Fall's later sunrises bring longer shadows to the morning rush hour. On any particularly sunny morning, the shadows of people in the city seem to constitute a fleeting parallel universe at our feet.
This shadow world reduces our every movement to a two dimensional silhouette, a kind of fugitive motion graphic. I wanted to explore inverting the shadow world and the "real" world with an extremely
simple trick: holding the camera upside down.
My title comes from 446 BC via the Greek poet Pindar: A human is a dream of a shadow. The shadow is by nature a fleeting event and a perfect visual metaphor for life itself. These shadows of daily life come and go with dramatic urgency only to vanish before your eyes when a cloud blocks the sun.
Shadows are also a great unifier. There is no ethnicity, just humans, going about their business. The shadows also suggest a certain timelessness. Was this film shot in 2009 or 1949? The world of shadows is a kind of link to other times and all the shadows of man before us, flickering past with drama and vigor before vanishing forever without a trace.
This film was shot with a pocket sized digital still camera in the movie mode. I simply followed various people walking toward the sun around the city. No one seemed to notice my filming, I was just another person squinting at a digital screen drifting along in the flow of the crowds. No shots are staged, although I was tempted at first. The city however offered an incredible variety of human activity and so I did no planting, only harvesting the endless bounty of city streets.
Shay Lynch's music beautifully underscores the hypnotic pleasure of losing yourself in the shadow world.
Made and wrote this for my times blog. - Jeff Scher
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