Nostalgia

Meditative. Hollis Frampton’s Nostalgia with its long takes of burning photographs, records the combustion process while orally telling stories that seem to be about the content of the photos burning on screen but were also not always the photograph he is describing. To me, it’s meditative by nature of including the whole process and because you have to focus on the what of his words, awakening me to the moment of watching. I found myself noticing the warmth of the laptop on my stomach as the images burned. Interestingly, I had just watched old videos from my life for a documentary project so it all coalesced quite nicely with my experience of the now.

Also, Frampton’s Nostalgia did something I recently saw in a documentary. In this film, the filmmaker placed footage in between major points that did not serve much of the narrative storyline but rather served formal qualities like rhythm (in time and visually). For me it was brilliant and helped me to consume this documentary as desired—thoughtfully. The b-roll footage provided a place to let my mind process what heavy point was just made. When there is no space within a film, information can wash over a viewer. Many films take away a viewer’s agency by completely bombarding with stimulation and persuasive storytelling, not a moment to think critically. Media influences us without our full awareness of how our consciousness takes it on and integrates it into our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

These are just some of the things that Frampton got me thinking on…

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