Tag Archives: NO WAY HOME

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WORLD


Dear World,
This is my film No Way Home if you want to watch it, it’s $1.50… If you want to buy it it’s $3… Could i let you see it for free? Sure… But shit cost me $15K to make… and that doesn’t include the labor of my friends and family who worked for free… These co-conspirators are named in the credits of the film, i won’t bore you with names you’ve never heard of (but deserve to be known) and that have no bearing on anything since you haven’t yet seen the film… It would only make this post longer and we all know how shorter is better on the internets… But damn, they are an incredibly talented bunch… and i’m blessed to be able to call them friends and doubly blessed to count them as artistic co-conspirators…
2003-IMG_5447
photo by Sam Lahoz

i shot it on film… Yeah film, 100′ rolls of Kodak Vision 3 • 7213 • 500T stock … On a Bolex connected to a battery belt to power the motor… We shot some of it in Queens and Brooklyn and Washington Heights in upper Manhattan in New York City and we shot some in Valley Of Fire in Nevada and in Red Rock Canyon just outside of Vegas… Some more friends of mine who are musicians and also worked for love, not pay… created a beautiful original improvised score… They’re names are in the credits too…

 

It’s 20 minutes long… It’s about finding god in yourself and in others and fusing the fractured pieces together… It could be a narrative if you believe narratives can be a simple as this… It could also be a non-narrative… i’m too close to know… or care… i hope you like it but i don’t really give a fuck if you do… My friends and i made some beautiful unforgettable memories making the film… and if you watch the film and pay close attention you’ll feel that beauty coming through wrapped up in the images and the sound… Anyway the beautiful unforgettable memories we made are enough with or without a film… There are pieces of this in the film to prove these statements… Watch it… look closely, listen intently, leave yourself open and the reward will come…
i don’t do this film thing for the money… i don’t do it for the love either… Although maybe there’s a kind of love there but if there is, it’s a complicated love… i do this to stay safe, to sane, to stay secure in my own soul, to stay stabile in my own mind… When i’m not making films my blood goes bad, the saliva in my mouth drys up, my muscles get tight and nothing feels right… The demons squat my well being and evict my peace and my worthlessness threatens to rise above my head and drown me… Only making the films eases the pain, reduces the fever, alleviates the ache of feeling too much, makes the waters of worthlessness recede…
Not to say that making the films is not without its own pain, fever and ache… But it’s different… It’s tangible… it’s something that can be touched and held and the problems of filmmaking can all be solved… Unlike trying to find the god within yourself or within someone else and trying to fuse the fracture…
It would be nice if you saw the film… and even better if you got something more than beautiful images and honest poetry and incredible music… It would be good to even make a few dollars to recoup and reinvest into the next film that’s building in me like a storm in the distance ready to test me… again…
Sincerely,
vagabond
No Way Home Sunset Poster
photo by Sam Lahoz design by vagabond

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1P2

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Film Without A Place


No Way Home Three The Hard Way photo by Sam Lahoz design by vagabond
No Way Home Three The Hard Way photo by Sam Lahoz design by vagabond

“We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home

My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I can’t be my own
I’d feel better dead
– Nutshell by Alice In Chains

It’s time to send my film out into the world (or not)… Time to send it out, to see what it can do for itself or someone else (or not)… It’s done what it’s going to do for me… i’m done with it… of that much i’m sure…

i make films because i have a question only making a film can answer… or not answer… It’s an excuse really to keep the fever down… When i was young i thought i had chosen filmmaking… When i tried to quit out of frustration, out of betrayal, out of disappointment, i found that i hadn’t chosen filmmaking it chose me… Could i survive without filmmaking…? Yes, i could survive, but it would be just that and who wants just that…?

No Way Home Red Rock Canyon photo by Sam Lahoz design by vagabond
No Way Home Red Rock Canyon photo by Sam Lahoz design by vagabond

My films are a reflection of who i am… They wander but with a fierce sense of purpose… They can be difficult because they seem accessible but require more than passive spectatorship… This latest short film No Way Home is even less accessible and requires an audience to engage with the ideas presented… A stripped down narrative with three characters searching for one another, finding each other and breaking apart again… That’s the narrative and it exists simply to provide a visual for abstract philosophical and spiritual concepts…

Shot on 16mm film with a Bolex, desaturated of color into gorgeous black and white images composed by my DP Jeff “AK” Akers, with voice overs written as poems and disguised as dialogue and an improvised and layered score headed up by Los Bros. Rodriguez, Arturo and Joseph on bass, guitars and drums, with contributions by Kevin on guitar and my brother Mark on upright bass, beautifully acted by Kelvin, Flea and Omar, it’s a film that wrestles with the spiritual idea that god is fractured among us… i suppose it’s not avant-garde enough for the art circles and too experimental for the Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca crowds… Like me, it’s a film large enough to call the world home, but no place within it to call its own… No Way Home… a film by vagabond, about restless ideas that have no place in a world it calls home…

No Way Home Sunset On The Road photo by Sam Lahoz design by vagabond
No Way Home Sunset On The Road photo by Sam Lahoz design by vagabond

So the unpoetic real life questions still stand… Send it to festivals…? Release it on the internet…? Keep it hidden on a hard drive…? All these questions that have nothing to do with filmmaking… All these questions that have everything to do with a “career” and nothing to do with making art… A career that they say will “help” to make more films… A claim that’s yet to be proven…

i’m torn in four directions… The idealist in me is done with No Way Home, the realist in me is trying to figure out how it can help with the next film project, the pessimist in me doubts it can and the optimist in me is already working the angles of another film… It’s a hard road to travel but no matter how far or how hard i try to get away it always seems to lead back to this crossroad where art and commerce meet… Where the art of making art meets the art of making a money… Some days i wish filmmaking would quit me…

[vimeo 19730486]

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1l0

2013 Fusing The Trinity


The NO WAY HOME cast & crew... From Left to Right - Omar, vagabond, Joshua, Kelvin, Jeff "AK" (with camera) and Flea photo by Sam Lahoz ©
The NO WAY HOME cast & crew… From Left to Right – Omar, vagabond, Joshua, Kelvin, Jeff “AK” (with camera) and Flea photo by Sam Lahoz ©

In keeping with the round-up of my creative output for last year i finally finished a short film i started about 3 years ago called NO WAY HOME. It’s an abstract, minimalist, experimental narrative that encompassed many of the ideas i had been having about God. The film follows three characters who each represent a single part of a trinity. The trinity is made up of The Spirit, The Mind and The Body. The idea of the film is that God is divided among each of us and recognizing the God in others makes God whole.

We shot the film in Gowanus and Coney Island in Brooklyn, Randalls Island under Hellgate Bridge where the East River, the Hudson River and the Long Island Sound meet, in Flushing Queens by the Unisphere, Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas and in Valley Of Fire State Park in Nevada. i still haven’t released the film but i did release these three excerpts to represent the aspects of the trinity. i don’t know what to do with NO WAY HOME… i don’t know if NO WAY HOME has a home… The film is 20 minutes and is an existential meditation on the nature of God sans religion… The internet seems to be about short, cute, funny, viral videos or button pushing, emotional tear jerking, not a lot of room there for NO WAY HOME… And the film festivals seem to be only interested in short films that are calling cards for Hollywood…

So as of right now NOW WAY HOME has no home… In the meantime there are these excerpts which i’m proud to say actually stand on their own as micro shorts… Maybe that’s the answer… An existential meditative web series on the nature of God’s divinity split amongst everyone… Who knows maybe that’s what 2014 holds…

I AM THE JOURNEY

the truth that the spirit holds is nothing to play with
they nailed that man to a tree for days
because of the enlightenment his spirit held
it was more than his body could stand
i imagine it will be like that for all of us
the world requires a payment for truth
it requires a sacrifice as proof
belief in this world is not enough
the price of pursuing these truths is life
the equation is simple
the life you live is the product of truth
and your death will be the receipt
and so it goes life after life
and death after death
the scales tipping toward a balance
and the liars will continue to lie
creating powerful distractions
potent complacencies
promoting the comfort of acquiescence
to achieve compliance
the truth is uncomfortable
ugly and requires too much from us
i keep moving to grow accustom to the pain of it
to create an endurance for it
i am not as the liars say, what I own
i am the miles I have travelled
i am the sum of the truths I have endured
i am not on this journey
I am the journey

NO ONE SPEAKS OF LOVE ANYMORE

The language of love is in action.
No one speaks of love anymore.
It’s syntax replaced with at worst, casual indifference and at best, a grudging tolerance.
A new vocabulary is needed and only insurrection will bring it.
In this unwritten future love will lead the revolution.
The barricades will go pushed over.
The walls returned to dust.
The borders will go ignored.
The authority of these impediments will go unrecognized.
There will be no keeping love in… or out.

A REALIST EULOGY FOR IDEALISTS

How do the possibilities remain impossible?
There is so much light and love in the beginning.
The inferno consumed into glowing embers.
Who would have thought that this monkey wrench thrown into the gears of the machine could become mangled so quickly?
That monkey wrench seemed so invincible, that machine so vulnerable.
These decisions get wrapped like a stone around your heart tossed into the depths, falling away from the surface, falling away from the light and the warmth of the sun.
In the end there is no blame, only responsibility.
When this righteous anger is past due and spoils to turn to bitterness, it will make complete sense to turn your back on the beauty of what could be.
Your strength turned against you so the fight is within you and the struggle is without you.
The failures of idealism piled up like dead bodies and the reasons are excuses dressed as wisdom and wisdom is a realists eulogy written for idealists

NO WAY HOME • CREDITS

written, produced and directed by vagabond • co-produced by Resister • cinematography by Jeff “AK” Akers • Alexis “Flea” Fernandez as The Mind • Kelvin Fernandez as The Spirit • Omar as The Body • still photography by Sam Lahoz • dialogue, score recording, mix and engineering by DJ Johnny Juice Rosado • score by Arturo Rodriguez on bass and guitars, Joseph Rodriguez on drums, percussion and guitars, Kevin Olsen on guitars, Mark Beaumont on upright bass • production assistance by Joshua Fernandez

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1h5

I Am The Journey


Kelvin Fernandez from the film No Way Home by Sam Lahoz ©
Kelvin Fernandez from the film No Way Home by Sam Lahoz ©

the truth that the spirit holds is nothing to play with
they nailed that man to a tree for days
because of the enlightenment his spirit held
it was more than his body could stand
i imagine it will be like that for all of us
the world requires a payment for truth
it requires a sacrifice as proof
belief in this world is not enough
the price of pursuing these truths is life
the equation is simple
the life you live is the product of truth
and your death will be the receipt
and so it goes life after life
and death after death
the scales tipping toward a balance
and the liars will continue to lie
creating powerful distractions
potent complacencies
promoting the comfort of acquiescence
to achieve compliance
the truth is uncomfortable
ugly and requires too much from us
i keep moving to grow accustom to the pain of it
to create an endurance for it
i am not as the liars say, what I own
i am the miles I have travelled
i am the sum of the truths I have endured
i am not on this journey
I am the journey

– vagabond

From the forthcoming film NO WAY HOME
written & directed by vagabond

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-19p

A Realists Eulogy For Idealists


A Realist Eulogy For Idealists by vagabond ©
A Realist Eulogy For Idealists by vagabond ©

How do the possibilities remain impossible?
There is so much light and love in the beginning.
The inferno consumed into glowing embers.
Who would have thought that this monkey wrench thrown into the gears of the machine could become mangled so quickly?
That monkey wrench seemed so invincible, that machine so vulnerable.
These decisions get wrapped like a stone around your heart tossed into the depths, falling away from the surface, falling away from the light and the warmth of the sun.
In the end there is no blame, only responsibility.
When this righteous anger is past due and spoils to turn to bitterness, it will make complete sense to turn your back on the beauty of what could be.
Your strength turned against you so the fight is within you and the struggle is without you.
The failures of idealism piled up like dead bodies and the reasons are excuses dressed as wisdom and wisdom is a realists eulogy written for idealists

-vagabond

From the forthcoming film NO WAY HOME
written & directed by vagabond

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-GB

No One Speaks Of Love Anymore


The Language Of Love by vagabond ©
The Language Of Love by vagabond ©

The language of love is in action.
No one speaks of love anymore.
It’s syntax replaced with at worst, casual indifference and at best, a grudging tolerance.
A new vocabulary is needed and only insurrection will bring it.
In this unwritten future love will lead the revolution.
The barricades will go pushed over.
The walls returned to dust.
The borders will go ignored.
The authority of these impediments will go unrecognized.
There will be no keeping love in… or out.

From the forthcoming film NO WAY HOME
written & directed by vagabond

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-EU

No Way Home


No Way Home a film by vagabond photo by Sam Lahoz
No Way Home a film by vagabond photo by Sam Lahoz

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddah

THE MIND
Each of us a puzzle piece
searching to find a place to fit,
but no place exists.
The belonging is in perspective
and the perspective is in the world
and the world is in the wandering.

THE BODY
i can’t feel the god in me
and i am a stranger to myself.
if i could see the god in you
i would once again know who i am.

THE SPIRIT
god is not in heaven.
You won’t find her
in the sky
between the satellites and the stars.
god is fractured among us.

– vagabond

cinematography Jeff “AK” Akers
photography by Sam Lahoz