I’ve been struggling with a strange bout of depression lately, feeling pretty pessimistic about things for the first time in my life. I never thought I would start a blog or even want to, but it’s reached a point where I figure that chronicling this stuff is important. It’s part of being alive and it would be a huge shame to miss out on that because I get sad. It’s feeling. It’s existing, and at some point I’m going to look back and be grateful that I had the privilege of existing and feeling at all.
Recently I’ve fallen out of love with films, maybe because I overdid it watching them on my laptop, or it became too easy to fall asleep and not care. I remember a stage in university where I was watching at least a film a day, consuming everything that I could because it felt great to study the artform and expand my knowledge. Breaking through the strange teenage barrier of cult movies like Snatch and Pulp Fiction, finding my way to arthouse and the enticing distance of canon filmmakers like Herzog, Tarkovsky, Bergman, and Varda. Finding new languages of expression. Ways of seeing and experiencing and interpreting those experiences. Being excited about art and the possibilities of creating. Meeting friends who got it and could debate and discuss films with me. It has that halcyon glow but I suppose that’s just retrospect. In the present moment we move through experiences with little option of interpretation or contemplation. Experience experience experience experience. Retrospect allows us to interpret the emotions felt at a given time. I have no idea that I am happy in the present until I am able to look back at it and judge the colour of my memories.
But I became pessimistic about the chances of being able to become part of that world. Firstly I have no idea how to make a film. Secondly I don’t know what I would make one about. Thirdly I don’t know how to articulate my interior world to come out the other side as a film. The festival world is so completely daunting that it smothers any hope of being able to make it in the first place. The country I live in gives little to no support for filmmakers (understandably, there are bigger fish to fry). The world doesn’t care about films or watches them anymore. Netflix and Amazon and other streaming platforms have taken over and monopolised entertainment. It’s no wonder so few people who want to make films don’t or can’t.
But yesterday I had a moment where I decided Fuck That. Fuck That completely. Fuck That entirely. If I don’t make films they’ve won. I have to make films. Herzog stole a camera because he believed filmmaking was his birthright. It sounds extreme but if I don’t make films I will die, and I think that might be one of the things behind what’s been getting me so down lately. If I am to live a happy and fair life, have good relationships with my loved ones and look at the world with compassion instead of disdain, I have to make films.
So I’ve started this blog to get my shit together. To have a framework for creating. To have a place to formulate ideas and write down what I think. I’m figuring out my place in the world and I need to use the privilege that I have been given of being able to write and read, and to put that towards making films. I don’t have to be good, I have to make films. I don’t have to win the Palme d’Or, I have to make films. I don’t have to be recognised/praised/liked, I have to make films. I’ve been given this incredible opportunity to be alive and to distil that experience into something and it would be a massive shame if I let my insecurities get in the way of that.