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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Dear Marc

I am interested in mini-narratives and that's why I've chosen to do a multi-character piece, which centers around the idea of men (cowboys) escaping from their traditional modes of being and constructing new modes of being on a new frontier-a post-modern urban frontier.

Cowboys-risk takers; men who are not afraid to uproot themselves and head for parts unknown; men who long for freedom from existing constructs

Traditional Modes of Being-Judeo/Christian; Western; puritan; religious; individualistic; being the "center"

New Modes of Being-Reinvention; being the "other"; East/West mix (blurring the boundaries between);

Post-modern urban frontier-no center (marginalization); anything goes; complex infrastructure in place; complex and ancient culture; all things available

Tokyo is a unique frontier because it is an intellectual one rather than a physical one. Other frontiers like the American West, Antarctica, Space (for example) are physically hard. There is nothing there. It's dangerous and arduous. It is a unique urban frontier because literally anything is available: culture, entertainment, food, activities, drugs...anything.

The third definition of "frontier" is "the limit of knowledge and achievement." You can do, have or be anything you choose, yet the city is tolerant, safe, clean, civilized-contrast this to NYC or Bangkok. It's also complex (like a puzzle that needs to be figured out the language, which is also like a puzzle...extremely logical). You can reinvent yourself over and over again. You can call yourself anything and be believed (just put it on your business card). It's civilized, yet it is the frontier. It is the post-modern urban because you can construct your own little realities...your own mini-narratives...your own some kind of video game. You can invent your own past, construct a new you.

This film is about men who escape the chains of their own culture to gain freedom in a new construct-one of their own creation. Profoundly alienated from their traditional mythos, they go riding into the postmodern urban frontier where they can construct their own reality. It's about how they define freedom, how they manifest it, what they are willing to sacrifice for it and the success and failure they encounter along the way.

I went looking for modes of individual freedom of expression on the post-modern urban frontier. What I found were mini-narratives...cowboy narratives. This is the journey. But, I am not just presenting these narratives objectively for the consideration of and judgement by the audience. I am inviting them to go with me on the journey with an open mind and to discover what makes sense to them. I am trying to discover mini-truths like little nuggets of gold. Some nuggets are good for me, some are good for you.

Something about illusion...something about what you want is always right in front of you...something about how freedom requires your dream requires sacrifice and we usually don't take that into account when we're just dreaming it as opposed to living it. Something about how you can become a slave to your dream until it becomes a prison. All of these themes become clear as we move through the lives of these cowboys.

More later about character.