Wider social issues

After some research I have realised that my Dad’s predicament is not an uncommon situation with men of his age and circumstance.  Across the internet there are articles and reports of similar occurrences, a common theme is that men feel a sense of loss when their perceived purpose is removed, and this in compounded as (generally speaking) many men of this generation feel that vulnerability is a sign of weakness,and so reject what it is they are experiencing.

There is a book I want to read surely, and I will recommend it to my dad if I think it will be helpful/enjoyable.  It is written by Jungian analysts and called King, warrior, magician, lover.  They define Jung’s four mature male archetypes – the king (the energy of just and creative ordering), the warrior (the energy of aggressive but nonviolent action), the magician (the energy of initiation and transformation), and the lover (the energy that connects one to others and the world) – as well as the four immature patterns (divine child, oedipal child, trickster and hero).

This to me sounds fascinating, and I imagine that there are some aspects that both my father and I would ideally develop. I’ll read and post a review on the blog when I have had the chance.



Filming reflections – see blog pages at top

I’ve been busy filming and editing over the last couple of weekends and the film is nearly finished! I will include my reflections on this process in the blog pages, which you can find at the top of the blog if you’re interested. I will be updating these and sharing my final reflections when the film is finished as well.



Steam of life

The film steam of life has given me inspiration for how I would like to shoot and edit the film.  Steam of life uses juxtaposition between scenes of privacy and intimacy amongst men talking about their emotions in steam rooms with the stark beauty, simplicity and quietude of the natural environment.

This works extremely well together in my opinion, I plan on moving to these shots of nature after particularly revealing moments in interview with my dad, to allow the viewer to take time and appreciate the words.  Also by using certain images and sound of the sea, I want to give the impression of “baring all” from my Dad – of which I hope I will get good footage.


Dad – “living forwards”

My Dad is a proponent of “living forwards”, he has always been working towards something, looking to the future, loved the challenge and commitment to something ahead of him – always needing a project to keep his mind occupied.

Although this has of course served him well, it seems that he may be at a loss now when he has no substantial plans.  ‘Living forwards” in his case, and in the way that he goes about it, isn’t working when he doesn’t have the projects to live forwards towards.  These are the types of questions I want to address;  If a lot of his time has been taken making plans and moving towards a goal, what does it mean to have less goals?  Could this bring a sense of liberation, closer attention to the aspects of his life, or a search for new goals?

I think this can be tied to meaning greatly, discussing where he thinks meaning for him comes from.  Is it inherent in him, I.e. does he never concern himself with issues of meaning, or does he feel a loss of it at times – when he doesn’t have a goal to strive for.  Is meaning for him something which is made, by him and by those around him? Does he think there can be meaning outside of culture?

When he looks at nature (of which will play a part in this film) what does he see? A pretty backdrop to the lives of him and those around him, something relatively disconnected, or something which he is part of? How meaningful will the projects he makes, and work towards be, when/if he finds them? Will he be able to find something that has meaning knowing that the purpose of it is solely to keep himself occupied? What is he potentially missing by preoccupying himself to such an extent?  What does he think of a culture which is so focused on busyness and projecting into the future?

What to do, Dad?

As mentioned in my last post, my dad is in some ways a private man, and yet he has opened up to me a lot recently about his current predicament.  I want to be able to try and help him, whilst making a rich ethnographic film.  The way I plan on approaching this is spending a long weekend with him down in Poole, where I grew up, where we will conduct a number of interviews and take walks, eat and explore the area (weather dependent!).

The third wheel will be the camera and I hope to take a collaborative approach to filming with him, asking him to help me express the way in which he see’s the local area, whilst discussing our times together over the years and touching on the motivations which have driven him, and his thoughts now as to why he feels somewhat lost.  Below are some associations which will help me plan what I want to do.

Current house – rented. Liminal period, between long term residences as he is between jobs/direction.

Beaches – have been constant throughout his life there, where I grew up. Does he take comfort from the place? Is he pulled back here when he goes away so often?

Work – always been a practical man, mechanic, interested in engines. Are his frustrations with recent work the administrative, stressful management side of things.  Does he miss the simplicity and practicality of what he was doing before.

Sociality – friends have always been a sideline to work and family. Has his greater reliance on people as a source of entertainment, support now resulted in him becoming more disappointed in them.  What is he looking for in friends? Understanding?

Interests – What are his current interests? What does he like to do? Why doesn’t he find these fulfilling? Repetitive?


Change of direction

After considering my ideas and inspirations behind my initial intention for a film in the last post, I could see that this would be challenging to do it justice within a short 10 minute film. As such I have decided to change the subject to something less abstract, and closer to home in many ways.  This film is perhaps more important to me, considering the closeness of the subject matter.

I have chosen to film my Dad as he is going through a difficult time in his life, where he has little direction (after recently having retired for the large part), is unsure of the future and is unhappy in some ways.  Coincidentally this does fit well with the title of the blog, “always onwards”, and time will play a ket component as we look to his past, present and project into the future, in terms of how he has seen his life, what has motivated him, and how this corresponds with his current circumstance and projections towards the future.


Context and Inspiration

My idea for this blog and associated film which I am producing is to reflect the orientation of people towards the future in many parts of our society, where the fast paced, continuous progression is incessant, so much so that it is possible that people miss what is going on around them, and there is little time for reflection.  This comes at a time when I have moved out of the city, and so I want to reflect this journey and juxtaposition between the way of the city, and that of the country.

In order to develop these insights and expand on them we practiced a number of creative processes to get ourselves thinking and attempting to draw out the concepts into our awareness.  In doing so I produced a mind-map of what I wanted to explore, as well as a symbolic camera.  This symbolic camera encouraged me to imagine what it was I wanted to capture and how I might go about doing it, imagining this camera as a way of capturing video that reflects my vision, but also seeing the vision adapting in relationship to the environment and scenes which I would capture.

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 Mind Map