Looking After the Blind – Life After Film

What follows is a longer than usual and more personal than usual post about the reasons why I left my academic career in film studies. The content of this post has been brewing for years, in a limbo of not knowing until now how to write it down. It’s helped me a great deal to commit this to words, and posting marks a definite feeling of moving on. It may not, however, be of general interest to readers of ‘The Place Between Stories’, so I thought to let you know what’s coming so you can decide whether to read on or not.

Dead Cinema, Kino Arsenale, Berlin, 16 May 2013Several years ago, when I still did what I used to do, I attended a talk by the English underground filmmaker Peter Whitehead. Best known for depicting the insider dynamics of the 1960s counterculture, in films like Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London and The Fall, Whitehead, a polished raconteur, told of how his life became progressively consumed by his filmmaking. He reached a point where he found it impossible to be in any situation, any relationship, without the lens of a movie camera interposing itself, literally or in imagination, between himself and wherever, or with whomever, he was. Whitehead’s way out of this cul-de-sac was to become a falconer, a discipline which demanded of him a direct, immediate, camera-less connection with the birds he was training. Continue reading “Looking After the Blind – Life After Film”