The story of a failed marriage told backwards as a reverse trajectory into history shedding light on their pathway to complete destruction.
The influential Hungarian visionary filmmaker, Bela Tarr, once said, "Probably, I make films in order to tempt fate, to simultaneously be the most humiliated and, if only for a few moments, the freest person in the world. Because I despise stories, as they mislead people into believing that something has happened. In fact, nothing really happens as we flee from one condition to another. Because today there are only states of being - all stories have become obsolete and cliched, and have resolved themselves. ALL THAT REMAINS IS TIME. This is probably the only thing that's still genuine - time itself: the years, days hours, minutes and seconds. And film time has also ceased to exist, since the film itself has ceased to exist. Luckily there is no authentic form or current fashion. Some kind of massive introversion, a searching of our own souls can help ease the situation."
This project embarks on an exploration of time. It's an examination of its implications on human beings. We all have individual histories but how well do we remember them? We fall in love, live a lifetime, and completely forget why we were so enchanted by each other.
Humans are tribal beings. Historically, from the most primitive to the largest empires of the world, there has always existed an instinctual need to collectively ban together. For most, this collective embodiment is best expressed through the nuclear family. A nuclear family is considered voluntary. You choose the member you best see fit with your personal agenda to generate the most satisfaction through your mutual lifetime. An interesting phenomenon has developed through the ages, however. Ironically, in many instances, you miscalculate who this person is! Yet, you continue to ban together with this individual until death for many reasons, maybe fear of loneliness, inability to separate from the accumulated collateral, or deep down you still love this person.
"The Deteriorationists" is a love story or a hate story. The decadent relationship of Margaret and Joe is shown as a trajectory back in time, starting when Joe attacks her in their old age and ending where they first intersected pathways on a city sidewalk, when stars crossed. In between, are various chapters displaying their journey towards decay.
"The Deteriorationists" is an experiment in reverse histories. It is a dissection of relationships. It is a study of the American Dream in decay. Margaret and Joe, a married couple in their 80s, are violently destroying each others lives. The only way out is to unhinge time and turn towards their past. With a shift in temporal perspective they can choose between love and hate. Maybe there is still a chance to stop everything from falling apart.
The production of "The Deteriorationists" will take place this winter in the Adirondack mountains and Manhattan. The $5000 will go towards film stock, art direction, set design and transportation of the cast and crew between New York City and upstate. Shooting on film is essential to experimenting with time. Each period of the film will be shot using a corresponding film stock manufactured in the same era that is being represented on screen; some of which have now been discontinued. This will help develop the mood and the genuine character of the film. The art direction and set design draw from various points in history (1960s Manhattan - present day) and it is of the upmost importance for us to stay true to the aesthetic of each era. Being low budget film students, we need all the help we can get to encapsulate these past decades in American history!
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