Photos and Video
Director's Statement Collapse
I have always enjoyed the analogue of film to dreams (you're awake, it gets dark, you see pictures, you're awake again), and a more poetic approach to sound and imagery seems to elicit this. As a result of being denied images through his eyes, de Montalembert's curious side effect is that he creates 'films in his head.' My own journey in making this film, and tracking some of de Montalembert's travels, allowed me to create my own version of such 'mind films.'
The project started in the spring of 1999. I had been working as a media composer for some years, and was frustrated by the projects I was offered to score. Eventually, I decided to make my own film. My goal was to produce, shoot, edit, score, and direct, just to see if it could be done. I would learn each job as and when I needed to, and I started to think about what kind of story would work for the kind of film I had in mind.
I knew I wanted a spoken narrative, and I knew that a conversational interview could be radically edited to create an intimate, poetic narration. I remembered a book I'd read in the early 1980s, about a painter who had been attacked and blinded. With help from a journalist, I eventually tracked down de Montalembert in Denmark and pitched the idea of an 'experimental documentary' over the phone. He was interested enough to suggest that we meet, which we did a few weeks later at his apartment in Paris, in the summer of 1999.
I played him a couple of pieces in which I had incorporated spoken word into an orchestral composition, and he agreed to be interviewed, which we did the next day. Returning to my London studio I set about editing, trying to create a narrative structure from the diverse material. With a vague shooting script of some 20 pages, I bought an old 1970s Canon Scoopic 16 mm film camera over the Internet, and started to shoot some images in between commercial music jobs. Over the next few years I travelled to America, India and Europe, and amassed around 9 or 10 hours of film. Ultimately I tried to balance strong imagery and pictures that were almost so banal as to allow each viewer to impose his or her own interpretation on the film. I'd like to think that the audience can make their own connections using the film as a conduit for their own memories and experiences.
Film Information Collapse
[BLACK] | 2005 | 70 | Documentary Feature
Directed by: Ishai Setton and Gary Tarn
Foreign Title: (Black Sun)
Premiere: New York