My May Mood: Spike Jonze to the dance of Edifice

It is somehow May already…a month that carries a lot of weight for me for many reasons…from defining past life moments, the exhaustion of the end of another academic semester, my annual celebratory birth-day (and others too who are no longer with us) and more that I don’t need to mention. It’s all in my head at the moment as I write my PhD (and whilst my body and Amoy tiger tummy lets me down).

Whilst I’m stuck in my prison-house of language (as I currently call it, which I can’t wait to escape to re-engage with the world – yes I’m at that stage PhD-ers!), I always have some sort of moving image, film or media on in the background to stop my thoughts from going off on many tangents, where today I had a marathon session with Director Baz Lurhman (no clue why I’d never watched ‘The Great Gatsby’ (2013) before) and tomorrow will be spent with Spike Jonze.

This brings me onto a website and project I follow called ‘The Creators Project’ where a couple of their blog posts and short films recently caught my usually frenetic attention…two short films that have actually come to visually define my May mood to the extent where they stopped me, triggered me, silenced me – they are me, and manaXi.

‘The Creators Project’ is a global celebration of creativity, arts and technology. Launched in 2009 with Intel as founding partner, the platform features the works of visionary artists across multiple disciplines who are using technology to push the boundaries of creative expression. If you don’t follow their work already…you should, as they’re a great creative point of reference.

The first short film is ‘ciné: Spike Jonze’ (so apt for tomorrow’s film adventure), a collection and nine-part series of videos that celebrates the work of cinema’s brightest working directors realised on the last Monday of every month by film editor Miguel Branco. Currently, Miguel is focussing on the work of renowned American film Director Spike Jonze where ‘ciné: Spike Jonze’ edits together scenes taken from his four feature-length films ‘Her’, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, ‘Adaptation.’ and ‘Being John Malkovich’. I can remember seeing ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ in 2009 at the Light House cinema in Wolverhampton and crying my eyes out, holding my breath because I wanted to cry so much as it was just after my Gran had passed away. I will never, ever forget that moment and the feeling of not being able to talk afterwards. His films look at themes of innocence, love, self-hatred, the inner self, melancholy, experience, memory, looking back, the universe, the other you and so much more…I know why they hit me hard inside.

Spike Jonze 2

Spike Jonze 1

“I think I’ve felt everything I’m ever gonna feel, and from here on I’m not going to feel anything new”…”today’s the first day of the rest of my life”…”can you feel me with you right now?”…”do I have an original thought in my head? I’m a walking cliche”…”I can feel the fear you carry around. I wish there was there was something I could do to help you let go of it, because if you could, I don’t think you’d feel so alone anymore”…”falling in love is a crazy thing to do…it’s kind of a form of socially acceptable insanity”.

The second short film is called ‘Edifice’, a Latin American dance and Contact Improvisation duet choreographed by UK-based dancers Carmine De Amicis and Harriet Waghorn, directed, shot and edited by Rogerio Silva. Resonating with my ballet days, ‘Edifice’ is about ‘relationships built very much like a house. Isolated forms bend, flow and connect to create a unified mass. A structure that shelters and nurtures those within.’ They create a singular body dialogue, a sense of dual connection, principle to both the dancers. They call it a “hybrid partnering language” that ‘informed the choreographic process and aimed to explore themes like blurred and permeable boundaries, migration and integration, intuition and growth.’

To me, it is the strength and weaknesses, the honesty and trust, the levels of physical and emotional tension, the reliance and dependency, the want, the fight (to be together), the being in sync, the togetherness, the feeling of nothing else matters, the pace of change and a need to escape, the feeling of losing time and potential loss, the structure and support, the feeling of being completely lost and lost in each other. I secretly want to know what manaXi thinks of this, harking back to his performance studies days.

‘Edifice’ as a word means a complex system of beliefs or imposing structure(s)…in part like the definition of a relationship, and of wordgirl. Well, this is wordgirl’s May mood! I’m hoping it will change yet retain its insular, reflective, search for meaning tendencies as Spring turns into Summer and as more words get written, typed and committed to the page. What’s your May mood?

Edifice Rogerio Silva 1

Edifice Rogerio Silva 2

Edifice Rogerio Silva 3

Edifice Rogerio Silva 4

Edifice Rogerio Silva 5

Edifice Rogerio Silva 6

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