Belgian director and documentary photographer Jaro Minne came to our attention last week when he launched a time-stopping music video for J Churcher track Riding On Your Love. The conceptual, ethereal video portrays a young couple in a desert dreamscape as they dance languidly from dusk into night. We caught up with the emerging director who told us about his emotional connection to his work.
Born in 1992, you’re pretty young for to be directing. What got you interested in making films in the first place?
For quite a while I’ve been intrigued by how images reveal an artist’s individuality, his sensibility, his cultural background. What I like about film is that it embodies the vision of an individual into something physical. I believe that’s poetry. Not a genre, but a particular way of relating to reality. I like that filmmaking enables me to go out into the world, being openly curious, and then trying to make work that produces meaning from that. But I need to feel. I need to be emotionally connected in order to see some things beyond what everyone else is seeing.
And when did you begin working with London-based production company Somesuch?
Five or maybe six years ago I visited Somesuch for the first time, I had just started film school. I often went bacm for a couple of weeks, working as a director’s assistant, and I slowly started pitching on music videos and documentaries.
What themes do you think define your work so far?
I think my work is marked by a certain simplicity and slowness. A silence. I am interested in a rudimentary form of narrative, searching for the fine balance between the imaginary and the real. My aim is to give the chance to create as much as possible in our minds, through creativity and imagination, not by merely relying on visual information. I think suggestion and imagination is something that is more and more forgotten in filmmaking, while I believe it is one of its most powerful tools.
Are you working on any projects at the moment that you can tell us about?
I am often in the Caucasus where I am working on projects connected to the East-West cultural divide and cross-over. Most of my projects are long-term. For Letters of a Passenger, I am exploring Tbilisi, staying with a different family every day. By immersing myself into their homes, I translate my impressions into photographs. I am looking for individual stories, for a kind of intimacy and for spaces that describe somebody’s life, both real and imagined. Every image tries to create and encapsulate a story, but also becomes a small conversation, a mirror. I try to challenge the documentary discipline, by adopting a subjective viewpoint and often imagining and creating the images in collaboration with the subjects. For me this project is about exploring: exploring these personal stories, this geography of Tbilisi, and also exploring my way of taking pictures and putting them together.
This year I will start developing a documentary film reflecting the world of a North Caucasian boy, growing up between rapidly changing social values, dealing with responsibilities and expectations. In general I like to bring across stories of people more invisible. I also hope I will be able to shoot more music videos and develop new ideas.
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