In cinema, generally there are obvious exceptions. So, there are exceptions to all the rules, but the rule is in theatrical cinema, that the actors do not engage the lens directly. It breaks the voyeuristic relationship of the event, where a story is being told. In this case, it’s a story to not be told, but a story to behold. So, we break that rule, because this is a film that’s about a dialogue with the audience, not for the audience. Now, some people don’t catch that, and that’s probably the inadequacy of what we’re produced, or if that they can’t get into it. I can’t speak for that.
However, to look at these images, or as it were, counter-intuitive to the way that images are packaged and come to us today, both on the Internet, hand gadgets and the cinema, and of course TV. If you look at a 30-second advert, it could have 70 images in it. When you look at a theatrical movie, the cuts are about every three to six seconds, and some of them a lot more. Because of story, we’re being guided. We want to be told this rather than go through the ordeal of discovering it for ourselves. So, this is an attempt to transubstantiate these images into feelings, and they need presence to do that. Time in cinema is a matrix of time. As Tarkovsky says, “It’s sculpting in time”. So, to have these stay on the screen for what our viewing habituations are now, is breaking with expectations and can be considered confrontational, difficult, gets you to squirm. Well, nothing’s going on.
So, if you’re looking for the meaning of the shot, you’ll miss the whole — you’ll miss everything the shot is offering to you. If you’re trying to put a meaning on it, then you just almost have to sit back and take in the sights, because it’s aimed at another center. It’s aimed at a non-mental center, something that is as deep as the mental center, but different. And it breaks the expectation of the viewer, because we go to cinema that either tells us a story or gives us information that’s scrutable, that we can understand, like or dislike for all of its qualities of production, script et cetera. But this becomes like an odd one in, it’s more about having more to say than can be spoken. It’s about stillness. My own feeling is that the stiller a person becomes, the more heightened their senses become, and so we live in a world that’s on speed and rush hour, outrunning the future. It’s very hard to be still.