If you are a devotee of time travel...

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Everyday 21: The Interstellar Anthropologist

Emon Hassan is a gifted photographer and movie maker.  I didn't know that he is also a gifted composer.  He combines all three in Everyday 21, a short film of hauntingly beautiful and profound photographs -- one for every day of the year of 2021 -- backed by quietly breathtaking music that brushes against the edge of your soul.

Hassan's goal was to "find the story" in each day of 2021, and capture that story in a photograph.  The result defies literal summary, because it cuts so keenly, to a part of the brain that is moved by the music in songs, the deeper almost inchoate part that lives below and soars above the words.

But to give you a hint of what you'll find here in this 13 minute and 33 second short movie that is short on nothing: a flower growing in a hole in a wall, lots of cracks in structures, words that exist in signage that tell a story that transcends any wordsmith or poet.

Is it a coincidence that the year being so chronicled is 2021, which began with the attack on the U.S Capitol and continued the decimation and fear engendered by COVID-19?  Probably not.  Hassan is a sensitive being, and decisions as to where he pointed his camera, what to include and not include in this tableau, the order of the photographs, all were made by someone who has a golden unflinching antennae to what is going on in the world.

There are very few human faces in this documentary.  And I'd guess that's because Hassan is more interested in the results of what people do, than who they are, or look like.  I've been watching and reviewing a lot of science fiction of late -- though I guess I've been doing that for years -- and Everyday 21 has what feels to me like an interstellar quality, even though all the photographs are from Earth (and I think, but don't know for sure, that they all were taken in New York City).  It's almost as if Hassan is an interstellar anthropologist, tasked with reporting back home to what's going on here on Earth.  Not news events.  Artifacts.  Produced by our species.  Reality.  And captured by one of our most luminous members.

See the movie, anytime, here, for free.

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