Grassed land completely browned over and watered lawns only just hanging on after the driest month in over 130 years, here. I’d spent much of the past week indoors, trying to do some literal (and rather disastrous it seemed) eleventh-hour exam preparation, and when outdoors was mostly blinded by the transcendent heat of the sun, so a first look out, on a day which was probably decent enough to be an eye-opener, was a surprise- any place that had substantial grass in it now looked completely different.
Not just colour-wise; the trees plus the dirt palette of the ground looked like a scene from the mid latitudes, with only the temperature and me incongruous (a short walk from shelter to snap some pictures, and my device was quickly at 33 degrees C, it said). Roadsides, with buildings under construction and displaying sharply painted facades and rising above brown slopes, looked like those post-Soviet central Asian hotel blocks I’d saved to Pinterest several months ago, thinking they looked like some dreamily otherworldly cityscape so beyond my world.
When Evgenia Arbugaeva recounts her childhood in Tiksi, a port town in the Russian Arctic that touches the Laptev Sea, she speaks in fantastical terms—of an aurora borealis that hovered like “a big green breath frozen in the heavens”; of ice fishing with her father, the two of them dragging home a nelma that could barely fit inside the bathtub; of walks home from school during polar night, the Arctic’s season-long twilight, while celestial lights cast “bits of blue, yellow, and pink” across the tundra.
“As usually happens with memories,” she says, “they started to transform into very surreal images that I started to question—you know, whether it was even possible these kinds of things existed in the world. Is this town really like this, or was I just making it all up?”
Arbugaeva first returned to Tiksi in 2010. She was shocked, she says, by how decrepit the town had become. “The place was a nightmare. My heart was broken. I was walking alone on the streets crying.” With no choice but to make the best of it, she set about photographing through the wreckage, framing her childhood “through this layer of decay.”
So much gritty - yet still beautiful, frail - nostalgia made meta here.
Discovered these folk while browsing last week. (tip o’ the hat to the Oakland Octopus Salon, on the other side of the world and seemingly an exceedingly cool place; very much stratopherically beyond my present reach, but such are the wonders of the internet, and speaking of which) I’m listening to their only album up on Spotify, and it makes for wonderful late night listening as I drag myself onto the run-up to exams. Lots of Roaring Twenties!
So according to the movie Back to the Future Part II, by the year of our lord 2015 there are supposed to be 19 movies in the Jaws franchise. As of January 2014, there are only 4. I personally see this as an enormous travesty, which is why I’m calling on the internet to rectify this grievous mistake.
I challenge the geek community, the web community, the YouTube community, the film community, the time travel community, the hypothetical Jaws community, and the local community college to answer my call and create 15 new JAWS feature-length movies before October 21st, 2015.
According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, American Film Institute, and British Film Institute, a feature film has to be at least 40 minutes long. So even if your film is 40 straight minutes of a rubber shark floating quietly in a bathtub, it still fulfills what I am asking of you in the challenge, and it is still probably a more entertaining watch than Jaws: the Revenge.
So grab your camera phones, a bucket, and that inflatable shark you bought at the dollar store, because it’s showtime. Live-action, stop-motion, puppets, pencil animation, CG, piss on film- it doesn’t matter how you create the movie! Just go and make the 2015 of Back to the Future II a reality.