Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Creative Way Around the Ethical Dilemma


Another friend of mine gave me what I thought was a fantastic idea. I was talking to her about the problem of filming political refugees' faces, and the obvious answers like "Film bodies, hands, houses - anything but faces" came up. But we discussed two other ideas that have artistic merit, if I pull them off.

One: What about backs of heads? I guess I'm thinking of Marsalis from Pulp Fiction, maybe, or for some reason I'm recollecting an image from a commercial I saw once of a the back of a girl's head, wet and wearing a swim cap, and an indoor pool in the background. Maybe I never actually saw that, actually, but it sounds like the kind of slow-motion image you would see in a credit card commercial or something.

Two: There's the question of filming at the Dalai Lama's birthday celebration in July. Public shooting might create the most risky footage - I won't be able to guarantee that everyone there is willing to be on camera, and I definitely won't be able to get their signatures on release forms. So why not shoot impressions of the celebration? Blur the images as much as I can and allow the viewer's mind to do the work, a little bit (or a lot) like Rodney Smith's experiments with impressionistic images.

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