We watched a DVD of Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus on Monday night. It’s a kind of documentary of a mood, following Jim White through the juke joints, prisons, trailer parks, coal mines and pentecostal churches of the Southern USA in a junked up car with a wooden Jesus in the boot, listening to the music and stories he finds. I enjoyed the music, but most of all, I loved the cinematography (by Andrew Douglas).
Every shot has a kind of greenish, silver light – the kind of iced light that makes you feel Autumn has just arrived – and is composed and considered in a way I just can’t fathom. How does a photographer transform a junkyard, a grimy hotel curtain, the view through a car window, the legs of a trailer park mom and daughter, in a way that doesn’t alter them, but just gets their essence? The things are not beautiful, but the way they’re shown is.
Since watching this movie, I find myself “composing” as I look at things around me. The spaces between things seem to be particularly important.
See more of Andrew Douglas’ photography at his website, where there are loads of stills from the movie in the South section.