ICELANDERS (documentary)

R+D by Kristjan Torr

I've spent the month jumping between data sets surveying micro/macroscopic imagery for my film.

torrfilms_outlet.jpg

There's an abundance of material available so my only trouble is picking the right pictures, and the resolution tends to be a little low, especially in the motion pictures. But we can wrote a short code to create a semblance of an enhancement. 

The most rapturous collection I've discovered depict the mitochondria, organelles that generate energy for the cell. Portraying the outer membrane, I find the long grooves of the mitochondrial surface mesmerizing. They are captured via electronic microscopy, so, unfortunately, they are fixed in time.

So, we have to figure out a way of extracting information from black and white pixels and convert them to points in three-dimensional space.

DNA by Kristjan Torr

It's startling to know something so strange and inappreciable, forms the total biotic mass that covers the Earth. That's why I am going to go insane filming these alien structures. 

 Photo 51

Photo 51

The molecule and its operators are extremely obscure and after outlining some concepts on paper, and I think the sequences have to be animated. 

So I reached out, to a colleague with whom I've collaborated in the past. Currently halfway between production houses, Svava Jóhannsdóttir is an artist, engineer, and a technical director. I admire her work and asked her if she was wanted to collaborate. 

Stochastic Process by Svava Jóhannsdóttir 2016

Together for the next couple of weeks, we will draw up maps for these alien territories. I look forward to documenting the process.

Patience by Kristjan Torr

Harpa, Airwaves, Kronos Quartet 

 Cellist Sunny Jungin Yang

Cellist Sunny Jungin Yang

I'm there, on stage, believe it or not! Hiding in the shadows while they perform my favorite piece, and the only thing I'm feeling is my gut backing them up with gobbledegook.

Pathetic.

In 2016, I struck poverty after refusing funds from the government ending up on the street eating from you-know-what.

 2016

2016

So, 2017, I begin by wondering; what the hell is wrong with me? Maybe the idea of absolute autonomy is a necessary illusion. Paradoxically there will be no independent filmmaking without a sympathetic support network of family and friends. 

My friend, Elma, a barista, entrepreneur, and an aspiring videomaker is putting together a concert film featuring the quartet. I owe her, many times over, so I offered her my hands and equipment. 

Last fall she drove me 1677 km around the island, and then some. Picking up shots for my project, interviewing members of the Icelandic search and rescue squad.

 field trip 2016

field trip 2016

A close encounter with the Kronos Quartet is a charity, not a chore. Let us hope the footage is usable. 

Her's and mine

ICELANDERS by Kristjan Torr

4 AM. Reykjavik. Night. At this hour the city is a safe place, most people are asleep. The terrain surrounding the city is calm but alarming. If you were to wander into the void, only specifically trained people are able to retrieve you. Such a group has gathered in the quiet dusk outside Reykjavík, preparing to embark upon an unusual expedition.

 ICELANDERS still 001

ICELANDERS still 001

I used to follow my family into disaster zones. They were volunteers in the Icelandic search and rescue squad. Risking their lives on a regular basis, recovering cast away bodies, out there in the harsh arctic landscape. My grandfather took care of me. Our minds were similar and he showed me how to look away, deep into nature. Revealing strange worlds inhabited by unseen beings beyond space and time.

I've spent my entire life trying to get back to that place. 

Following the financial crisis I had an incomplete film on my hands and found myself filing for bankruptcy. I started to distance myself from filmmaking. Drifted from one place to another working as a hired hand for some food to eat and a hole to put my head down at night. But I always kept a small camera, filming Icelanders suffering the consequences of the 2008 collapse.

By chance in 2014, I returned to the Icelandic Search and Rescue squad filming their exercises.  I had no idea what I was aiming for when I received a strange request in the mail. A letter signed by Dr. Kari Stefansson was sent on behalf of deCODE Genetics, asking for a scan of my brain for their inquiry into the workings, and more precisely the dysfunction of the human brain.

 ICELANDERS still 002

ICELANDERS still 002

Coincidentally the letter stated they were going to employ the Icelandic search and rescue squad to collect data from the entire population. Creating a genetic map providing insight into our origins, the emergence of consciousness, and a promise to end human suffering.

4 AM. Reykjavik. Night. Camera is speeding and volunteers in the Icelandic Search and Rescue squad are ready. At dawn, they will enter the city. Their mission; collecting data on human nature from all Icelanders.

 ICELANDERS still 003

ICELANDERS still 003

To be continued