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TRAVELER (2020) Film by Vojislav Radovanović.
Music composed by Joseph Carrillo.
Cinematography by Jason Jenn and Vojislav Radovanović.
Production by Flourish Projects Group
The “TRAVELER” is an 18 minutes experimental film by Los Angeles based visual artist and director Vojislav Radovanovic. This short, non-narrative film is a poetic and meditative visual storytelling about pilgrimage through the scenic landscapes of North America. A single character, played by Radovanovic himself, the standard-bearer is carrying the Flag with different weed plants, walking through the various rural and urban paths. On this pilgrimage, TRAVELER reveals the beauty of nature, man’s influence on the ecosystem and its fragility and power.
The film was shot at numerous locations in the Midwest and West Coast of the US (From the iconic bed of Los Angeles river, Sunken City, Las Vegas, national parks: Monument Valley, Red Arches, Zion and Grand Canyon to the less known destination in New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Kansas and Iowa.
Dreamlike cinematography, done by Jason Jenn and Vojislav Radovanović is accomplished with footage recorded in slow motion and by using black and white, vintage cinema filters, stylistically placing production of the film in unidentified time and epoch. One more reason for using such heavy filters is that this film serves as a unique “historic” documentary about human influence on nature.
Deeper message behind the film is revealed on the Flag itself. It is an original painting on textile done by Radovanović. He, as a visual artist, is fascinated by wild plants, also known as weeds, their determination to live and ability to survive. The weeds are as all other, outcast from society, marked as unwelcome, judged and sometimes even razed. The Flag represents beauty, diversity and resistance of nature reminding us of the critical moment of global climate change and current mass extinction.
“TRAVELER” was shot in the course of two years (2018-19) and finally finished in 2020 when American composer Joseph Carrillo created original music. Carrillo arranged unique synesthesia and emotional bond of composition and sound design with cinematography, providing complete experience continuing traditions of environmental cinema such as famous masterpieces like KOYAANISQATSI and BARAKA.
The music composed by Joseph Carrillo flirts with tradition, with the use of orchestral strings, percussion, and choral sounds, layered with synthesized samples, effects and developing soundscapes, which create vignettes within the larger work. Carrillo wanted to create this exploratory feeling, that we are all moving forward, while also inhabiting a tiny spot in the universe, so at times the music has a traditional forward motion, and at other times the music and sound is very static, lingering on single notes or motifs, for prolonged periods. Adding sound effects gives it a cinematic quality at times, creating more immersion into the visual environment, and eliciting feelings of a more traditional narrative film. “We look for story in anything abstract, and being a film composer, I’m used to creating stories, so it’s a challenge to do something like this where there is not a traditional plot. And yet it is a story, it is an experience that many people have had.” The sound of the 8mm projector keeps coming back, “it was the only thing the director insisted upon,” he said, “which provides a reminder that you are watching something, through the (literal) lens of the experience of traveling across the country.”
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