For the past nineteen years of my life, I have struggled with trichotillomania. Trichotillomania (“Trich” or “TTM” for short) is a a compulsion to pull out one’s hair, and it is currently classified as an impulse control disorder by the DSM-IV. (It was formerly classified as an obsessive compulsive disorder.) Although I have experienced all of the hair loss, distress, and functional impairment associated with trich, I find the condition itself nearly impossible to explain.
For my final short film, I decided to make a video which chronicles my actions and feelings during a TTM spell. I hope you like it.
[Note: All color footage was found, while all black and white footage was filmed by my own hand.]
After my not-so-encouraging film critique last weekend, I revamped my whole project, including the title. I shot some new footage in Gare du Nord and edited the video so that it gradually progresses from slow and ordered to fast and chaotic, much like the music. My film professor thought the end result was too repetitive, but I wanted it that way. After all, the song is quite repetitive, no? Unfortunately, even after several evenings of loitering around the station, I still could not get a shot of a train leaving for the final scene. Transit cops tend to question people with cameras, especially when children are present at the scene. Yeah, France (or at the very least, Paris) is really weird about strangers photographing or filming children in public spaces. Whatever. If I ever do get the shot I want, I will edit the video accordingly.
Last night, as a pot of smoky red beans stewed in the kitchen, I uploaded my video to YouTube. I hope you enjoy it.
For my last short, I think I want to do something more serious and more personal. I have not yet decided how much I want my classmates to know I am the subject of the film; I might chicken out and make the subject a bit more abstract. Either way, it definitely will not take place in a train station or in any form of transit. Whew.
Last Sunday, our class met Luciano, our Representation of the Real professor. I do not have much to say about him, except that he is classic Swiss-Italian, looks like a well-groomed Bruce Vilanch, and wears designer accessories. I like to call him the Big Ball of Prada. He cannot remember anyone’s name (nor does he care to); he instead refers to people by their race or gender. Because Lyon and I are women, Luciano sees us as “naive” and “childlike” and does not seem to expect much from our work.
This Saturday after watching two wonderful films, Tishe! (Hush!, 2002) and Nobody’s Business (1996), we each played, for the entire class, a film of our very own. Mine was titled La Ligne 14. As the name suggests, I captured the footage on Line 14 of the Paris Metro. Although I shot the film on the train, I did not think of the train as the film’s subject. I was more interested in the feelings of redundancy, distance, and loneliness elicited through the dispersion of a crowd. By the end of the film, when the train reaches its last stop, the Metro is empty.
Before Tuesday, I had never shot a movie before. Before Friday, I had never edited a movie before. I do not see this as a finished work by any means; rather, I see it as a sketch, something I might like to pursue in future documentaries. I might film the end of a mass, midnight in Little India, or the disassembly of a farmer’s market. If you have read the proposal or the essay Seth and I submitted to Berkeley, you have probably noticed that I am fascinated by transitory spaces. I find it interesting that a single room can feel entirely different before, during, and after a dinner party.
If you would like to see the video, simply turn on your speakers and click here: