that little sob in the spine

Recently someone asked me what films I like working on most – what films do I have a soft spot for – and I couldn’t answer, because each experience is so different; I simply can’t compare one with the other. Later I realised that I could’ve answered the question in a different way: what fascinates and makes me want to be involved in film, filmmaking and most of all: the cinematic experience?

I want something to happen in the dark space between the screen and the audience and I want it to follow me / the viewer out of the cinema and into my / her / his dreams, memory, thoughts.

There’s a Nabokov quote: “What I really want to produce is that little sob in the spine of the reader.” This really hits me. I want that, that little sob that can stand on its own, but could also mutate into something massive or the other way around – almost more consuming: can move from something massive to that tiny sob. But also moments of great emptiness and fear, of a darkness that is deep and unfathomable, but intrinsically part of us.

It’s a darkness that is warm.

I want an active surrender in the cinema. Something to be experienced, rather than consumed. So that upon entering a cinema, we are also always surrendering a little bit. Giving something up in order to experience. What are we giving up? Our defences? Our scepticism, our criticism, our ignorance, our judgement? Can we suspend judgement for that short while and continue to let the experience sink into us, even after we have left that dark place?

What captures my imagination is the way something is told, how it is told, rather than what is told. I am intrigued by the weaving together of all of the aspects of visual narrative – sound, image, cinematography, editing, acting, the faces, the bodies, the movement; and what happens when the weave comes alive every time a film is watched.

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