Iona Roisin - Status update

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Dear reader,

Just a quick update… Over the past couple of weeks the work has changed, what I thought would be a longer, like 45 min thing, is now just over 15 minutes, which is much more manageable and maybe slightly more likely to actually get watched. I think quite a bit of what I had was repetitious, and whilst the nuances might be visible to me they may not translate to an audience. Though of course I can continue to work with the footage after Kuvan Kevät if I’m not totally sick of it already.

My initial reluctance to reduce the length of the film wasn’t really about getting attached to the footage or being precious as much as something to do with confidence? That doing something short and succinct is brave, whereas I just want to wrap this whole thing in layers and minutes and shots and notes and stuff. I’m mostly content rn but still slightly nervous of publicly displaying something that is not a form or style I am used to working with. Can’t wait to never not work with voice over again.

Besides having to come to terms with the fact that Kuvan Kevät hasn’t made me a complex feature film director who is eligible for the Palm d’Or, it gets confusing when you speak with so many teachers, artists and friends who all provide you with totally conflicting advice and feedback (don't mean to sound ungrateful that's just how it is). After a few months of this it can become increasingly hard to make decisions, especially if you feel slightly unsure of your work. This is particularly the case when looking at some of the ethical things, people have such different thresholds for this, and moments that are totally normal to me seem harsh and insensitive to others and vice versa.

For example there was a part that hasn’t made it into the film where I ask my brother what the time is. He can’t really tell the time but he has been learning this again recently and after a little nudging he works it out. My initial issue with this scene was that it looks like I’m testing him, setting him up with a question I know he will struggle with just to demonstrate something on camera, like I’m trying to gauge what he’s capable of or? I don’t think I was doing that, at least not intentionally. I thought it was nice to see him get it eventually and I helped him a little bit with it which you could read as some sort of metaphor if you are that way inclined.

Later he asks me some questions too like: what do I do with all my time? (Good question…) In several studio visits this was flagged up as a problematic moment. When I remind him I’m at university some sort of discrepancy between us becomes (more?) apparent. Maybe that seems like some kind of power-issue, but ultimately that’s just the situation, that’s just the truth of the matter, or part of it at least. Here I’m supposed to separate my artist self from my sister self, step outside myself and be objective, so as not to upset some balance and make myself look like more of a shitty person. I cut the scene, but maybe I shouldn’t have. Maybe many of the things I think the work should be doing are implicit in this one exchange, but maybe not.

So I THINK I’M FINISHED - with the film at least, installation starts today. Even though I’ve pretty much done what I set out to do in terms of creating something non-narrative blah blah, I seem to have made this really meandering work in which nothing happens in a very unstructured way. Whilst this is pretty standard fare for artist films (sorry) I can’t help but wonder actually how unsatisfying this will be for the viewer. But I guess that doesn’t really matter, boring the audience isn’t the worst thing you can do.

Iona xx