The past few days on this site have seen two posts about places for people to gather and interact with one another and photography. Fujifilm’s corporate presence at their new Wonder Photo Shop in Harauku fills a need as does the indie and Artist run space Pippo over in Asakusa.
Sunday evening was another reminder of the importance of sharing art as both a work but also as an experience. In a extremely cool venue filmmakers and friends Jesse Freeman and Thomas Beswick held a screening for their recent collaborative short film Winter Mondays, Summer Sundays
Once it’s online I’ll post a link but the most basic description is that it was divided into two parts, with Freeman’s measured and stop-motion monochromatic take on his daily morning commute through Tokyo with his Leica followed by the vivid richness of deftly edited 8mm film which Beswick shot last summer on a hitchhiking & Skateboarding tour through Japan.
The film was fantastic and since I can’t post a link now for you to enjoy at least what it looks like you know, the film, I want to say a few words about how - the experience.
Neither guy had to work together, but they did.
Jesse didn’t have to shoot, develop, and print his own film, but he did.
Thomas didn’t have to lug his 8mm movie camera all across the country and pay for processing and invest so much time to edit his footage, but he did.
They didn’t have to go to a darkroom to print out fifty 5x7 prints from the film as keepsakes for the first fifty guests, but they did.
They could have done all this start to finish digitally just like Samsung and Apple shows hip young people doing in their commercials, but they didn’t.
They could have just dumped their stuff to flickr or youtube, but they didn’t.
One hundred people didn’t have to choose to make their way from all over the city to a single location and sit on the floor or stand to watch a five minute short film, but they did.
Freeman and Beswick created a wonderful piece of art- and were able to make an event out of it for their friends to experience. Communal viewing of a film is a wonderful thing. And while the means by which the soon-to-be-uploaded version will potentially allow more people view the thing per moment than could have fit in the entire building, the fact that last night’s event actually existed is important in ways they internet can commodify.
Even though the screening is done, memories and the catalyst for new friendships and ideas remain. That’s part of it- lights coming back on and seeing the looks on other faces- leaning over and chatting as opposed to commenting and “liking”, that’s really a neat thing to for them to have facilitate. (That’s not to say that Facebook wasn’t instrumental in invitations and online connections. All these things are tools to be used by the desires of people and serve to compliment all aspects. Either one without the other would be lacking. )
I mentioned the photo space Pippo earlier- their statement of purpose has this great little line in it:
Photography is the art of relationships.
Art is the art of relationships.
Get people together- it’s worth it.