Due for completion: June 2021
In the anonymous rooms of 5-star hotels in cities and resorts across Georgia, thousands of people have been learning what it means to be locked inside the same room for two weeks. These people live behind a veil; they sleep, they pace, they examine the life that exists beyond their window pane — perhaps exchanging furtive goods, or words of camaraderie with their floor-mates; those with whom they share lost time.
1412 received the jury prize in the COVIDEO section of Batumi International Arthouse Film Festival.
It also featured as part of a video installation, Mementos from the 14th Floor, at Project Artbeat's Moving Gallery in Orbeliani Square, Tbilisi, 12-20 Sept 2020.
(For Mamuka, who films the sunrise every morning from his home)
Internal Sun takes its cue from the 12 hour time difference between the filmmaker’s original home in Tbilisi, Georgia and the far-flung home that they established in Northern California during the state's first shelter-in-place order. Whenever one is bright, the other is invariable dark; the film dwells on this paradox of simultaneous opposition, convening both sides of the sun into a personal and improvised logic.
The Nocturnal Hum
The Nocturnal Hum concerns the discovery of acoustic similarities between two forms of sound: the warble produced by foghorns as they guide ships to safety, and -- beneath the water -- a resonant hum that is produced by toadfish during mating season. These sounds have undulated through the Bay Area of California for generations, perforating both public and private space. Often experienced behind closed doors, at night, between dreams, they tend to exist in a liminal, rootless space that affords them a place in the ranks of rumour and quasi-mysticism.
The film is also about the visual similarities between fog and smoke, the signals that guide us, and the place of perceptual multiplicity -- of 'mistakingness' -- in light of the increasingly unequivocal presence of climate change.
When I was 16, my grandfather Jemal began working on a sculpture of me. As I sat for him in his studio, I felt a desire to reciprocate with a portrait of my own. This catalysed a personal attempt to document him as he documented me in turn. Jemal has yet to finish this sculpture, and I have yet to complete a picture of him. We laboured over brief, discontinuous summers in Tbilisi as I came and went, grew up, and changed. The sculpture was always out of date.
Six years later I continued to trace the thread of this ongoing, circuitous attempt, interspersing it with various other narrative half-rhymes — a moth-eaten carpet, the loss of parent-child relations, a dialogue between sericulture and mortality.
[First published in 365 newspaper - Tbilisi, Georgia - March 2021]