29 August, 2008

days of being wild

Days of Being Wild, or: A Case for This Being the Golden Summer
pictures by: Abiel Hoff, David Drori, Karl Peterson, and Mike Wilson.
This is how I imagine I'll remember it all:

We sat outside and breathed and breathed.

carlo takes flight

I'm sitting at my parents house, and I have boxes scattered all over the place. I was checking my emails just now and running through my bookmarks when it hit me: I no longer live in Bellingham, Washington. It makes me feel real downcast.

I'm not home for a weekend. I'm not gone for the summer. I just plain don't live in that wonderful city anymore. It was Craig's List's Missed Connection that did me in: I narcissistically scan this page daily to see if anyone noticed me around town, or to indulge in other people's lovelorn tearjerkers (I have begun keeping a compilation of the truly juicy and tragic ones). At any rate, I realized just now that I am no long part of Bellingham, and reading the city's Craig's List no longer felt like an act of participation in Bellingham's eclectic citizenry, but instead voyeuristic and weird -- like stalking an ex's myspace page. I immediately deleted the page from my bookmarks, and now feel terribly homeless.

Someday I'll settle down and not be so flighty, I promise.

I miss you, Bellingham. We'll always have the Bay.

24 August, 2008

europe is the new portland

Four days left in Bellingham, WA.

Life is a pretty big deal. There are so many things to see, ideas to wonder over, jokes to laugh about, sweethearts to lay around and smile with, hands to squeeze, rivals to scoff at, plans to materialize, moments to dwell on, sad stuff to sting my heart; things to fall apart, trains to catch, candles to blow out, cigarettes to smoke, pursuits to be pursued reckless in all directions, tears to kiss, notes to pass; decisions to slow everything down, bringing my head in from the clouds for a second or two; back alleys to take from one side to the other, nights to not sleep through, dancing to say i love this, books to make my heart go BOOM.

I never want this blog to become my emotional outlet, because I have too nice of friends that let me go on and on about all my problems (and triumphs!), but I will say this: The Month of August has been the most emotional month I've gotten through in a long time. It's timely, though. After all, I'm leaving for a different continent in exactly two weeks to start my adulthood; I may as well spend my remaining days of youth fightin' and scrapin', makin' the most of it...

My life's future is the skeletal outline of a story; the back-of-the-book synopsis: Jimmy goes to Europe, zaniness ensues. There are all sorts of bullet points on calendars ahead, but I've got to fill in the story myself. Life, as Peter Pan once dreamily put it, will be an awfully big adventure.

This is it! Part Two! Adulthood! Go! Go! Go!

20 August, 2008

and i've got a place to live!

In the 13th! Just south of the 5th! Only a jaunt from all my favorite cinemas! I'll post more probably tomorrow, but for now I have to move loads and loads of stuff from my old apartment to Nick's new apartment!

Here are some pictures my new roommate sent to me!

The living room with a cat.

Living room from the opposite angle.

The room I'll call home with a cat.

Another angle of my new room!

9 more days, Bellingham. Come party with me.

17 August, 2008

move to the city!

Today I pulled "Make a Documentary" out of the bag. But, because I waited until around 8:30 in the evening to pull it out, I basically told myself that there was no way. Instead, I made another collage, and I'm actually pleased with how it turned out. Like my first collage I found the process to be frustrating, and yet I'm entirely allured to this brand of creation.

Special shout out to Soma Magazine, as I've been exclusively using their spreads and advertisements for my source material.

This collage was inspired by my recent plans to return to Paris this fall. Living in a city is like Heaven to me. I love the dirt, grime, and constant motion. I like seeing hundreds of new faces each morning. I like to have my own universe which I'm a part of and separate from altogether.


15 August, 2008

boredom is counterrevolutionary

A little bit later tonight I'm meeting with slice-of-heaven-herself Jessica Tracey at the Temple Bar to discuss what has been billed as Friendship '68.

Friendship '68? What's that?

In honor of my exiting the Beautiful Bay City of Bellingham, Jessica and I have put together a regiment of activities through which we plan to voice our militant stance toward friendship. Tonight we will be discussing slogans (inspired by May '68), brainstorming bullet points for the Friendship Leaflets to be passed out around town, among other ideas that will act as propaganda for Friends Around the World.

Sort of in honor of Friendship '68, and duly part of my 40 Days of Purpose, I have thrown together this sock puppet movie titled Tennis + Revolution. I originally wrote this script in Bryan Willis' playwriting class my sophomore year. If nothing else, this short showcases how truly terrible of a voice actor I am. The character Francois' voice oscillates between terrible French and Mexican accents, as well as my regular voice; while Elliot's voice at times sounds strangely similar to Baby Cakes.

Anyway, it's a little bit funny:

10 August, 2008

too many things

On Thursday if someone had asked me what I'd be doing this fall I'd have told them I was moving to Portland where I was going to do my best to scrape by, make movies on the go, and apply to graduate schools. However, my presumptive itinerary has been turned upside and inside out, and all of a sudden it appears as though I'm Paris bound for the months September through December.

I've been offered a job which will allow me to lecture on French New Wave cinema to American exchange students, lead excursions to museums, and teach students how to make short movies. It's through the same program that I was a student with last summer, so I'm excited to not only see old instructors, but work alongside them. I'm currently in the process of finding a place to live and bargain hunting for airline tickets.

After I graduated from college a few months ago, racked with anxiety and uncertainty, I found myself captivated by Stef Warmouth in conversation; as I asked her, "What do I do next?" she paused thoughtfully, looked at me with her lovely brown eyes and said, "Whatever the fuck you want."

Sometimes life falls right into your lap.

Yesterday I had to make a poster. I wanted to make one that would propagate some idea I have for the future of Cinema. So I chose to make one promoting The Friendship New Wave. The Friendship New Wave is basically my theory in which cinema will be saved by bands of kids and friends utilizing ubiquitous photographic and editing technologies to essentially, to steal Stef's phrasing, do whatever the fuck they want. It'd be the end to odiously monotonous "Indie" films striving for Hollywood distribution, as well as the geographical trope of Hollywood being the exclusive location for film making.

I was using the Bauhaus as my inspriation; this design in particular:

I'm not particularly pleased with how my poster turned out. One major problem I had to deal with was not having a ruler or any sort of strait edge to assist me. A ruler would have helped quite a bit with the letters. Making this gave me a tremendous amount of respect for graphic designers, specifically typographers. Making letters by hand is no easy task, especially when trying to create a systematic pattern for how the letters should look together: ie, If the S looks like this, the C should look like this.

Also, right when I finished the poster, I realized that I had accidentally wrote out "NEWAVE" rather than "NEW WAVE." So, the W within the W wasn't exactly what I had desired, nor do I find it sexy. Plus typically you spell Friendship with D, which I clearly just wasn't into last night.

09 August, 2008

06 August, 2008

i hated it

With these 40 Days of Purpose, already by Day 6 I'm noticing a difference in how I view making things. Back in the days of old when I was a good Christian boy, I remember attending a Young Life Conference and going to a seminar about daily devotion. The man who was giving the presentation challenged me: He said that if I spent time with God on a daily basis (reading the Holy Bible, journaling, praying, etc) once a day for twenty days, by day twenty my heart would be transformed.

17 Year Old Jimmy tried his best, but naturally fell short and was unable to spend 20 days straight with God. Instead of feeling transformed and closer with the Lord God Almighty for at least trying, I felt frustrated and depressed; Jesus died on the cross for me, and I couldn't even make time to pray every day.

The only reason I bring this up is because by Day 4 of my Creativity Driven Life I began feeling the same emotions inside I felt when I was 17. The prompt was "Write a Sad Story," and not only did I struggle to write it, but I struggled to find time in my day to work on it. I felt like I was letting down everything.

Unexpectedly, these nostalgic feelings of failure made me happy enough to fly. It's exactly what I was hoping this experiment would accomplish. Religion, as Karl pointed out to me, is just a frame work we set up to ensure future disappointments. If one's not continuously disappointed in himself, then there's nothing to work toward; for one to be pious, one needs to be continuously striving for failure, relishing in the shortcomings of the body and mind. This is easily my favorite part of religion, and the major inspiration for the daunting task which I have set out in front of me.

When I embarked on these 40 days I thought a nice capstone would be an art installation commemorating my days of piety, a little museum of remembrance. Instead, though, I think I'd rather write a memoir in the style of a religious book. I enjoyed reading Introduction to the Devout Life by St Francis De Salles because of the tenderness in which he addresses failure. But there is definitely a rapacious desire to write my story in the blow-hard-neo-Christian manner of books like The Purpose Driven Life that focus more on calming the self, rather than on the piety and mysticism of religion.

But anyway.

Here's my collage from Day 5. It was frustrating, but I like the way it turned out:

Today's prompt: Outline a Comedy Album.

Dick Jaspers, ready, set, go!

05 August, 2008

the lost continent pt. 2

If blogger had a sub-header option, this blog would be subtitled "The Year We Made Contact." One, because it's nice and dramatic, and two, because this second post of my on going "The Lost Continent" exposé is about the first time I swam in the Mediterranean Sea.

During a long weekend in Marseilles, Ludmilla took Courtney and I to a little cove just outside the city for an afternoon swim. Once we were maybe thirty minutes out of the city by way of bus, we set out through the wilderness on a dirt path toward the Sea. The landscape was surreal, and though we Marseilles isn't anywhere near Catalonia, it made Salvidor Dali's paintings come much more to life for me. It was a similar feeling to being in Paris and recognizing street corners or cafe exteriors from New Wave movies and realizing that the filmmakers were drawing from their life as much as they were drawing from their imagination. Dali's work, while existing in a world with much different rules than ours, is still based upon the landscapes and peoples of his life. Here's a picture I took from the trail, before we could see the Med:

And then a picture from the trail once the Sea was revealed to me for the first time:

I swam out to the rock in the middle of this picture and took a nap:

Waking up from that nap was maybe the best moment of my life. I woke up and could feel the salt being baked into my skin by the sun. I was disoriented and couldn't remember where I was right away. Then I opened my eyes and looked in front of me to see Europe appearing to me as a continent and as a history. Immediately I thought of my Grandpa who visited Europe when he was my age under quite different circumstances. When he swam in the Medeterrainian Sea, it was off the coast of North Africa, and it was because his airplane was shot down. I believe he treaded water for 24 hours straight, the only crew member of his plane to survive, before he was rescued by fishermen.

Inside, looking at the continent of nearly all my heroes, I felt entirely fortunate and had a resolve inside me to leave this rock that I had rested on and to go out and discover.

There's been a lot of talk in my group of friends about things wrapping up and series finales and all this business, but I think what's a lot closer to the truth is that we've just written an out-of-this-world preface, and Chapter 1 is about to begin. Being an adult takes a lot of courage, but I think my friends and I are going to be O.K. We'll make movies and write things and record music and laugh and swim until the day we die. Even if geography puts us into different corners and pockets, it's really not such a bad life. We're the most fortunate group of friends I know.

Anyway, I feel like this post unexpectedly became sentimental to the point of vulgarity.

My prompt for today is: Make a Collage.

Yesterday was: Write a Sad Story. I wrote about an eight year old telling his grandpa how he lost his favorite hat (the one with the bird stitched onto it). I wrote it by hand, which was my first mistake. I got a lot of good ideas out, but overall I was terribly dissatisfied with what I wrote. But, that's more or less the point of all this.

02 August, 2008

40 Days of Purpose

You may remember that I made an August resolution to do more with myself; to move toward a lifestyle of creation. Update: I'm on my way! Inspired by religious devotionals, specifically The Purpose Driven Life (regardless that I've never read it, nor any of its spin-offs), I'm forcing purpose into my life, and Creativity Be Thy Name.

I made an enormous list of varying arts and crafts, cut them into pieces, and put them into a big bag. Every day, for the next forty days, to ensure that I'm making something, I will pull out a command and do whatever it tells me.

Yesterday being August first, I got started. I pulled out "Make an homage to Matisse in Construction Paper."

Here's the Matisse I homaged:And here's my version, in construction paper:

The idea's not to make good things -- just things.

Today I was the director of photography at a Jenni Pott's music video shoot. (Incidentally, Karl made her web page. It's fantastic to look at.)