Follow Me

Not for everyone.  Especially those without patience.  But for those who enjoy films that take the time necessary to meditate on and explore life – specifically the life we’re meant to believe is being lived by the people we’re observing – I urge you to see this film.  It’s a memory play.  The director’s selective, cinematic memory of his family.  Primarily a photographer, the film is exquisitely shot.  Breathtakingly beautiful images.  But this is a photographer who doesn’t simply create gorgeous still photographs.  His frames are filled with life.  Layers and layers of it.  He proves himself to be far more than simply a collector of memorable images…he’s a director.

I adore artists who make choices based on their own personal creative sensibilities instead of whatever they imagine will guarantee success and popularity.  Artists who create purely.  To please themselves.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a desire to be successful or popular…it’s simply that in the process of creation the artist isn’t motivated by that.  The art of the second guess.  I personally have always been inspired most by the artists who found themselves at war with the folks focused on “success.”

If you ever get the chance to read Tennessee Williams’ original third act of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, ” do.  Because it’s brilliant.  Far more brilliant than the one imposed on him for the purpose of guaranteed commercial success.  The imposed third act won him a Pulitzer prize and legions of additional fans, but it cost him a greater play.  Not to mention his inspired vision.  Orson Welles…well…we could discuss Orson Welles and his desecrated career forever.

It’s not always ego that drives artists to protest.  To fight to their dying breath for the right to create their visions their way.  Why is it so necessary for us to demand that artists create our visions, as opposed to honoring and respecting their courage to stay true to their own?  I know…artists must have their benefactors.  Must have people willing to finance their endeavors.  And with those financial investments come obligations.  Obligations that oftentimes necessitate compromise.

I’m weird.  I believe it would be so much more interesting to allow ourselves to let go of our need to make everything about us when we have the opportunity to learn something about someone else.  If every artist was allowed to create as he/she was inspired we’d be able to learn something about the way that specific artist perceives the world.  We don’t have to agree with it, we don’t have to like it, but we’d learn something.  I know…people say…but I’m paying for it… and I say…then invest your money in creating your own thing.  Something guaranteed to satisfy you personally.  Or else accept the risk and allow yourself to potentially expand your horizons.

Bravo to Johannes Hammel and his remarkable team for a film of profound beauty.  And special mention must be given to his astounding lead actress, Daniela Holtz.  She is the very essence of humanity.

Follow Me

Director/screenwriter/producer/editor

Johannes Hammel

Cast

Daniela Holtz, Simon Jung, Roland Jaeger, Charlotte Ullrich




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