The Stranger, a short film
"The Stranger" tells the story of a man who wanders the world. He has no home, yet everywhere is his home. As he wanders from place to place through different distinct cultures, the idea of belonging and identity is explored. Small-scale sculptures are combined with the outdoor environment to act as the sets, with The Stranger superimposed into the small locales. There are two narrated poems, one in English and Spanish, the other in Hebrew and Arabic, with concurrent subtitles below. The poems are similar, yet one speaks of being alone, and the other speaks of us all being one. Part pioneer, part wanderer, The Stranger travels from Tokyo to Istanbul, from Beijing to Texas, and in the end, finds that we are all one.
Produced and directed by Tracey Snelling and Idan Levin
Written by Tracey Snelling
Cinematography: Tracey Snelling and Idan Levin
Edited by Kyung Lee
The Stranger played by Homero Hidalgo
trailer link: https://vimeo.com/106696030
Recent Artforum review: http://traceysnelling.com/zoom/1640x830/3415284.html
Driving down the street at night, I look at the lit windows of the houses that I pass, and I wonder who lives there. What is taking place behind that drawn window shade? A tired motel sign along the side of the highway still buzzes and beckons travelers to come stay in one of the faded rooms. An old furniture store on a street in a forgotten downtown is dark and the sofas are covered with dust. I want to know the stories of the people who once inhabited these areas.
My work derives from voyeurism, film noir, and geographical and architectural location. Within this idea of location, themes develop of a particular locales inhabitants: Who are these people? What do they do and why do they do it? These questions transport observation into the realm of storytelling, and as my work evolves, I continue to explore place, people, and culture through the use of scale and repetition of a theme; I create new realities that change with the viewers
perception. Through video, sound, and manipulation of size, I am not trying to replicate a place; rather I give my impression of a place, its people and their experience, and allow the viewer to extrapolate his or her own meaning.
When visiting different cultures, countries, and neighborhoods, I am fascinated by the possibility of unfamiliarity. To be square in the middle of a culture so foreign, one almost feels invisible. To walk down these alien streets, trying to dress and assimilate as though I belong, I am able to observe subtly the daily interactions and goings-on of the people who live and work there. Sometimes I will give up the idea of being inconspicuous and travel as the tourist, camera and sound recorder in hand, which offers yet another perspective and offers a completely different take.
At the core of my work resides the intersection of place and experience. I try to do this with as much respect as possible to foreign cultures and tradition, while staying true to the call of the artist by shining a light on the little seen corners. Ultimately, my personal views and ideas come into play, and I believe it is this melding, the known with the unknown, the foreign with the familiar, that fuels my work and creates such a rich experience for the viewer.