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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Finding the Right Words

August 24

I'm getting frustrated over how slow things are going. I know they are not really going slowly, but that's how it feels. We're cutting about a sequence a day. That's pretty good. But still, we're only half way through Ken, and he's only the first Cowboy to cut. Maybe it's just because I really can't see the big picture yet. I have to remind myself that this is all part of the process. I have to go through this to get to the other side.

I can't see it yet. I can't see the finished film. I have these vague notions of what it is...poetic, collage, mosaic, layered, epistolary...
but those words give me nothing really. There's the basic character arc, the "cowboy poetry," the voice over, the Japanese bit, music, visual poetry, narrative. I just have to patient. I'm sure it will come to me.

We've set a rough schedule. I thought we were going to get to some kind of first cut during our time in Sweden, but it looks like it will just be an assembly of the character arcs and maybe intercut with some of the "cowboy poetry."

I went on with some bulls#%t to Fred's girlfriend the other drunken night about bringing the poetry back to the if I could "justify the ways of God to man" in some kind of visual epic poem called "The True Stories of the Tokyo Cowboys." Epic poem: "of or resembling a long poem in which great achievements of a hero are narrated in elevated style." That's not quite it. I told Patrick I was worried because nothing really happens in my film. I guess "Lost in Translation" was sort of like that. "It's thematic," he said...European, maybe. But, look, is this gonna fly? Will people want to watch a film where nothing really happens? Must be mindful about the audience. The thing to do is keep pushing forward. That's the only thing to do.

I'm just going to write this weekend...look through some footage and write...leave off the transcriptions for the weekend.

Episodic...epistolary...I keep trying to describe it with words, but maybe it's time to let the words go. It is what it is, and that's it. Collage: "a work of art made by pasting various materials on a surface." Tokyo is the surface...and the various materials? Cowboy poetry, cowboys narrative, music, storytelling voice over...mosaic: "a picture or decoration made of small usually colored inlaid pieces as of stone or glass."

These are all of the words that are getting close to describing what I want to do with this thing. Throw in a bit of post-modern theory, and we're well on our way...a little bit crazy. I need to start recognizing and celebrating the tiny Eureka's. They are there...I just need to recognize them.

Yesterday I experimented a bit with the cowboy poetry. I cut up an interview with Ken. He was talking about his 10-year plan...freedom, does money buy freedom, etc.? Then I laid it over this really bizarre footage we shot outside of Shinjuku station of a fortune-teller. Japanese viewers might find this a bit literal. Foreigners in Japan might have an "aha" moment. But I wonder about the rest. I'm speaking to essentially three groups. The response will be different depending on the cultural references.