My work explores connections between people by exposing common experiences that are usually kept secret. These experiences can be loneliness amongst crowds, rejection from family, childhood trauma and disfigurement, the sickness of boredom, the fear and anxiety of birthdays, and sociopathic children. Most of my documentary films stem from these concerns. I seek out people and stories that can connect one person to another.
Historically films and photography have been used to document events and preserve a specific time and place. The film Berlin: Symphony of a Great City has greatly inspired my approach to documentary filmmaking. It is simply composed, features real people, and it covers an entire day. I approached my work in a similar way. I take my time and try to understand the way the light hits certain buildings at different times of the day. My goal is to give each place its own time and memory by simply documenting its existence for a short period of time. Wim Wenders says that it is imperative that filmmakers “rescue the existence of things” and that by documenting it we are preserving “the fact of the subject’s existence hasn’t been lost”.
I draw a lot of my inspiration from films and artists who combine reality with truth, with how we perceive truth. In Guy Maddin’s film My Winnepeg , Guy attempts to define his love for a city and at the same time, expose terrible anxieties from his childhood. I hope for all of my films to be truthful as well as subjective.
Another filmmaker I am inspired by is Andrey Tarkovsky. He feels that the viewer should “watch the film simply and listen. Watch as you watch the stars or the sea or as one admires a landscape”. In my work, I try to simply watch what is around me and really see things to understand them.
Tarkovsky, in his book, Sculpting in Time , expressed his ultimate story “It’s about a man who lives on the earth, is part of the earth. The man is answerable for his life both to the past and future”. To me, that is every person. Which means that we are all important, everyone’s existence is worth preserving.