A couple of years ago, I remember being enthralled by Storraro’s bold use of colour in his films and I proceeded to go down the rabbit hole of his work and research, where I discovered a captivating encyclopaedia of not just beautiful images but a lesson on psychology.
Perhaps it was the time and dedication Storraro took to understand the marriage, philosophy and physiology of light and colour on our emotional responses as human beings, or it was his observations that art and science aren’t mutually exclusive in cinematography, that intrigued me. Either way, my response to colour and light in my own work, became more introspective.
Even Storraro’s decisions to step back from work to truly analyse the science behind the art has influenced how I’ve taken on projects when I feel stuck in the monotony of ‘getting the next job'. Instead of losing sight of the craft, Storraro challenges creatives to discover the ‘why’. His studies have not only expanded my visual vocabulary but made me a better student of life.
Jeunet’s colourful portrayal of the ordinary in his films also excites my visual appetite. His storytelling is literally the internal voice that plays through my head daily. The quirky, absurd thoughts that I keep inside and don’t dare share with the world because they seem so bizarre and out of place. Except Jean-Pierre vocalises them and depicts his eccentric imagination on screen, creating magical and unconventional worlds out of ordinary realities.
Jeunet puts the extraordinary in ordinary and the dramatic in the dull, through his writing, direction and use of colours, adding vibrancy to what would normally be mundane characters or themes. The unrelenting humour in the child-like quality of his storytelling is refreshing every time and his style encourages me to embrace the unconventional aspects of my personality in my work.
In the spirit of the unconventional and the reimagining of the ordinary, surrealism as an art form has always excited me, breaking barriers of the unconscious, experimenting with the unpredictable, and disrupting visual norms in ways that seem both foreign and familiar.
A documentary I made on a man with ALS actually forced me to go this route as he was unable to speak and I wanted to create visuals that in their own way could express his emotions in the same way he could not. Whether it’s Dalí or Varo or Kahlo, I find especially in my writing, that my mind intrinsically tries to think of visual metaphors to explain scenarios. Without fail, I always look to surrealist art for inspiration.