‘Ain’t Nothing but a Movie’ came about from me wanting to explore the possibilities of narrating with imagery.
The project was pieced together by Jocabola and David Bonas in HTML5, but we wanted the technology to be somewhat invisible. The story is the focus.
Owen Freeman enunciates love and desire with his own distillation of Eros and Thanatos for the late Roberto Bolaño’s ‘The Colonel’s Son’. I was introduced to Freeman’s work years ago and have been captivated ever since by the visual narrative and his cinematic depictions of human behaviour. So much so that I’ve asked him to illustrate every Bolaño story that has appeared in Granta Magazine. You could say he’s the illustrator equivalent of the legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle. There was a natural fit between Freeman’s versatile, visceral focus on the body and Bolaño’s muscular and rather visual prose.
The original score that strains over Freeman’s images is by Sorgerune, a long term collaborator with Jocabola. Sorgerune asked me for music references I felt appropriate for the story. It needed to be unobtrusive, yet atmospheric and unnverving. I fired some names over: Murcof, Fever Ray, Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra, How to Dress Well. I wondered where he might take it. The end result is perfectly pitched.
The allegorical nature of Bolaño’s story, which follows a ‘zombie’ B-movie as seen late at night by the narrator, led us to think about societal metaphors of infection and revolution. Which in turn made audible whispers from a voice with much to say on these matters, the late Gil Scott-Heron:
As Wall Street goes, so goes the nation. And here’s a look at the closing numbers – racism’s up, human rights are down, peace is shaky, war items are hot – the House claims all ties. Jobs are down, money is scarce – and common sense is at an all-time low with heavy trading. Movies were looking better than ever and now no one is looking because, we’re starring in a ‘B’ movie. ■
* This is just a screen recording. the full story can be seen here nothingbutamovie.com/