images: vincent moon
sounds: nathanael le scouarnec
& antoine laurent
mix: gaspar claus
New York, end of april. With my friend Nathanael, we had just finished an intense and exhausting live shoot of Mogwai, 3 nights in a row, for a live dvd to come. Noah and the Whale were in town, and free for the night. We remembered a long and very sweet take-away show shot a year before, and thought we could redo something for fun. A few days before we talked about doing a little recording, they promised me new songs, i asked them if they could find a nice loft space to invite a few friends, deal done.
I almost cancelled on the same day, without energy or ideas. After all, things were not much prepared, no money behind such a thing, no pressure, just the pleasure of collaborating on a new piece of music and images - and if the pleasure isn’t there… But i didn’t cancel, and that night now stays in my mind as a sweet beginning for another direction in my film work. Well, i hope!
A few days ago, a dear friend of mine criticized some of my recent films, mostly made for this blog - nice moments, she said, nice images, but she doesn’t get the feeling she is part of the action by watching it, she wasn’t concerned.
Interesting thought on which i agreed mostly - and all i could reply was a sort of very radical critique of the viewer’s position - my recent thoughts made me think that the viewer’s position wasn’t right anymore. I developed a sort of contempt for it - for anything recorded in fact. I know it shouldn’t have such an effect on the ‘final result’, and i guess my goal for the next months will be to find the good balance, in between the action and the recording.
I am in a plane, a long and slow travel which offers me this TIME i need to put some thoughts on this blog. But i won’t try to develop too much my thoughts here, even if each week i feel ready to write this fucking manifesto on new images i have in mind - before starting to get headaches and fears of losing so many friends who would throw words like ‘pretentious’ to me. Ah, anyway it’s not my role, at least not now, and one thing at a time is way enough.
To put it in short, the whole recording process seems more and more absurd, while the images seems just over-abundant. It would be all good if all the image expansion of our net generation was also raising an expansion of thoughts on images today - but there’s been an incredible lack of reflexions on that side for the past few years. I haven’t read much about the subject - and i still think it’s one of the most important thing to deal with those days, for our generation and the next. I feel very obsessed by the ‘why’ of recording - why adding to the amount, to the stream, to the informations?
Constantly makes me think about the psychic space, and the constant attacks from a marketing industry getting more and more insane - you can try to read some of Bernard Stiegler’s books - dunno if any are translated in english though…
And so, after this first one take of 4 new songs (which marks a departure from their original sound and open a beautiful direction for their next album), we took a break, and the guys insisted to maybe, play a few more. Totally agree, but let’s have the ‘audience’ participate a bit more in this one - my favourite song from the first album. We took it to the street, and added to this one 2 or 3 more songs by the river - but i think this one to watch is enough.
I admit it: the recording of it probably doesn’t reach the level of energy and fun from that night. So i mostly agree on the fact that those more recent films are not as good for the viewer as, maybe, some take-away shows were. But for the participants and i, for sure they are way better.
A year before, on the first day i spent with them, we shot a bunch of videos during the SXSW festival, most of them for a quite bad website. Fortunately i kept one for me, the same song, ‘Rocks & Daggers’ here performed with no audience but with the same great energy. I was happy at the time of the intense rhythm of the images, the evolution of the camera always filling the frame as much as possible