Eye of the Story

The Evergreen State College

Category: Week 9 Journal (Page 1 of 4)

Week Ten Journal Entry

An Un-reading of My Work

 

Every moment consumes a life

Swells, bursts, recedes

Resides in every mind and wraps all matter

In its dissolving rind

 

The small things that you do

Indicate the ebbing tides of drifting instances

They pass forever and return

Somehow

 

Often seen as chance or fate,

Patterns are left open between those

Afraid to call each other strangers

 

-And there it is

Your gesture which recalls

A million moments I misplaced

Somewhere between yesterday and…

 

And what does my posture say?

My body has a memory for things left behind as well,

Moments stacked on moments left in moments beside themselves

 

I resist this cultivation of repetition,

Still heedlessly igniting a wordless oral history

Most likely drowned out by my immediate preoccupations

 

There’s clarity and there is disorientation

In the moments of myself I see in you

Part fraction, mid artifaction

A trace that speaks of more than it can say

Going on From Here – Flora Tempel 3/11 (Week 10)

Suddenly we’re done and I feel like I only just git settled in and got started. The problem definitely is that the flash of inspiration that I was looking for finally came in the last week. Poor timing, idea, very poor timing.

But throughout the quarter I’ve found so many new questions and ideas and discovered lots of new things to work on. Inspiration is such an odd thing – even when I try to stimulate it, it doesn’t always work and is never predictable.

So now I’m applying all these new ideas and issues to this new structure idea. I’m so excited to keep working now, after being stuck, repeatedly, for so long. I actually feel totally confident about this structure.

That’s a new feeling. Suddenly, I feel unpressed and free because it’s all so clear. I’m hoping to unburden myself next quarter, do my best, but not push past my limits. I don’t want to get overwhelmed by everything again and find myself all blocked up, again.

But I’m hopeful. Most of all, I’m hopeful and very thankful for this class. I’m going to try to take better care of myself now, and move myself toward being the person I want to be. It’s a long road, and this piece of the journey along the way has been incredible. Now, I continue on.

And Homage to the Old World – 3.3.16 – Cooper Rickards

The Holy Roman Empire may be the invention of Irony.                                                                                                                         

I respect Charles V, because he is the only Holy Roman Emperor’s name that I remember. That has to count for something. 

I’ve seen the massive maps from the middle ages plastered over the Vatican’s walls. They almost got Europe right. Pay an indulgence to the church, save your loved one’s from an eternity of purgatory. God needs to hire more paper pushers. 

Imagine if Carthage had sacked Rome, instead of the other way around. Hannibal had three chances. He  poisoned himself in a cave, kind of like Socrates.  

What if Hector had slain Achilles? There are more editions of the Iliad published than the Bible. Virgil’s not as good, but he got paid. 

The Thracian Horseman inspired the image of St. George. I think Charle’s V won a lot of battles. I know he wore golden armor.

Nobody knows how Alexander the Great died.  

Another Film Idea

This is an idea i had for another film. For whatever reason i am extremely interested in animation in live action. Bear with me.

So the film opens with a young guy moving into his dorm the first year of college. He know he has a roommate and is naively excited to meet them and become best friends. Upon his arrival he is shocked to find that his his roommate is an animated character. Turns out the rest of his suite mates are animated characters. Honestly this is all i have to go on so far but i want it to be sort of a comedy with some degree of intelligence and feelgoodness to it, but like some dark realism that will appeal to our generation. Like eventually i want the main character to question his sanity but also have a really good time with these new friends. who apparently are real. To clarify, they are sort of like Wilfred in the sense that everyone can see them but they don’t acknowledge that they animated characters, only the main character see them this way for some reason.

Teeth (Logan Fenner, week 9)

Black wool, white teeth behind closed lips, beacons when the cavern opens.

It does not open.

Breath, quick and silent and through the nose, cold air reaching down the throat, into the lungs, encircling the heart, reminding the head of the sharpness of the night.

Up and up and up, rough hands around rusty handrails and then gone, sailing to the next breathless grip. He tries to keep silent, to keep in check, but the night is exhilarating and he wants to scream his joy, his aliveness, deep into its heart.

He does not.

Over a rooftop, a leap and a roll on flat shingles. Purple and green bruises from her boyfriend’s teeth on the insides of his thighs rub together, the light pain a comfort, matching the red weals on his arms. A different injury. A “learning experience.”

Too many nights fighting himself, fighting and fighting and then leaving his tiny room and fighting someone else for the hell of it. Just to feel something. A rush, maybe. Fresh wounds, maybe. Bruises to prod and push on for the next couple of weeks, bitter reminders and gasping relief. Maybe.

“Don’t tell him you’re a masochist,” she had said to him, her eyes bright. At the other end of the bed, her boyfriend grinned.

He remembered this exchange often. When had his life turned into that? When did he stop being homely and odd, shut up in his room, weaving stories in the cracks on his ceiling?

When had sharing someone else’s bed become normal? When had his hands learned the muscle memory: now pull her hair, now fingernails down her spine, now her lip between your teeth, now her soft body tight against yours.

He was never given lessons.

And they all said he was good.

Just like he was never given lessons in blade-work, knives slipping between his fingers to land squarely in the target. Bullseye every time.

The city fell away, the pulsing heart of nightlife and neon blurring into melted rainbows in the black streets below. Laughter does not float this far up. Deaf, but for the sound of wind in his ears and the ever-present lapping of the ocean.

He wants to fight. He always wants to fight, but this is different. Pent up, straining at his very skin, he controls himself carefully though his muscles are as hard and rigid as lines of iron. He wants a dirty fight, a knee-to-the-nose fight, a no-holds-barred cage match, a screaming roaring tearing pulling spinning thing. This is not something he can get by wandering down to tavern row and pushing around some belligerent old drunks.

No, he would need a real opponent.

He fairly slides down the narrow staircase. A catch, a tear, a grunt, and a splash of blood redder than the lights below flies, falling twenty stories to the street. He wraps his cut hand in a rag from his pocket and continues as if he doesn’t feel it.

Of course, he doesn’t.

He outgrew feeling it a long time ago.

Keegan Linnett, “Cake, the band”, 3/10/16

There is a bull flanking my right shoulder blade. I’ve leveled my plane, having reached the crest of West Bay Drive, now having made the conscious decision to literally and energetically elevate myself to this higher place. His left horn is squared to my right shoulder.  At first his glistening horn, wet from the drizzle, maneuvers its way through my fibrous muscle tissue. He enters off of my central nervous system almost intentionally as if only to make his presence known but not to cause any real damage. But he’s stronger than I am and runs faster which drives his horn down deeper, pinning me still against myself. What was once a white scream of a pinch that feels at first good becomes a swelling unending ache of a growl as my muscles make room and adapt to this foreign, two hundred and seventh bone in my body, one more than my biology was made to handle.

By now my lungs are pink taffy bound in the puller. Running with asthma is always a tight. Running with asthma is always a test.       There’s a lot of thinking I can do to arrive at the same “no” but I know now it’s worth it to follow just one “yes”. By the ninth step my mind re-learns what a rhythm is but my body never forgot. My appreciation delivers a trust in myself, knowing and remembering that my body will continue to carry me miles. I’m proud because I never thought my body would ever be something I could trust.

The airways constrict, more sticky in the puller, in my chest. I reach a point in a feeling of resentment that this is something that has been imposing on me the entire time. Its reality is in me lying motionless, caught in the act of deflation through a pinhole. Asthma is a trickster I don’t want to see. As I move more air and the road moves more me, my taffy pulls a fast one to become brittle, flake, and be blown away by the same wind that keeps the hair out of my face.

Something shifts to become thousands and thousands of shimmers of glass that break in me all at once. They have been massaged to gentle rustles by a hundred years of rumbling in the sea. Their fragility collides and I exhale, blowing them into a fine mist across the space. My material form is let go and blown away to leave a glimmering liquid of urge to be spilled out from the top only to go more upwards. I am golden across the threshold of freedom and beauty. Given to me is the leverage to finally become unstuck from a world without choice. I look and actually point out from the trailing vapor I am moving through to a place over the water. There across the bay is the most welcoming cataclysm to witness: humbling clouds born to move across the spectrum of orange and who boldly proclaim who they are. I follow away, watching myself down the path run on.

Ways down I see a wall in the path. It’s built out of the illusion of distance to a make it appear vertical. I check in. My knees that click and pop when I go up stairs are doing just fine. “This will be tough,” I hear. “Take it easy, take a breath, you’ve worked hard enough.” But my legs churn on, building up my pace ,stretching my stride like they already know the moves of the road. I start on the hill but things flatten out because my legs have known what to do the entire time. My speed slows but my legs keep moving. I’m fighting a resignation to the slant of the road and I keep myself upright and perpendicular to the neutral ground that is somewhere else right now. I keep myself upright like the earth made me to be. So much more than gravity is pulling me down but I bare my trust. Into the white and out of the mist I had set out to find and then found, I land on my porch. And she opens the door.

witness to a killing

That time I witnessed the killing in New Orleans.  Or what I think was a killing.  I mean my mind tries to interrupt the notion despite looking into his eyes.  Glassy and pinned straight to the sky; on his back still and a woman, more still than I’d assume when a partner has died.  Maybe that’s how it looks, a woman in shock, drunk and in the midst of a Saint Paddy’s parade.   

A young man, thrown and chained to a fence ten feet to my right as a commotion stirs in my view.  You can’t so much hear anything strange, the horns, the cheers, the murmurs of a carnival crowd.  But a shuffle and a wake of people escaping the center, where the assault has taken place and the undercover cops are fighting this kid to that fence.  

He was dirty, his hair long and nappy, white boy dreads, but I think now just dirty.  His clothes sort of fell over his gaunt body.  He was lively like a puppet flailing about.  And the noise of the handcuff chains, the rattling fence.  Or was it wrought iron.  This is New Orleans.  My memory fails. 

It does happen in slow motion.  More to take in I guess. I learned once that when  trauma occurs the thing that keeps it from leaving your mind,  keeps it eating away at you forever, is the interruption.  The mind is trying to piece together a linear recollection, subconsciously, and because it can’t, the mind cycles again and again around the memory until it grows from trauma to post trauma and so on.  

His eyes glistened and I remember them large.  I remember them larger than they were because I examine them in my minds eye in the shadows of my brain.  Only until they are coaxed to the surface to I even come to see what the brain has been doing with this little piece of information.  And this is maybe that attachment I have to New Orleans, that thing that keeps a warm place in my heart for the old place I spent 10 days.  A long time ago.

Adderley Dannley-Bearden “Goodbye Things” 3/10/16

A few goodbye things: 

i. With Dogtooth finished and turned in I feel like the past few days have been one large exhale; my spine unfurling like a fiddlehead fern, sprouting up and out from where I’ve been cramped over my desktop. I’m excited about a new project I might start. It’s been on my mind for awhile now, yet after this quarter I think I will feel more confident going into the process. Less skittish of making mistakes, because with Dogtooth I’ve learned to make errors and then move forward, not being stalled by them. Accepting them. 

ii. I just watched a murder of crows chase and accost a robin. The robin was trying to make off with a scrap of something in its talons and the crows didn’t take kindly to whatever it was. They cawed aggressively, like a mob. The violence of it… made me feel like I was watching something terrible happen, or about to happen, but it was out of my reach. Black wings beating around the robin in midair. I thought of the specific panic when your hair gets blown into your eyes and you can’t see anything and it feels strangling. 

iii. Waitlisted for Beginning Photography. I’ll show up anyways. The next quarter hangs in the balance of whatever number I am on that waitlist, and if enough people don’t show up I might be able to grab a slot. I hope they all sleep in or miss their bus, or don’t care more than me. I want to get in. 

Self Reflection Journal

At the end of Fall quarter I was ready for something new. I had just finished my first quarter at Evergreen, a program that integrated philosophy, marine biology, and ethnomusicology. It was an interesting class, but I felt a little bit deprived of creativity in my education. I was ready to start learning more about Media Arts and filmmaking.

I enrolled in Eye of the Story with the intention of growing as an artist and learning more about storytelling and filmmaking. I think I have been pretty successful in achieving this goal. The film I made this quarter was my first college film, and it was a stretch for me, as I had never before made an experimental narrative film. I suppose all the experimental work we studied in class really did have an influence on me. Working with other creative individuals helped me to gain new perspectives on the art of filmmaking. This was one of the more ambitious projects I have taken on, and it truly required my full effort. I was particularly inspired by the work of Ozu and Godard. These are filmmakers that will likely impact my work for the foreseeable future. Eye of the Story helped me to regain confidence in myself as an artist and a filmmaker. 

Notes on Story(telling) and Film

Lucas Weisman

  • Strong set-ups are just as important as strong reactions.
    • In my film, my character throws out his brother’s sneakers. However, the idea that the sneakers had any value you to the brother was not properly established, and therefore the reaction of throwing out the sneakers was less meaningful.
  • Documentary and fiction techniques can be combined
    • Work by Jean-Luc Godard and W.G. Sebald was neither documentary or fiction, but instead somewhere in between.
    • Documentary and fiction can be equally True as well as equally false
    • In film, documentary techniques can add a sense of realism while decreasing production costs!
  • Suspense is of the utmost importance and is created by telling the audience more than the characters know.
    • Suspense is not surprise!
  • Characters actually have to do stuff, they can’t just be thinking about doing stuff; in the words of Bill Ransom, “you must get literal before you get literary”
  • Adjectives are the least descriptive kind of word—using an active verb and noun is always going to be more descriptive than the use of an adjective.
  • The world is complex and great fiction addresses that complexity. there are no “good guys” or “bad guys”; only irony and contradiction.
  • Time can be slowed up and sped up to control suspense.
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The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington

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