It is evening. After a long day, after much work and many impressions, experiences, actions and words – you let your tires nerves rest. You sit quietly with your eyes closed. What is it that appears out of the darkness before your mind’s eye? You review the faces of people you’ve met during the day, their voices, movements, their characteristic of humorous features. You run again through the streets, past familiar houses, read the signs. Passively, you follow the motley of images of your memory.
Unnoticed by yourself you step back over the boundaries of today, and in your imagination slowly arise visions of your past life. Your forgotten and half-remembered wishes, daydreams, life’s aims, successes and failures appear as pictures before your mind. True, they are not so faithful to the facts as recollections of the day just passed. Now they are, in retrospect, slightly changed. But you still recognize them. With your mind’s eye, you now follow them with greater interest, with more awakened attention, because they are changed, because they now bear some traces of imagination.
But much more happens. Out of the visions of the past, there flash here and there images totally unknown to you! They are pure products of your Creative Imagination. They appear, disappear, they come back again, bringing with them new strangers. Presently they enter in relationships with one another. They begin to “act”, to “perform” before your fascinated gaze. You follow their heretofore unknown lives. You are absorbed, drawn into strange moods, atmosphere, into the love, hatred, happiness and unhappiness of these imaginary guests.
Your mind is now fully awake and active. Your reminiscences grow paler and paler; the new images are stronger than they. You are amused by the fact that these new images possess their own independent lives; you are astonished that they appear without your invitation. Finally, these newcomers force you to watch them with greate poignancy than the simple pictures of everyday memory; these fascinating guests, who made their appearance from nowhere, who live their own lives full of emotions, awaken your responsible feelings.
They force you to laugh and cry with them. Like magicians, they call up in you an unconquerable desire to become one of them. You enter into conversations with them, you now see yourself among them; you want to act, and you do so. From a passive state of mind, the images have uplifted you to a creative one.
Such is the power of imagination.
In our age, humanity is inclined to forget that to progress culturally, life, and especially the arts, must be permeated with all kinds of intangible powers and qualities; that what is tangible, visible and audible, is but a small part of our optimum existence and has little claim upon posterity.
I had an amazing time at the radio show Nektar Island, hosted by my good friend Chawat Lancien and Christian Müller at K2k radio (@k2kradio). They invited me there to talk a bit about the short film Wreckage; we also reached out to the composer of the movie OST – my old time pal Martim Fernandes, who said a few words about the process of creating music for film.
To make things even better, we also listened to some great tunes; including songs by Eletroímãs Cataliticos and Crappy Jazz 🤘 click above to listen the full episode!
Philosophy as a way of life makes men free. It is the last ditch stand of liberty in a world of servitude. This knowledge of ourselves makes us free in a world of dependencies.
You must watch, you must labor, you must get the better of certain appetites, must quit your acquaintances, be despised by your servant, be laughed at by those you meet; come off worse than others in everything—in offices, in honors, before tribunals. When you have fully considered all these things, approach, if you please—that is, if, by parting with them, you have a mind to purchase serenity, freedom, and tranquillity. If not, do not come hither; do not, like children, be now a philosopher, then a publican, then an orator, and then one of Caesar’s officers. These things are not consistent. You must be one man, either good or bad. You must cultivate either your own reason or else externals; apply yourself either to things within or without you—that is, be either a philosopher or one of the mob.
For sheep do not hastily throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten, but, inwardly digesting their food, they produce it outwardly in wool and milk.
Upon every accident, remember to turn toward yourself and inquire what faculty you have for its use. If you encounter a handsome person, you will find continence the faculty needed; if pain, then fortitude; if reviling, then patience. And when thus habituated, the phenomena of existence will not overwhelm you.
While he permits you to possess it, hold it as something not your own, as do travelers at an inn. and though you should appear to others to be somebody, distrust yourself.
The condition and characteristic of a vulgar person is that he never looks for either help or harm from himself, but only from externals. The condition and characteristic of a philosopher is that he looks to himself for all help or harm. The marks of a proficient are that he censures no one, praises no one, blames no one, accuses no one; says nothing concerning himself as being anybody or knowing anything. When he is in any instance hindered or restrained, he accuses himself; and if he is praised, he smiles to himself at the person who praises him; and if he is censured, he makes no defense. But he goes about with the caution of a convalescent, careful of interference with anything that is doing well but not yet quite secure. He restrains desire; he transfers his aversion to those things only which thwart the proper use of our own will; he employs his energies moderately in all directions; if he appears stupid or ignorant, he does not care; and, in a word, he keeps watch over himself as over an enemy and one in ambush.
Whatever rules you have adopted, abide by them as laws, and as if you would be impious to transgress them; and do not regard what anyone says of you, for this, after all, is no concern of yours. How long, then, will you delay to demand of yourself the noblest improvements, and in no instance to transgress the judgments of reason? You have received the philosophic principles with which you ought to be conversant; you have been conversant with them. For what other masters, then, do you wait as an excuse for this delay in self-reformation? You are no longer a boy but a grown man. If therefore, you will be negligent and slothful, and always add procrastination to procrastination, purpose to purpose, and fix day after day in which you will attend to yourself, you will insensibly continue to accomplish nothing and, living and dying, remain of a vulgar mind.
This instant, then, think yourself worthy of living as a man grown up and a proficient. Let whatever appears to be the best be to you an inviolable law. And if any instance of pain or pleasure, glory or disgrace, be set before you, remember that now is the combat, now the Olympiad comes on, nor can it be put off; and that by one failure and defeat honor may be lost or—won. Thus Socrates became perfect, improving himself by everything, following reason alone. And though you are not yet a Socrates, you ought, however, to live as one seeking to be a Socrates.
It was a thrill to have our movie Wreckage (that I’ve directed and edited), nominated at the category of Best Production Design at Redline Film Festival. This post is an interview with Matthew Toffolo, one of the festival creators that states what this festival is about. The interview below was made by www.festivalcreators.org
Founded as a passion project by indie filmmakers, Redline’s goal is to shine a light on the films and filmmakers that the mainstream media frequently overlook. As filmmakers ourselves, we have far too often seen quality films being turned away from festivals because they didn’t meet the proper mainstream “criteria”. We strongly believe that film-making is one of the most profound mediums through which art can be created, and should not have to adhere to conventional ideas in order to be celebrated. Which is why, through our monthly festival, we aim to promote those who create art through the medium of film and continue to push the envelope in artistic creation.
Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?
Redline: One of the things that we take the most pride in is giving as much value to filmmakers who submit as we possibly can. One of the things that we have seldom seen offered by other festivals & competitions, which we offer and believe is very helpful to filmmakers, is promotional reviews written by film critics for some of the winning films we select. As filmmakers ourselves, one of the most valued things we could ever get for one of our new short films is in-depth feedback. There is no greater feeling than hearing directly from someone who’s watched and dissected your film and came to the end having understood what you we’re trying to accomplish with it, and enjoying it in the process.
We also pride ourselves in leaving politics at the door. No film is off-limits when it comes to our selection process. A good film is a good film, whether it’s a tough-to-watch dramatic subject matter, or a fun crude comedy flick, all films are given a fair shot. Many times this leads to us selecting and showcasing films that sometimes get overlooked throughout the festival circuit purely based on subject matter alone. We offer a platform for ALL filmmakers who make quality films to be showcased and promoted without judgement.
What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2018)?
Our in person screenings are monthly and are exclusively for those who have signed up and registered as jury members. For those members, they should expect a curated selection of some amazing short films from all around the globe! Our main focus is to continue improving on quality as well as increasing value to filmmakers.
What are the qualifications for the selected films?
In general, we accept films up to 25 minutes in length made within 18 months of the submission period. We accept live-action, documentary and animated shorts from all genres.
Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?
Absolutely. As we stated before, festivals and competitions are sometimes very political. Whether they are trying to appease to a certain audience, or they have sponsors they need to keep happy – many implications can cause a skew in the selection process. This causes films that may have more offensive or hard-to-watch subject matters to be passed over, regardless of the quality of film. We have always had the mantra that we select the best films, period. We don’t take into consideration what the mainstream media’s opinions would be, and we will never adjust selections to appease sponsors. We simply choose the best films, always.
What motivates you and your team to do this festival?
After years of us being on the submitting end of the process, we grew tired of festivals and competitions who either 1. Select nearly every submissions to fill their quota’s and keep filmmakers happy, rendering a selection worthless 2. Offer no value to the filmmakers submitting and 3. Selecting mostly mainstream type films to appease sponsors and a wide audience. We’re not trying to repeat ourselves too much here, but I think you can probably see a trend when it comes to our gripes with the traditional festival circuit. Essentially, we wanted a festival that represented our taste in films, that would choose obscure films that some may not enjoy, but clearly bring value to an audience who is willing to give them a chance. Bringing value to filmmakers that are like us, that have been in our situation, that’s what really keeps us going.
How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?
Fantastic. The service is simple to use, extremely responsive when you have an issue, and wonderfully designed. The only issue now is how popular it’s becoming – it’s getting more and more difficult to get promotional spots as more and more festivals flow in to use the platform – which makes sense as they are by far the best submission site we’ve seen, both on the submission and festival end.
Where do you see the festival by 2023?
We hope to see it be a widely accepted stamp of quality. We want our laurel to represent filmmaking at its finest. Whether that means having massive screenings and events, or simply being a highly coveted award competition – that is yet to be decided. However, we do know that we want filmmakers to be proud of being selected by our team, and we hope to continue offering them as much value as we possibly can.
In one sentence, what makes a great film?
A great film is one that moves it’s audience – one that strikes a personal chord and makes them feel deep emotion. I’m never happier than when I’m sitting and watching a film – a work of art created by the coming-together of so many talented hands – that makes me completely forget I’m watching a screen and completely transports me and captivates me into this crafted world. A great film takes you on a journey and makes you forget about all your troubles, even for a brief moment.
How is the film scene in your city?
For the most part, fantastic. Toronto has a great film scene with so many talented filmmakers, although it’s quite small. It’s common practice that when you make it “big” you leave for either New York or Los Angeles to pursue “bigger” and “better” things. Hopefully this mentality changes in the near future, as there are fantastically talented productions and people working in Toronto all the time whom could benefit greatly if the industry grew. Things like the Toronto International Film Festival are starting to put Toronto on the map more and more within the industry though, which is fantastic! We hope Redline IFF can contribute to growing the industry here as well.
Excerpt from Michelangelo Antonioni about his movie ‘The Passenger’ (1974)
The story of ‘The Passenger’, perhaps, looks like my story as an artist, as a director. I do not know if I will succumb: I am not talking about the temptation to change identity, because everyone has that. I’m talking about destiny, because each one of us carries his own destiny within him. I do not know if I will succumb to all those actions that, at the end of a life, come together to form one’s destiny. Some succumb, others does not.
Perhaps it’s a mistake to change one’s identity: you succumb to life and die. It depends on what you do once you have taken another identity. It is a presumption that will most likely bring a person into conflict with life itself. A journalist sees reality with a certain consistency, the ambiguous consistency of his point of view, which seems objective to him and to him alone. (…) After all, everything I do is absorbed in a sort of collision between reality and me. Neither lucidity or clarity can be counted among my qualities. I will never find the exact equivalent of my imagination.
The whole film is ambiguous, but I think this ambiguity is what gives it a sense of the concrete. Being, says Heidegger, is being-in-the-world (dasein). When David feels that this is the end (but even he is probably not so sure), he is no longer in the world. The world is outside the window. It is reportage on his own death.
Few people understood that behind the character of Jack Nicholson there was myself. Like him I have often wished I could change my identity, life, and encounters, forgetting my love and my duties, presences and absences to take on the identity of a stranger, to begin another adventure.