Daedaleum [what it feels like or what it means]
- Essay and Personal Doc
A filmmaker, struggling with a fragmented mind and memories of his father, is prompted to return home.
At 34,000 feet he identifies with Jimmy Stewart.
After a 30-year absence, he touches down â€“ already calmer â€“ to confront his past.
- Show treatment
Daedaleum [what it feels like or what it means] is an experimental non-fiction work which is designed to find a visual form and expression to replicate states of mind; to communicate what an experience felt like in addition to responding to the traditional desire to describe what happened. This is reminiscent of Maya Derenâ€™s concepts of verticality in film. Shot length, editing, transitions, black screen, voice are all part of the language of feeling or of meaning. While nothing ground-breaking, this is certainly a craft which has lost its way in a vast tyrannical sea of story and character arcs.
Here, the fragmentation of inaccessible, unattainable memory and mental instability become transformed by an encounter with cinema, finally leading to the calmness of returning to a known, comfortable and stable environment. Despite the presence of a constant voiceover, these mental states are expressed visually â€“ sometimes in stark contrast to, other times in collusion with, the authorial voice.
While there certainly is a story unfolding, this work strikes at the heart of cinema as multi-sensory experience rather than the current commonly restricted palate of character, narrative and resolution.
Following completion of the first assembly of the material â€“ after committing to the flashing memory fragmentation â€“ Steven learned that the basic drum-like form of the zoetrope was created in 1834 by British mathematician William George Horner (very possibly a direct ancestor). Horner's revolving drum, christened the daedaleum, was unique in that it situated the viewing slits in the gaps between the images.
The later, related, zoopraxiscope was an early proto-cinema device created by photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridgeâ€™s experiments observing time and movement began in San Francisco, where he fled to from Britain as a young man after his fatherâ€™s early death â€“ the inverted initial trajectory of this filmmaker (but the same one depicted in this film).
Finally, after completion of the rough cut was it observed that the short was in three distinct sequences: fragmentation, cinema and arrival, with the first and last sections almost precisely the same duration, punctuated by the central cinematic encounter. As if cinema provided a healing tonic.
- Running time
- 8 minutes
- Steven Horner ... Director, Editor, Producer, Cinematographer, Writer
- Prod. Co.
- devil mountain productions
- United Kingdom
- Years of Production
- Release year
- selected for CinÃ©City 2014 (6 Dec 2014); London Short Film Festival (Jan 2015), other submissions made; awaiting news
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