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Sitting pigeon

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015, 04:28

Last night I accidentally discovered "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch (reflecting on existence)."

I fell in love with the film at once. It's like a series of haiku - snapshots that try to capture the experience of being.

Haiku originated from an earlier tradition of collaborative poetic composition. One of the collaborators would produce a short opening verse - the Hokku - and the others would contribute stanzas one after another to build up a longer poem.

Later the Hokku evolved into a free-standing poetic form, roughly the Haiku as we know it today, but poets still often wrote a sequence of linked Haiku, classically as a travel diary.

"A Pigeon" is a series of loosely connect episodes, some quite fantastic, most deliberately banal, but all inviting us to consider who we are, who others are, and how we relate to one another. Each moves us in one way or another. Yet the situations are all absurd to a greater or lesser degree, which is perhaps true of real life. Many are surreal, and some monstrous.

Foregrounds are simple and actors deadpan, but each scene, like a poem, is ambiguous. It shows us a deeper background we hadn't noticed at first and often adds glimpses of an indifferent external world, sometimes seen through a window.

I've always been obsessed with the way all our small everyday experiences can join together to give us a sense of self and identity. Like Haiku, this film gives an emotional interpretation to this feeling of mine. You might say that all feelings are emotional but I don't think that's exactly correct.


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