Wednesday, November 30, 2011
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This was filmed between 29th April and 10th May 2011 in the Arctic, on
the archipelago Lofoten in Norway.
My favorite natural phenomenon is one I do not even know the name of, even after talking to meteorologists and astrophysicists I am none the wiser.What I am talking about I have decided to call The Arctic Light and it is a natural phenomenon occurring 2-4 weeks before you can see the Midnight Sun.
The Sunset and Sunrise are connected in one magnificent show of color and light lasting from 8 to 12 hours. The sun is barely going below the horizon before coming up again. This is the most colorful light that I know, and the main reason I have been going up there for the last 4 years, at the exact same time of year, to photograph. Based on previous experience, I knew this was going to be a very difficult trip. Having lost a couple of cameras and some other equipment up there before, it was crucial to bring an extra set of everything. I also
made sure I had plenty of time in case something went wrong.
If you can imagine roping down mountain cliffs, or jumping around on slippery rocks covered in seaweed with 2 tripods, a rail, a controller,
camera, lenses, filters and rigging for 4-5 hour long sequences at a time, and then
having to calculate the rise and fall of the tides in order to capture the essence - it all proved bit of a challenge.
And almost as if planned, the trip would turn out to become very
difficult indeed. I had numerous setbacks including: airline lost my
luggage, struggling to swim ashore after falling into the Arctic sea: twice, breaking lenses, filters, tripod, computer, losing the whole dolly rig and controller into the sea, and even falling off a rather tall rock and ending
up in the hospital. As much as I wanted to give up, the best way Out is
always “Through”. I am glad I stuck it through though because there were some amazing sunrises waiting. At 1:06 you see a single scene from day to night to day which is from 9pm to 7am. Think about that for a minute.. 10 hours with light like that.
I asked the very talented Marika Takeuchi to specifically compose and
perform a song for this movie, and what she came up with is absolutely remarkable. Thank you very much Marika!
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Music: "The Arctic Light" by Marika Takeuchi
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Stories are told in many ways: written, visual, theatrical, musical. Through film and performance, William Kentridge creates visual narratives that explore both personal and universal themes. Kentridge suffuses difficult historical moments, including the exodus of the Jews from Czarist Russia, with the intimacy of his own lived experience such as the period of apartheid in South Africa. Kentridge’s animated films, History of the Main Complaint (1996) and Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris (1991), blend personal and fictional elements. Each film depicts the conditions provoked by apartheid and reflect the brutality of this period in South African history.
* How do films and animation lend themselves to storytelling and narrative differently than a drawing, painting, or sculpture does?
* How does art investigate the past? How do artists interpret history in new ways?