October 29.21: That’s Cold

The temperatures are starting to dip making for a fresh start to the day: Nuriddin films the old city waking up, with merchants and artisans setting up their wares in anticipation of their first customers. We wander the deserted courtyards of mosques and madrassas until it’s time for Bezhod’s film shoot at home of an elderly man whose only family are the dozens of doves that live in his courtyard. To hear Pavel tenderly call to the birds while they move in synchronous circles against a bright blue sky is truly magical. Also transportive is witnessing hundreds of men praying in unison at the historic Bolo Haouz Friday Mosque, with the most beautiful singing drifting through the autumn afternoon air. While Ravshan and Muhammad document local painters and sewers at work, those of us back at the Photo Gallery lab welcome students from The Knowledge Academy for a brief introduction to Super 8 and eco-processing. We talk about embracing the unpredictability of analog film–one of the reasons why we love it!–and our words are put to the test when one of the rolls processed today turns out FABULOUS and the other roll turns out… well, it doesn’t really turn out. The consensus is that the developer wasn’t hot enough, which has never been an issue before but every environment brings its own vibe to the mix, inviting us as filmmakers to tune in to the nuances of the moment and respond with respect and gratitude for new lessons learned. Are we daunted or defeated? Heck, no! We’re just warming up!!!!

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Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr travel the world, sharing movies and music with the masses. At home in Los Angeles, they facilitate community screenings and workshops at the Echo Park Film Center, a non-profit media arts organization.

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