Sunday, November 12, 2006

Entry #9


Ric Garcia- So I’m wondering what one of your memorable movie making experiences is?

Richard Foreman- A memorable movie making experience for the piece in this project?

Garcia- Yes

Foreman- Sophie was going around patting everyone on the back telling everyone what a good job they were doing in some sense and I had this real realization all of a sudden. It was out doors and I was sitting in the grass and I realized that, you know in 1930 cartoons where a little cat would be chugging down the street happily and all the houses would smile at him and the trees would bend over and smile at him, and I suddenly realized that’s not what I wanted at all. At least for me, to reach that place where you can make real art, like all of a sudden the trees and houses turn away from you and you’re alone, it’s the exact opposite in the energy I felt when I was watching her film. It was a slight momentary revelation--Yes. What I was interested in, in my remaining days, was pursuing what happens, what comes through when you feel that everything turns away from you.

Garcia- Where did you collect the footage for this piece?

Foreman- This piece was filmed in Lisbon Portugal, at a mental hospital. This hospital is still active. It has a panopticon, which is not used anymore—it was a big round circular building with big trees and grass in a middle circular place. The middle circle is about 70 feet across and then little cells line that building and that’s where we filmed, in the cells. There were two larger rooms with blue tile but they’re pretty small rooms, maybe 40 by 40. I was also very excited about filming there because one of my favorite filmmakers is this Portuguese filmmaker João César Monteiro, and two of his films had scenes filmed in this same panopticon. So I thought well, filming where Monteiro filmed…

Garcia- Were there mental patients on the exterior?

Foreman- Yes, well there were mental patients in buildings next door. They didn’t come into the building where we were shooting but we passed through them everyday when we were coming to work.

Garcia- How many minutes of footage would you say was collected--or hours?

Foreman- I shot for three days and in that time I probably got somewhere between an hour-and-a-half to two hours and what I’m using adds up to just a little over an hour, so I’m using a great deal of it. It’s what I want to do—I want to film stuff in its raw documentary form that I edit, obviously fairly simply, but I like all the mistakes, I like all the roughness.

Garcia- What are you looking for when you turn the camera on?

Foreman- Well, I see… Okay I don’t actually turn it on myself, but I’m trying to set up the poses, these formal things almost as if you’re posing for your photograph. I’m looking for something that is full of the kind of tension you can feel hovering in the air; something, something might emerge any moment. Not from what you are filming but from behind it… Somehow something might suddenly manifest in the screen that’s another energy, another level that creates that kind of tension and manifestation in each of the takes, each of which lasts five to ten minutes.

Garcia- Do you have a top five list of movie directors?

Foreman- Oh, these days. Yeah, it changed over the years but I’d say Rossellini, Manoel de Oliveira (another Portuguese filmmaker), Monteiro, Angelopoulos. Some of Godard’s films. I find Godard very provocative but I don’t like all of his films. Jacques Tati.

Garcia- Can you comment on cinéma vérité?

Foreman- It never meant that much to me… I used to be interested in films that had a lot of razzle dazzle. You see cutting, a lot of complicated traveling shots. Now I’m interested in directors that tend to have fixed long takes and nothing much happening.

Garcia- What is the visual relationship between objects when you put them on the screen?

Foreman- What I film doesn’t have as many objects as my theatre does. My plays obviously have many, many objects, but film is not about composing people in terms of minimal furniture. I’m trying to create (in everything that I do) the kind of hovering tension, waiting for this something to be real, that’s never been real.

Garcia- One final question: how do you feel the effects of dreaming have on a person’s waking consciousness?

Foreman- According to studies that I read we’re sort of dreaming all the time, even though when we’re awake we’re not aware of it because our waking consciousness has taken over. So I think dreaming is a response to impulses of something that is always going on within our system. I don’t write out of dreams; I know people say my bodies are dreamlike. I don’t particularly think about that, because I am immersed trying always to be somewhere else. I am not interested in stories that talk about how to navigate conscious daily life, to me that is banal, boring. I am interested in trying to reach some other level.


Blogger atomicelroy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:28 PM  
Blogger atomicelroy said...

Sounds very plastique...


break a leg,


10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why must knowledge supercide power

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i had to read this one twice... sounds like Waking life or scanner Darkly.. I like

12:45 AM  

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