William E. Jones: THE DICTATURE OF COMMON NAME
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Creativity by appropiation of an entire atmosphere created around a subject, this is how William E. Jones is not only presenting and reinventing the subject of his films, but chunks down from elitist concepts to simple principles as values of life. Maybe this is why for a while his work might have seemed “simple videoish”.
How did you construct/reconstruct a context for Smiths & Morrissey?
Because it’s a documentary I had one idea when I started the project and when I was making it really in the editing room, I had another one. It was a long process and it started as an exibition of photography and I realised that people in the photos had stories to tell. I had the idea to make a film that included their stories, because the photographs can’t talk, but they do in films. So I started interviewing people I’ve already photographed. I worked with an editor that works for television and we edited in a very traditional and conservative way. One of the problems with the original idea I had from the beginning was to make the fans look a little bit silly and I decided to rearange the film that they can mentain a sense of dignity, to look as atractive as I found them to be in real life. Because I’m one of that, maybe removed by one generation.
So each of your films you discover a little bit of your self?
Actually someone I know, a film critic, wrote something very funny a few years ago: he is a filmmaker of ideas, but all his films start with ignorance. It’s a paradox, but every film is an occasion to learn about something for me and I hope also for the spectators that ther’re willing to go along with me. My ignorance is the starting point and I learn what the spectators learn.
He used to go out in the city and photograph a lot with a car, but after it got destroyed in an accident he didn’t replaced. As a pedestrian, he takes his time to watch people while commuting to work and a lot of his work involves film footage. His name, William E. Jones is extremely common and nowaddays with the Internet, people found out about all kind of things that had nothing to do with him. He likes to make jokes about this aribitrary atitude that took him to so many directions: he has a gallery in Los Angeles, teaches Artistical Design in Pasadena and he even has a small part-time job in the porno-industry.