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Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Different Art Form - "Neighbours" (1952 Film)

I sat in the museum in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, stunned. I was watching an artistic movie short with a concept that I had actually thought of two years before. Except this wasn't mine. It was an art piece made 64 years before by the Scottish-Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren

My idea was going to be a short story about two people who were the only two left on earth. They both ended up in this beautiful area of land that they split. The size, flora, fauna were the same on both pieces of property and everything was idyllic. Until one purple flower grew right in the middle of their properties. And that is when the trouble began. That was the basic synopsis for my story but of course I never did anything with it because, well, I'm no writer. And I'm a bit of a procrastinator. 

Yet there I sat, in Canada on my vacation years later, looking at my story on film, yet not my story but the product of someone else's imagination, another artists creation made years before I was even born. A part of me was proud that I had thought of something that had been conceived by an artist of Mr. McLaren's brilliance. But another part of me wondered how unique any of our ideas really are.

So I sat there, on that small wooden bench and watched the second loop of the film "Neighbours", since the first viewing was interrupted by the egotistical meanderings of my own thoughts. That is when I realized how this film was making me feel.  I was horrified and unbelievably sad. 

Norman McLaren had the guts to show what no one really wants to admit. That there are some of our species who will never be satisfied with anything. They will always want what they don't have (even if they don't really want it!) and heaven help those who possess what they want. These are my feelings about this film – I'm sure you will have your own.

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Lily - "The Icon Prize" Finalist

A huge thank you to Lane Von Herzen, author of "The Unfastened Heart" and the Icon Prize committee for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful project.


Set To Music...

Creation of still life "The Two No One Wanted"

Fine Art Paintings by Monica Vanzant

Video of Black and White Photographs

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