These two films are the first in a series of shorts that I call Psychogeographies, which focus on the relationship between place and state of mind. I shot Octet in Praise of Earth’s Perfume, which is adapted from a poem in my collection Thirty-One Octets, in Brookings, South Dakota, where I live now with my family. I shot Milwaukee Lakefront Fog at a park on Lake Michigan while coming face-to-face with my own self-isolation. I’m particularly interested in micro-landscapes and micro-dramas—small things that don’t have resonance until we look at them.
Aesthetically I’m heavily influenced by Canadian experimental filmmaker Arthur Lipsett, whose collage films taught me that the same forces that rumble around in our psyches are out there in the world, on the streets and in the fields. If we tune ourselves to the right inner station, place is going to invoke emotion. The Psychogeographies attempt to recreate cinematically the moment when that invocation happens.
Octet in Praise of Earth’s Perfume
Milwaukee Lakefront Fog