In actualite' films the artist captures life exactly as it is (similar to the documentarian's goal) but without the overarching narrative thrust. In other words, the images themselves are the story and the message. James Nares' film Street is a modern example of the genre. Nares shot his footage of the streets of New York City with a high-speed camera, which enabled him to slow real life down to a fraction of its normal pace. As his camera moves inexorably left to right we see the teeming millions as individuals; the artificiality of their decelerated actions enhances their humanity as they appear to pose, stare into the lens or slide by lost in thought, all set to a solo guitar performance by Thurston Moore. "I wanted the film to be about people. All it needed were magical moments, and there are enough of those happening every moment of every given day," Nares has said of Street. All it takes for us to see those magical moments is to slow down and enjoy each others company. James Nares: Street is shown on a loop Friday, November 2, through Sunday, January 27, in gallery 301 at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org); the museum is open every day except Monday. Admission is free.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 2. Continues through Jan. 27, 2012