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The Head of a Pin

2004

Cinematography, editing and sound editing by Su Friedrich

video, color
21 minutes

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Those of us who grow up in cities and continue living in them tend to have a romantic view of life in the countryside. Moreover, we know every subway route, shopping district and urban legend of our city, and feel that our "street smarts" enable us to function anywhere--but put us out in the country and we�re just plain stupid about almost everything that nature has to offer. What�s the name of that tree with the peeling bark? What fish just jumped? And are those beaver, heron, goose or duck tracks?

And then there's our experience of violence--urban violence, of course. We know how to avoid it or, even better, how to escape it�by going to the country, where it�s so different: so quiet, so peaceful, so safe, so gentle. And it is when you�re lying on a hot rock by the river, or having a drink in the yard at sunset. And it is until you spend twenty minutes watching a spider work over and finally kill an insect twice its size.

So what exactly is this "nature" that�s so lovely and such a respite if it's filled with death and dismemberment? And what changes when we try to learn about it instead of just treating it as a pretty backdrop to our daily work and worries?

"�delightful and sobering�a quasi-scientific, relaxed proof of the intense power of narrative."
—Jill Godmilow

Selected Film Festival Screenings and Awards:
DIRECTOR'S CITATION, Black Maria Film & Video Festival
Athens Film Festival, Ohio; CinemaTexas, Austin; London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival; Onion City Film & Video Festival, Chicago; d.u.m.b.o. Short Film and Video Festival, NY; PDX--Portland Documentary and eXperimental Film Festival; �Eyeing Nature�, The Pacific Film Archives

 

 

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