Pelle Reading & Writing

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1. Reading & Writing, Research Methodologies with Steve Rushton



Anemoia (2019)

What Anemoia is a film about a fictional character in a non-fictional world named Anna. So Anna is my alter ego and the world she’s looking at is the one we live in today. You never actually see her because she’s looking through the eyes of the camera, or sharing her thoughts by talking to us.

Anna has this problem that her own nostalgia is keeping her from living in the present. She longs for a deeper connection with nature and a life more offscreen than on screen. Though these feelings are very genuine to her, she wonders if this nostalgia is actually real, authentic, or it just appears to be. By visiting several places which seem to be authentic Anna hopes to find answers, but daydreams occure and a life in the ‘here and now’ seems unreachable.

How I began to do research on the phenomenon of ‘nostalgia’ and meanwhile wrote an essay about this subject. Among other things like my personal experiences with nostalgia, this essay describes and explains these so-called ‘modern’ terms derived from nostalgia. After finishing this essay I wrote a film script using these derived terms from the essay and choosing ‘Anna’ to be the main character. Because of the main character’s quest you can say the film itself is essayistic as well. So writing an essay had a huge impact on the end result: the film, because eventually huge parts of the essay formed the structure of the film.

Why I’m fascinated by the trends and hypes in the modern Western world today. One of them is the consumption industry responding to the wish of a group of people longing to have a more simple life closer to nature; a life often associated with the past because life was less digital before. It felt very good to dive into a subject that deep by doing research because you get to know things you didn't know before. In the end nostalgia for me was a more complex understanding than at the start of this project, something which made me feel rich in a way. By translating this research into something visual I was hoping it would trigger some minds to think of this phenomenon maybe differently than before, like what happened to me as well during the process.

What Making films with a documentary/non fictional approach is what I love to do most. It depends on the subject which non-fictional form I want to choose. So what I mean by that: I’d like to work with real people, people who live today and people long gone appearing in found footage. Also I like to sometimes just work with the form of documentary, so to use only the characteristics or rules of which a documentary. The ‘idea’ that it is about real people, but when it’s actually a mockumentary: a blend of mock and documentary.

  • I like the work in a small film crew, or even on my own like a one-man crew.

How Most of the time it starts with a visual idea, you can call it the trigger to start a project: it’s often an image, like a moviestill or a photograph with sometimes also the imagination of a sound. From there I like to do research on the chosen subject(s) and maybe even write an essay. This research or essay can give me of course some knowledge of the subject, but also new ideas about how to translate that subject into a form. Beside the research and writing I may get the best inspiration while discussing the concept of the film with other people. It helps me to get out of my head and...

Why Making a visual film or video is giving me the opportunity to change to let people…

Reading & Writing

2. Interview SteveR15-12-21 Interview


Name: Pelle Nijburg Project: Music video: daisies - Mia Porter

What are you making? At this point I like to make films which balance between fiction and non-fiction. One of my recent projects is a music video I made together with Mia Porter, for her new album titled: okay. Her song: daisies, stuck with me the most, for one of the reasons it felt very visual to me; almost like a soundtrack. While searching through a library of historical films, a certain super8 film got my attention: A garden in spring. Flowers everywhere. Old ladies drinking cups of tea. An amateuristic film for sure, and therefore very personal and documentary, home-video like. In the end I couldn’t get rid of the feeling this super8 film would match perfectly with the song daisies.

Why are you making it? I really fell in love with the music Mia Porter makes. I've been a fan for some years now. This was one of the reasons I got in touch with her, but the main reason. The main reason: the footage I found was very much translating the feeling and character of the song. It was as if the super8 film from the 60’s happened to be specially made for Mia’s song, from 2021.

How does it relate to other things you have done? I explored documentary filmmaking, which I want to continue doing, but recently I also became very much interested in working with only archive-material. I always used archives combined with new filmmaterial, in this way you could say it’s a supportive element, rather than an art piece in itself.

How is it different to other things you have done? The challenge for me is to translate this ‘old’ archive footage into a film piece itself.

What are the most significant choices have you made recently? Since a while I've been more aware of my surroundings and thereby willing to talk about bigger issues in my work more: climate change or violence against animals. Still I’m not forcing myself to always necessarily talk about these matters, if it’s not there, it’s not there. I’m seeing it as a challenge to figure this out more during my time at the Piet Zwart Institute.

Reading & Writing 3. Annotations 1 SteveR15-12-21Annotation1

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4. Annotations 2


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5. NotesOnWriting


Reading & Writing

6. Synopsis


On photography - Susan Sontag (Pelle) (first 10 pages from first chapter: Plato's Cave)

Synopsis Photography changed our lives and the way we look at it. Writer Susan Sontag (1939) was there when it started in 1839. She describes how photographs are mostly used to prove 'things actually happened', as evidence. While photos are actually as subjective as paintings are. Through examples like Plato's cave and a couple of films, she also illustrates how photographs became more and more important in social events, they give people an imaginary possession of a past that is unreal.

Context "Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan in 1933 and studies at the universities of Chicago, Harvard an Oxford. She is the author of four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The volcano Lover, and In America, which won the 2000 National Book Award for fiction; a collection of stories, I etcetera; several plays, including Alice in Bed; and six books of essays, among them Illness as Metaphor and Aids and Its Metaphors, and Regarding the Pain of Others, which was published by Penguin. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages."

Relation to my work "Chris Marker’s film, Si j’avais quatre dromadaires (1966), a brilliantly orchestrated meditation on photographs of all sorts and themes, suggests a subtler and more rigorous way of packaging (and enlarging) still photographs. Both the order and the exact time for looking at each photograph are imposed; and there is a gain in visual legibility and emotional impact. But photographs transcribed in a film cease to be collectable objects, as they still are when served up in books."