(We enter a movie theatre where, on the screen, we see a film of two men who are talking with one another. The first speaker is filmmaker Caveh Zahedi - to the right in the image below - and the second is poet David Jewell.)
THE HOLY MOMENT
Cinema, in its essence, is, well it's about an introduction to reality, which is that, like, reality is actually reproduced. And for him, it might sound like a storytelling medium, really. And he feels like, um ... like ... like ... like literature is better for telling a story. You know, and if you tell a story or even like a joke, like you know "This guy walks into a bar and, you know, he sees a dwarf." That works really well because you're imagining this guy and this dwarf in the bar and there's this kind of imaginative aspect to it. But in film, you don't have that because you actually are filming a specific guy, in a specific bar, with a specific dwarf, of a specific height, who looks a certain way, right?
So like, um, for Bazin, what the ontology of film has to do is it has to deal with, you know, with what photography also has an ontology of, except that it adds this dimension of time to it, and this greater realism. And so, like, it's about that guy, at that moment, in that space. And, you know, Bazin is like a Christian, so he, like, believes that, you know, God obviously ended up like, everything ... he believes, for him reality and God are the same. You know, like ... and so what film is actually capturing is like God incarnate, creating. And this very moment, God is manifesting as this. And what the film would capture if it was filming us right now would be like God as this table, and God as you, and God as me, and God looking the way we look right now, and saying and thinking what we're thinking right now, because we are all God manifest in that sense. So film is actually like a record of God, or of the face of God, or of the ever-changing face of God. You have a mosquito. Do you want me to get it for you? You got it.
I got it?
Yeah, you got it.
And like the whole Hollywood thing is just taking film and trying to make it like the storytelling medium where you take these books or stories, and then you like, you know, and then you have the script, and you try to find a person who sort of fits the thing. But it's ridiculous, because it's not, it shouldn't be based on the script. It should be based on the person, you know, or the thing. And in that sense, they are almost right to have this whole star system, because then it's about that person, you know, instead of, like, the story.
Truffaut always said the best films aren't made ... the films ... The best scripts don't make the best films, because they have that kind of literary narrative thing that you're sort of a slave to. The best films are the ones that aren't tied to that slavishly. So I don't know. The whole narrative thing seems to me like, um ... Obviously, there's narrativity to cinema 'cause it's in time, just the way there's narrativity to music. But, you know, you don't first think of the story of the song, and then make the song. It has to come out of that moment. And that's what film has. It's just that moment, which is holy. You know, like this moment, it's holy. But we walk around like it's not holy. We walk around like there's some holy moments and there are all the other moments that are not holy, right, but this moment is holy, right? And if film can let us see that, like frame it so that we see, like, "Ah, this moment. Holy." And it's like "Holy, holy, holy" moment by moment. But, like, who can live that way? Who can go, like, "Wow, holy"? Because if I were to look at you and just really let you be holy, I don't know, I would, like, stop talking.
Well, you'd be in the moment, I mean ....
The moment is holy.
Yeah, but I'd be open. And then I'd look in your eyes, and I'd cry, and I'd like feel all this stuff and that's like not polite. I mean it would make you feel uncomfortable.
Well you could laugh too. I mean, why would you cry?
Well, 'cause ... I don't know. For me, I tend to cry.
Uh-huh. Well ... Is, is full ...
Well, let's do it right now. Let's have a holy moment.
(Long moments pass with them staring at each other)
Everything is layers, isn't it?
I mean, there's the holy moment and then there's the awareness of trying to have the holy moment, in the same way that the film is the actual moment really happening, but then the character pretending to be in a different reality. And it's all these layers. And, uh, I was in and out of the holy moment looking at you. Can't be in a holy ... You're unique that way, Caveh. That's one of the reasons I enjoy you. You can ... bring me into that.
(They turn into cloud people looking at each other)