RETROSPECTIVE: A BRIEF PORTRAIT OF A NORTHERN SUMMER IN PROGRESS

The summer of 2015 played in slow-motion.

Partly because I was obsessed with the ability of the iPhone 5s to shoot video at 60-frames-per-second and partly because it was an especially beautiful summer, one exploding with memories, with beauty. Certainly it was that way with me.

It was the last summer I lived on my own. Lizzie was living in the apartment across the hall and our relationship was maturing in fits and starts. Our lives overflowed into each other’s rooms. I had my dad’s old Kuwahara road bike and I took it everywhere. I had emerged from the fog of the strongest and scariest depressive episode of my life and it was like seeing the world for the first time. Everything seemed beautiful, easy. Everyone seemed to be making art. Everyone seemed a model. Obama was still in office; the world still felt “progressive.” And as always in the summer, the Northern sun hung around — low, so low in the sky — until late, late in the evening, casting a golden sheen over everything, irradiating the night with golden warmth that lingers in the thick summer air.

Everything felt like it should be filmed, so since we now all had HD cameras in our pockets I filmed everything. I made little 15 second assemblies of daily life and shared them on Instagram. When a new film festival was announced for one-minute silent films only, I cut this piece together from what I’d gathered — sort of a “greatest hits” album — and submitted. It received 1st place at the festival. There was a cash prize. I don’t remember what I spent the money on, but I suspect it simply went towards a perpetuation of the innocence and beauty that was that summer: towards boxed wine and cheap beer; towards gas for the old pickup; towards clove cigarettes; towards the door at Wunderbar (RIP); towards the tip jar at Empress; towards used books at Al Hambra; towards cappuccinos at Iconoclast; towards the future of a life lived.

Hope you’re well, wherever you are.

Until next time.

-Nn

Published by nnettrhys

Filmmaker from the Canadian Prairies.

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