The Truth. A film by Weston James Palmer
Hailing from the City of Angels, indie artist and filmmaker Weston James Palmer just premiered his newest flick, The Truth, which follows the auteur on an existential-pop odyssey through Tokyo’s cultural hubbub and beyond. Navigating the human condition with great care and insight, we see Weston meandering through Tokyo, forging artistic and spiritual connections with friends and strangers, experiencing urban vertigo and cultural epiphanies to his utter delight. The deeper he gets lost in translation, the more the journey becomes his destination. We find ourselves immersed in the rhythms of Japanese life as he has come to know it — conveyed in beautifully saturated (what he calls ‘sex hues’) snippets of him photographing locals, filming friends, hanging around cafes, pagodas and temples, and cavorting with all manner of lissome young fashionistas. It’s all a gorgeous DIY collage of sound and image, cultural transcendence and personal enlightenment. His cinematic style is noteworthy because the entire film is done in ‘backmasking’ mode—a style, like ‘phonetic reversal’, of dubbing the dialogue and speech backward (don’t worry, the subtitles are sufficient and the imagery splendid) but the audio sounds like Pig Latin or Amish Dutch — a fun way of making the viewer feel engrossed in an exotic and unfamiliar setting.
This film is excellent, eye-opening and artistic, hands down! It is a beautiful burst of cinematic artistry, a carnival of images and sounds that weave together sublime saturations, light and movement, gesture and inflection, and makes you contemplate life’s vicissitudes. It’s as if Weston were encouraging us to look at our everyday surroundings anew, but also work extra hard to extract something profound from our underlying assumptions, cultural norms and preconceived notions. Bravo!
Text Vera Lee