Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Insert title here...

Because the experiences are happening so fast, I can’t come up with a title for this post. Over the course of the day, I could have posted with the title “A salad every two days is critical on this tour” or “American airports and why a smile goes a long way” or “The lost art of gumbo” or “Colonel Sanders and Hunter Thompson, and why they are the same” or “my broken button” or “hotel soap and the excitement of invisibility.” The truth is, time passes fast, and I would be better off creating an audio diary than trying to reflect on what is REALLY going on.

I had drinks last night with the Greensboro crew. My friend Laurelyn traded me a copy of her new Polecat Creek CD for a DVD of my work. Justin’s book is due out in the Spring… such great people.

Ironically, I found a similar situation in Louisville. There are these amazing, talented and driven transplants working within the South, and doing very interesting things. I sold 3 DVDs tonight and had another surprisingly good crowd. Tamara from the Bluegrass Independent Film Festival introduced my work (along with a charming piece by a local filmmaker), and the people seemed at least open to the ideas I was giving them. The projection was pretty awful (sound and image), but we switched DVDs for the last film (which played much better).

After the show, I went out with Tom and Dan from the Kentucky Center, and with Scott from Pitch magazine. The whole experience left me in the same state I’ve felt about the South in this country-- confused. Being (officially) from the South has always left me with a love/hate relationship for this part of the country. Louisville has a beautiful downtown with thriving art galleries and shops. Talking to these guys reminded me of that contradiction between the new South and the old. These new southerners are somehow superimposed on the old, which has something to do with my internal conflict about the place. I immediately felt how great it would be to live in a place like this (while at the same time knowing that I’m fickle about these southern towns).

There is a familiarity about the town… always in the back of my head I continue to feel drawn back to this part of the country. I’ve moved back multiple times. Every time I don’t feel heartbroken like I used to when I would give the South “one more chance,” but rather I become agitated and restless. All of these guys I drank with tonight make it a habit to take regular outings to other parts of the country. Perhaps that’s my problem? I’m too much of a homebody?

In any case, I’m off to Hollywood, FL tomorrow. It’s a slow move backwards through my own personal history. It gives my films a certain sort of resonance seeing them in this context, as I’ve avoided using literal experiences from my own upbringing in my work. Still, the images somehow seem to imply this space, even if only between the frames. I doubt the audience sees this, and I'm certainly not going to outline the trail of dead and the hidden skeletons. Better to just leave it alone.

Friday, I’m back where I began… I turn 38 on Friday night in Charleston, SC, the town where I was born but haven’t seen since (my family moved away when I was just a few months old and I’ve never been back). The town both holds the promise of seeing a hidden part of me that even I’m not familiar with, but it also reflects back on how this year started: with the murder of filmmaker Helen Hill in New Orleans (Helen was from Columbia, SC). This will be my first trip back to the state since her funeral. More reflections on the loss and that gripping pain that the South always brings. We'll see...

Eric