Marvelous Domain

This short film, titled Marvelous Domain, was an exercise in surrealist filmmaking in which I attempted to maintain a collaborative, flexible environment that allowed for spontaneous production and for curiosity to dominate, to liberate and elevate the filmmaking process as inspired by surrealist thinkers of the early twentieth century who used art to envision a better world.

Surrealist writing exercises are structured for quick thinking and collaboration, often leaving the co-writers with a surprising, absurd combination that neither one of them could come up with alone. I tried to incorporate a similar practice with this experimental film. For the first segment, I was alone in my bedroom with a camera and a tripod, and tried out many different shots and interactions with the objects at hand. In other locations, I worked with one other person, and always began with key readings and a discussion of surrealism and the themes I was thinking through— themes of escape, dream, destruction, capitalist waste, alienation, reanimation, and connection to the environment.

“The domain of the Strange, the Marvelous and the Fantastic, a domain scorned by people of certain inclinations. Here is the freed image, dazzling and beautiful, with a beauty that could not be more unexpected and overwhelming. Here are the poet, the painter, and the artist, presiding over the metamorphoses and the inversions of the world under the sign of hallucinations and madness.” Suzanne Césaire, Tropiques, 1941