Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sisyphus & the rock

Meaning? Isn’t that what we all strive for? After the day is done don’t we try to see the meaning of our actions and why we did what we did? Always questions and sometimes there are no real answers. The gentleman who was my AD on my film once wrote that I reminded him of Sisyphus. You know Sisyphus don’t you? He’s the dude who was cursed to roll the rock up a hill only to have it fall back down the hill when he got to the top. Some describe pointless or interminable activities as Sisyphean. So it’s a good analogy on my relationship with film and my filmmaking endeavors. “Pointless” you say. Then why do I continue to try? If you know that all that you do is irrelevant then why do it?

I guess that’s the million-dollar question. Why? I’ve described filmmaking as a drug and me as an addict chasing that initial high, but that’s not entirely true. Then I read a quote that kind of sums it up for me:

Leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks . . . The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. -- Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus"

So maybe it’s the struggle that I enjoy and have such a love/hate relationship. If you go on to read Albert Camus’ “The Myth of Sisyphus” at the end of his essay he says he imagines Sisyphus happy. Maybe that’s all what I’m seeking to be happy doing what I love, and always striving to do better. Hopefully I’ll get it right, and it will mean something to maybe not me, but someone else. I don’t profess to be a leader of men. I do what I do to try and tell a story. Maybe I’m too steeped into what Hollywood produces, and try and emulate what they produce so well which I can’t. I’ve read and studied other peoples work who some would call avant-garde, and have come to admire them, but realize that that path is just not me. Filmmakers like Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, & Kenneth Anger are artists I admire, but I know that I’m just way too simple for that. So what am I left with? How do I tell stories and try and create something that will mean something. “Deadly Obsessions” was me telling myself that I can do a feature, and apply things to what I learned about filmmaking. My second film has to be about something more. It has to be about something I hold dear to me. Something that will propell me to finish it, and try and get it seen by others. I can go on and on about how to technically do it, but none of that matters. An artists works with what he or she has. It is the artist who makes it worth seeing, and worthwhile.

Maybe Camus has it right and that it’s in the doing that make us happy, but sometimes it does feel like that all that I’m doing is making myself miserable, and that there are MORE important things to concentrate on. A delima I guess, but what isn’t.

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