I like visual journals, graphic narratives, comics, illustrations, stories, and film. I make films, I draw, use hand printmaking techniques, develop photographic imagery. I seem to need to combine, twist, break and fix images. This is my visual language and method of production. My context is one of feeling, being, voiceless. Working often in collaborations, not feeling I have the space to tell the stories I want to tell, the stories I feel need telling. I think this journey I have begun is about finding, negotiating and staking claim to a space in which my voice can exist. I am starting this exploration in a tectonic space, a fluid space.
A probable and quickly realisable outcome for this project is retelling stories from the viewpoint of traditionally female roles. For instance, in the film Computer Chess1, the female characters are typically a receptionist, a hooker, a middle aged swinger/predator, a mother with baby and, a computer engineer, the first woman to ever enter the computer chess tournament.
Documented perspectives of the film include:
- The computer engineers and programmers are men that are finding the complexities of humanity unresolvable with their code and stunted interactions.(2)
- An exploration of the strangeness of a world run by computers and the unfulfilling reality this offers to the men existing within.(3)
- The female role in the film described as a missed opportunity by the male protagonists to reach sexual fulfilment. But these do not mirror my understanding of the film and I cannot find a review or analysis of this film that reflects my understanding. To me the story is of the female engineer. She is the character that creates the thing the men are intellectually and virtually competing to achieve, and it is the very man that asks for her help who inadvertently destroys what she has created. Her story needs to be told. I want to tell this story. This will be the first outcome exploring and establishing a voice, a space that I can own and work in. In terms of client and audience, Beneficial Shock is a magazine that asks illustrators to describe their perspectives of film through drawn narrative. I may well submit the results of this first outcome to this publication for review.
As for a manifesto, I don’t believe I am ready yet to write this. I do know however what it is not. This is not my manifesto:
Shooting must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in (if a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found). The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. (Music must not be used unless it occurs where the scene is being shot.) The camera must be hand-held. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. The film must be in color. Special lighting is not acceptable. (If there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera.) Optical work and filters are forbidden. The film must not contain superficial action. (Murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.) Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden. (That is to say that the film takes place here and now.) Genre movies are not acceptable. The film format must be Academy 35 mm. The director must not be credited. Furthermore I swear as a director to refrain from personal taste! I am no longer an artist. I swear to refrain from creating a “work”, as I regard the instant as more important than the whole. My supreme goal is to force the truth out of my characters and settings. I swear to do so by all the means available and at the cost of any good taste and any aesthetic considerations. Thus I make my VOW OF CHASTITY. Copenhagen, Monday 13 March 1995 On behalf of DOGMA 95 Lars von Trier & Thomas Vinterberg.(4)