marie-michele jasmin-belisle presents

the iPhone chronicles : contemporary snapshots of color, light, magic and random subworlds

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Wonder Chambers

Dear everyone who may be reading this. 

So, as some of you may know, I once upon a time, a couple of years ago that is, created a short film-poem called 'Wonder Chamber no 1' which went on to be shown on a few select international festivals and events, starting with Berlin, London, followed by Sun Valley back home in the U.S., and on to Byron Bay, Australia.

The idea for this film came to me after visiting an exhibition at the Santa Fe Museum of Natural History (I think it was), where for some reason I started daydreaming about the Renaissance, shadow boxes, and all these miniature studies that were made - the Da Vinci sketches, the dissected insects, and the exploratory world of beauty-seekers and science-researchers.

I decided to then create a series of visual shadow boxes, which I named the Wonder Chambers, which would act as a film version of a treasure box, based on the various worlds in which I live.

I shot the first Wonder Chamber in Japan, a country where I have been brought to work a lot recently, and which has been the foundation of my Buddhist life philosophy for 10 years already, as well as my inspiration in the many realms of architecture, fashion, design and lifestyle.  I have mixed into it vintage footage of New Mexico, which I had shot years ago, to explain the parallels (at least, my parallels) between New Mexico and Japan, and the solace I find in the fusion of both these worlds.

I have made my piece available to view publicly, and am now loosely starting to post it around on my various web channels. My blog was next on the list, so here you go :

(sorry this is a link and not an embedded video, but Blogspot is friend with YouTube and not Vimeo, and I refuse the low quality of YouTube videos.. so please do click on this Vimeo link. It will look nicer !)

Next, came 'Wonder Chamber no 2'. A little bit ashamed of myself, I must admit right now that the film has been shot and edited, music was composed, and graphics were created for it already... quite a few moons ago. I have withheld its distribution, for a reason unknown to myself, but will soon be either releasing it online or sending it off to festivals again. 

As 'Wonder Chamber no 1' explored Japan, 'Wonder Chamber no 2' delved into the world of northern England, with its Edwardian homes, heavy wallpapers and misty landscapes. This is the country where my sister lives, and it has become (and will probably remain) a new chapter in my family's history. 

Next up will be 'Wonder Chamber no 3', for which I have just begun shooting last week in mythical old Las Vegas. I have decided to make this third film-poem about the U.S., but from a vintage perspective, perhaps the one I get to see the most : surrounded by low riders, old taquerias and 40s motel signs, all glories to be found in the American Southwest where I reside. Here are a few teaser images for you : 

All in all, this project of the Wonder Chambers has been and continues to be a dear companion to my roadtrips and overseas adventures. The footage is almost always captured spontaneously, on whatever medium I have at hand.. as I was using my iPhone 4 for the last images captured in Vegas, I will soon be reporting on how well (hopefully) that translates on screen :)

In the meantime, stay tuned for some updates perhaps on 'Wonder Chamber no 2'.. the mysterious unreleased piece lol.. coming soon to a web theater near you :)