Sunday, February 22, 2009

1000 Journals Movie

We went to see the 1000 Journals movie at the Phoenix Art Museum today. While I was familiar with the project and we even carried the book at the shop, I wasn't sure how it would come across in a film. Some info for those who may not know the background on this project.
  • In the year 2000, Brian (aka. Someguy) inspired by bathroom graffiti, created a project to get 1000 journals out in the world by placing them in cafes, restaurants, parks, bookstores, on streets, and in many other places where random people would be likely to find them. The covers were decorated and he invited people to contribute some content, then pass them on, and asked that the filled journals be returned. His message to those who found the journals said: "This is an experiment and you are part of it." It took him a couple of years to finance 1000 journals. Can you imagine going to the bookstore--"I'll take 1000 of those blank journals"...

The film shows how Brian conceived and orchestrated the project and then it looks at how many, after the full 1,000 journals went out into the world, came back? How long did it take before he began receiving any completed journals at all? This film documents a few of the journals and the people who received them. Some people kept them for a year. Some kept them longer. The majority of journals have not returned at all.

The film is well done--it's interesting & entertaining, populated with memorable characters, fascinating scenes and fabulous music. But is not all happy and upbeat (I had to dig in my purse for Kleenex). It shows a microcosm of society's personalities from normal, funny, bizarre to heartwrenching & poignant while weaving in the events happening in the world from 911 to hurricanes in Florida.

At the end of the showing, the filmmaker, Andrea Krueghage answered audience questions as well as spoke about her experience with the project. She was so committed to making the film, she sold her house to finance it. Wow.

Currently, an exhibit of the journals that have been returned are at MOMA in San Francisco until April 2009.
If this film is showing in your area, do NOT miss this extraordinary work! Or, go out get the DVD--it has lots more interesting footage and info that are in addition to the film.