In February of 2010, I was privileged to be a part of Gina Telaroli’s TRAVELING LIGHT, a then semi-narrative film, structured by incidences shot on an Amtrak train moving west from New York to Cleveland. I wish I took more pictures, but the cost of feeding myself at the time was a struggle; 35mm film was too expensive. Despite the exhaustion from unexpected events that happened while making this film, namely a blizzard that stranded us overnight in a Pittsburgh train station, followed by an in-limbo 24 hour respite in Mentor, OH, I look back to this period of time poignantly. The shoot was four long years ago and I barely remember things about myself from that time.
TRAVELING LIGHT is screening this coming week in NY at Anthology Film Archives, schedule here, presented alongside train-themed films chosen by Gina. Starting Friday, it will also be available streaming online via Lumiere (additional screenings listed in that link).
I love this film, possibly because I see so much of myself in it, or because I’ve watched it move from a narrative to a sort-of-non-narrative film, halved in length, properly butchered into something miraculous. It’s a film removed from city life, but only features city dwellers; it functions on non-city time, but there’s a sense of anxiousness in idle time that New Yorkers will pick up on immediately. It’s a film that takes its time, unfolding like an afternoon spent with friends. Its formal rigor, sensitive to sunlight and shadows, is often challenged by long takes that explode with energy and ones that at first seem to exist as time-based records. It’s impossible to distance myself from this film, which I’m fine with, and wish I could be a lucky soul seeing it blindly for the first time.
Images by the lake were taken in Mentor, OH, close to Gina’s parents’ house. The top image, along with the black and white indoor shots, were taken at the Pittsburgh Amtrak station. The last picture was taken at a train station in Pennsylvania on our way back to New York.
abel <3 asia
so happy to hear these two are talking again!
CAT PEOPLE (1942, Jacques Tourneur)
from AND THE BAND PLAYED ON (1993)
Poster for Philippe Garrel’s JEALOUSY; shot by Willy Kurant with music by John Cale.
Jean-Luc Godard & Fabrice Aragno on the set of Adieu au langage
— Toni Morrison (via spring1999)
Michael Mann’s commercial for Rolex (2013)
Alain Resnais, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Jean-Luc Godard, and Agnès Varda at a meeting in Paris against the Vietnam War, 1967. (Photo by Raymond Depardon.)