Cameraperson

Cameraperson ★★★★½

85

Still reeling from this so scattered thoughts will have to do for now:

- Kristen Johnson shows great empathy in her images at a base level. If all of the footage is seen as remnants of other projects and a culmination of a particular artistic work ethic, then the composition and immediacy of framing disregards the initial scrambled nature of the edit. Each shot is just another aspiration for capturing truth; look at the moment where Johnson's hands pull weeds out of a low-angle shot in order to make for a more aesthetically pleasing makeup.

- Of course, then this idea of a certain level of truth is combated by moments which confront our comfort in what we're seeing. Should Johnson be filming this? Should she become involved in some way? Or is the act of a spectator enough when it comes to capturing life as seen through the lens of a camera? Will active participation tarnish the lucidity of the evocation? These are questions which are probed segment by segment, each rising in action as Johnson doubles back to satisfying ends or opaque resolutions depending on the particulars.

- Its cohesiveness as an essay pales in comparison to its effectiveness as a construct of one perspective's encounters in a variety of landscapes and situations. It's personal in the way that our home movies are personal; they weren't explicitly created for nostalgia or fond dissection of ourselves, but in-the-moment motion stills for our remembrance. When you film a birthday party or a family event, you aren't reaching towards artistic excellence, but grounded evidence of the world around you (although Johnson melds the two together). The lens of a camera makes the opaque clear and the fragmented close-knit, and Johnson just happened to edit a career (and a life) of it into a singular feature.

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