WATCH THE FILM HERE
First, the Recap:
Seeking wisdom. The path to what many would call enlightenment takes on innumerable forms, whether through music, art, literature, causes, religions et al. Yet, it would remain elusive to truly encounter a place of solace, total peace, a harmony in spirit, mind, and soul, more often than not attributed only in turning to power higher than ourselves. Then, there are those moments of inner reflection, rare but unequivocally potent, where we find that place of contemplation which changes us inside and out. For one Poet (John Doan), a cold, wintery shoreline on an undisclosed lake serves as the locale for focused and purposeful concentration.
Deeply lyrical, creative, imaginative verse ebbs and flows through his mind as he stands, silent and unmoving, his face frozen in a pensive, intense stare towards the windswept waters before him. Everything around is distinct, yet hazy, crystal clear, yet nebulous as the constant striving to comprehend, to process, the meaning of what is being spoken by his very being consumes each moment. Flakes of snow whisk by, some landing on his thick coat, yet go largely ignored given the Poet’s centered state of existence. Exactly where does this wisdom emanate from? It is a journey beyond the conventional, expected venues and mediums of communication for those who would call themselves by one name–pilgrims.
Next, my Mind:
It is truly an elegant, expressive, symbolic, emotive, thought-provoking, and affecting five minute experience to view actor/director/producer/cinematographer John Doan’s newest short film project, based on the Joseph Brodsky poem of the same name. Painting very philosophical portraits of the condition of this world and those who choose to search out deeper knowledge in it via understanding, appreciation, perception, and awareness of how much things seem to remain unchanged yet constantly fluid, this is no mere rambling, but very much acute, intelligent pondering presented here, and the impact it has on the viewer is a tangible force when immersed in the words being orated. The starkness of the narrative’s setting only enhances the visual and spoken imagery, plus a wonderfully ethereal music score from alternative mastermind Moby provides further quality to the film.
Doan’s voiceover narration is done with excellent tonal quality, giving the film its sense of intense purpose through the message Brodsky’s poem exudes. The additional utilization of Doan shown simply standing in the blustery, squall-filled, lakeside environment intermixed with shots away from him, which further present the unembellished landscapes, drives home the point even more. Doan’s subtle yet specific facial expressions also promote the air of thought the Poet character is enveloped by.
In total, “Pilgrims” is a poignant, artistic indie film effort powerfully portraying the walk in body, heart, mind, and soul that those who are on their own personal pilgrimages experience while seeking the logic desired so desperately beyond all of the typical places it might usually be found. It can bring a sense of inner desolation and weariness of self, yet at the same time become one of the most fulfilling journeys we could undertake. Even as all falls around us, the immense power of words, of poets, may indeed lead to awakening.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!