Be Kind Rewind: the rebirth of the bespoke.

God, I loved this movie. Gondry’s a visual genius (re. White Stripes videos and that one with Kylie Minogue, or the one for Let Forever Be by the Chemical Brothers) and I totally rocked with Being JM, his collaboration with Spike Jonze – but I have to say I found his last film – The Science of Sleep – unbearably twee.

But BKR is wonderful. It totally keys into a nascent philosophy that’s been brewing in my world about the power of the home made.

Recently I’ve been making lots of things – birthday cards and presents, bits of music, little movies, – and I’ve been hanging out with people who make things too – dance pieces, knitters, stylists. It doesn’t have to be anything grand – just making a nice lunch, taking a photo and doing something with it, sending a postcard. But really making something bespoke.

It’s so satisfying throwing a party where people have to make things. Or spending the weekend filming with my niece and nephew and ending up with a little feature film.
Everything these days is mass-produced and marketed with such hypnotic fierceness, that making something with your own hands is like a major political statement.
And I don’t mean making macrame potholders that no one wants. Nowadays with computers ‘n’ stuff you can make really super stylish things. Or at least design them and get someone else to print them for you.

There easy bits of software to make magazines, make songs, make videos. It doesn’t have to be perfect or high budget or even very good – but just making it. Dreaming it up and fashioning it, is so satisfying and somehow revolutionary.

And as Gondry says on the website – it’s not about making great films – it’s about making films for yourself – so you have a new one every week that features all your family and friends. I was watching the Culture Show and there was a ex-member of the Stone Roses who is now a painter and was saying how it was all about his pleasure in the process of painting rather than the finished product. It made me think how cheated we are as ‘consumers’ of art. The artist has all the fun and we have the shadow-shell of the fun.

I met a guy last night who is a painter and every night he dreams up something and then leaps out of bed the next morning excited about putting it down on the canvas. He said he couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling life than to keep on doing that for ever.

To make things ourselves for ourselves.

1 Comment

  1. Brian

    March 3, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    This is a lovely observational piece. It sometimes really
    boils down to the simplest things being the most satisfying.
    Baking a cake, making cards, growing things, making music and
    painting are some of my favourite things and give me joy like
    no material object can. And in giving these things to people
    or family and seeing their reaction (always positive, thankfully)
    is very rewarding.

    As Glen Hansard said on receiving the Best Original Song Oscar –
    “Make art, make art”

Leave a Reply