divisions between people. We had that in mind when we made it, but now it’s just so bizarrely resonant.
There is no way of escaping myself. It’s about presenting a work that is the product of a collaboration with the characters and my own learning process about people, places, their issues, and lives. It’s a middle-of-the-road picture presented by a white guy who is learning about the struggle of black America.
I do not build out from an idea because I feel that is too restricting. In a sense, the final film is what I have learned. The final film has to be a dramatic narrative, which among other things expresses what I have learned about the place. It is not until the last stages of the editing process that the story is even found.
"We are becoming numb, and nothing can shock or affect us anymore. So how do you make an erotic scene that allows us to feel again, to feel the pain, the beauty, the urgency, the desperation, and the deep, animalistic but also spiritual connection between these two women?"