Lonerism

A short film heavily based on the Tame Impala album of the same title , and inspired by my own experiences with extroversion, self-esteem, and total isolation.

  • Ben Elhav
    Director
  • Ben Elhav
    Writer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 8 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 10, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Canada
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada
  • Language:
    English
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • ESA Film Week
    Etobicoke School of the Arts, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    May 21, 2015
  • Barrie Film Festival
    Barrie, Ontario
    Canada
    October 15, 2016
Director Biography - Ben Elhav

I'm a young film maker from Toronto, attending Etobicoke School of the Arts. I love all things film and photography and hope to continue on to write and direct professionally.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The feeling of Loneliness, no doubt, is an uncomfortable situation to be in. However, could this all be avoided with a simple change of mindset? That is the question at the heart of my film, and one that I have attempted to resolve personally, ever since I realized the extent of my dependency on people.

The inspiration for my period of self-reflection and the film that followed, came from my darker days after a relationship turned sour over March Break. I was smitten and had driven 844 KM over the course of a day from Toronto to Chicago after eagerly planning to see her for three months. We had met in early January, but she was only visiting. Two days after finally seeing each other again, we broke up, her saying that she wasn't ready for a relationship, and myself.... clinging to the threads of a connection that was never there. Dwelling in your own loneliness and misery can be a comforting state of mind to settle into, a topic I explored in an earlier film, Feel the Burn, one which I had most likely inadvertently created in this mindset.

Soon, I found that this "clinginess" was also heavily present in my other interactions with people, from those I considered good friends, to teachers I looked up to and had built my entire self-worth on their approval. This dependency on other people, coupled with my extroverted personality, low self-esteem and heartache, propelled me into deep thought. I was sick with myself. I was either unappreciative of the people in my life, or just romanticizing them in every way. And so, almost as punishment to myself, I decided upon this experiment.

I would measure my capacity to withstand two days with the most minimal levels of human communication - I wouldn't see people, speak to them, hear them, or even know what they were doing. Perhaps I went a little overboard. Admittedly this year my mental state has not been the most dependable. But I did learn something valuable from the experience.

The answer was not that I was unappreciative, although I certainly had been. The answer was also not an extreme love or idolization of certain people. The answer lay, as it often does, in between. The answer to my loneliness, was my inability to adapt. To understand that people are different, and need different levels of closeness than you might. To make the most of each relationship and understand why you feel or felt so strongly about the other person.

Lonerism was perhaps the most self-indulgent film I will ever make. Yet I will allow myself this one. This film was key to the healing process that would follow, and a reflection of both my darkest moments, and the light at the end of the tunnel. I often worry about the ability of an audience to understand my films, but everyone has felt loneliness. This is no attempt to say that my film will be universally understood, or "the answer" to all your troubles. And yet, perhaps spending 48 hours in isolation has knocked me down a peg and sent me falling down to earth.