Such Complexity/Air & Wood

"Such Complexity/Air & Wood" uses text, along with variable shutter speeds, a camera unexpectedly alternating between fixed and unfettered positions, time dilation and compression, and editing patterns in dialectic with the rhythms of the music, to create an uncanny synesthesia both metaphoric and concrete, a visual poem for the forest produced by sound.

Jack's erasure poem, "Such Complexity," extracted from "The Secret Wisdom of Nature," by Peter Wohlleben," adds another dimension to our experimental music video, "Air & Wood," inspired by "Luft und Holz II," a new music composition by Ezzat Nashashibi, performed by the Ensemble New Babylon (Chloe L'Abbé, flute, and Martin Abendroth, clarinet), suggesting that forest ecosystems (and ecosystems in general) are so complex and interrelated that our best understanding should tell us, not to try to master and fix them, but to leave them untouched as much as possible.

  • Pamela Falkenberg
    Director
  • Jack Cochran
    Director
  • Jack Cochran
    Writer
  • Pamela Falkenberg
    Producer
  • Pamela Falkenberg
    Cinematography and production design
  • Jack Cochran
    Editing and sound design
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    poetry film, eco flm
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 8, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    4K and 2K digital video
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • International Music Video Awards
    London, England
    United Kingdom
    November 29, 2020
    First UK selection
    Official selection, Semi-finalist
  • Kosice International Monthly Film Festival
    Kosice
    Slovakia
    December 10, 2020
    First Slovakian selection
    Official selection, Finalist
  • Near Nazareth Film Festival
    Afula
    Israel
    June 2, 2021
    First Israeli selection
    Official selection, Finalist
  • AIR/AMC, Budapest International Artists Residencies 2021MiniArtVIdeo Fest
    Budapest
    Hungary
    August 24, 2021
    First Hungarian selection
    Official selection
  • Wales International Film Festival
    Swansea, Wales
    United Kingdom
    September 15, 2021
    UK premiere
    Official selection, Finalist
  • KinoDrome International Motion Picture & Screenplay Festival
    Cleveland, OH
    United States
    September 26, 2020
    US Premiere (music video version)
    Official selection; Award Winner, Best Music Video
  • White Mountains Art Festival
    Plymouth, MA
    United States
    September 25, 2021
    First North American selection
    Official selection (screening postponed to Sept. 2022 due to pandemic)
  • High Tatras Film & Video Festival
    Vysoké Tatry, Prešovský kraj
    Slovakia
    September 26, 2021
    Slovakia premiere
    Official selection; Semi-finalist, best landscape music video
  • sustainable-stories.org film fest
    Houston, TX
    United States
    November 17, 2021
    West of the Mississippi premiere
    Official selection, Award Winner
  • Film Fest Bremen
    Bremen
    Germany
    April 20, 2022
    German premiere
    Official selection
  • Moving-Image-Arts International Short Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    April 7, 2022
    Canadian premiere
    Official selection
  • NW Film Forum Cadence Video Poetry Festival
    Seattle, WA
    United States
    April 21, 2022
    Northwest premire
    Official selection
  • Plymouth Nature Festival
    Plymouth, England
    United Kingdom
    April 28, 2022
    England premiere
    Official selection
  • Over the Real
    Luca, Tuscany
    Italy
    September 24, 2022
    Luca premiere
    Official selection
  • Ferrara Film Corto Festival • AMBIENTE È MUSICA • Edizione 2022
    Ferrara
    Italy
    June 6, 2022
    Emilia-Romagna premiere
    Official selection
Director Biography - Pamela Falkenberg, Jack Cochran

Pam is an independent filmmaker who received her PhD from the University of Iowa and taught at Northern Illinois University, St.Mary's College, and the University of Notre Dame. She directed the largest student film society in the US while she was at the University of Iowa, and also ran films series for the Snite Museum of Art in South Bend, IN. Her experimental film with Dan Curry, Open Territory, received an individual filmmaker grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as grants from the Center for New Television and the Indiana Arts Council. OT screened at the Pacific Film Archives, as well at numerous film festivals, including the AFI Video Festival, and was nominated for a regional Emmy. Her other films include museum installations, scholarly/academic hybrid works shown at film conferences, and a documentary commissioned by the Peace Institute at the University of Notre Dame. She is an occasional contributor to Moving Poems Magazine (http://discussion.movingpoems.com/).

Jack is an independent filmmaker who has produced, directed, or shot a variety of experimental and personal projects. As a DP he has extensive experience shooting commercials, independent features, and documentaries. His varied commercial client list includes BMW, Ford, Nissan, Fujifilm, Iomega, Corum Watches, and Forte Hotels. His features and documentaries have shown at the Sundance, Raindance, Telluride, Tribeca, Edinburgh, Chicago, Houston, and Taos film Festivals, winning several honors. His commercials and documentaries have won Silver Lions from Cannes, a BAFTA (British Academy Award), Peabody Awards, and Cable Aces. Some notable credits: Director of Photography on Brian Griffin's Claustrofoamia, Cinematography for Antony Thomas’ Tank Man, Director/Cinematographer of Viento Nocturno, and Cinematographer of Ramin Niami’s feature film Paris. Jack was trained at the University of Iowa Creative Writers Workshop as well as the University of Iowa film studies program.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

For over seven years, Jack Cochran and Pamela Falkenberg have been making personal films together again under the name Outlier Moving Pictures. They hope their work will prove worthy of the name: avoiding the usual patterns and approaching their subject matter from the margins (which sounds better than saying that as filmmakers they're oddballs and cranks). Pam and Jack met in graduate school and made films together when they were young. Jack went on to become a professional cinematographer working out of LA and London, while Pam stayed in the Midwest, where she was a college professor and independent filmmaker before dropping out to work in visual display.

Their first film together, "The Cost of Living," based on some of Jack's short poems, screened at several film festivals, including the Buffalo International Film Festival and the Cornwall Film Festival, was nominated for two awards at the 2019 Queens World Festival, and took the award for best experimental film at the 2016 WV FILMmakers Festival. Other short poetry films have screened at the Ò Bhéal Poetry Film Festival (2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021), the Juteback Poetry Film Festival (2017, 2018), the Festival Silencio (2017), the Filmpoem Festival (2017), the 6th CYCLOP Videopoetry Festival (2017), the 6th, 7th, and 8th International Video Poetry Festival (Athens Greece), the Hombres Videopoetry Competitition (2019 2020), and the Zebra Poetry Film Festival (2020, 2021). Their most ambitious film, "Teddy Roosevelt and Fracking," about environmental threats to the wild landscapes of North Dakota, premiered at the 2018 Queens World Film Festival, where it was nominated for three awards and took the award for Best Documentary Short, followed by awards at the Go West Film Festival, the Ozark Foothills Film Festival, and the American Presidents Film and Literary Festival at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum. Their most acclaimed film, "The Names of Trees," in collaboration with Lucy English for her Book of Hours project, has screened in more than 40 film festivals in more than 15 countries, has been nominated for awards many times, named a finalist for best poetic film and best short film several times, and won the Lois Weber Pioneer Award at the 2020 Queens World Film Festival. Two of their more recent poetry films, "In West Virginia," and "Flag Country," based on poems by Dave Bonta, have already screened at the Buffalo International Film Festival, the Small Axe Radical Film Festival, the Newlyn Film Festival, and the North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival, among others. Pam and Jack recently completed a new triptych with poet Lucy English on climate change, "I Want to Breathe Sweet Air,” which has already received recognition in the US and Internationally. They are currently at work on "Now and Then," an experimental film based on a new collection of Jack's poems; “The Loneliest Road in America” (their first feature together), an experimental road trip/documentary essay about transportation and travel in the American West; and another collaboration with poet Lucy English, about Louisiana’s “Cancer Corridor” and environmental injustice.

Jack and Pam co-direct the films they make together, and they collaborate fully, even when they divide up the credits. Their poetry films usually start with a poem (often, but not always, one of Jack’s poems), which they think of as analogous to a script. However, when collaborating with Lucy English on “The Shadow” and “The Names of Trees,” the process was more dialectical: some images and sounds came first, then Lucy wrote the poems; the poems inspired more images, and eventually the edited film poems. For us, the exact process depends on the project and remains open to experiment, so our body of work is somewhat disparate and hard to categorize. Some of our eclectic interests include collage, found footage, and repurposing; the film essay and film poetry; image capturing and post-production techniques that reveal what cannot be seen with the eyes alone (e.g., high shutter speeds, moving cameras, infrared photography, green screen and digital layering); the environment, landscapes, and the ways humans mark them; human rights/social justice; and postmodern melodrama.

Jack has written poetry all his life, but he never knew what to do with it until he shared his notebooks with Pam, who said, “You’re a filmmaker -- shouldn’t your poems be films?” Pam and Jack both want to make lots of different kinds of films together, but Pam is especially proud to have been the one who suggested that Jack’s poems should come to life as films. They are both delighted that making films of Jack's poems has led to interesting collaborations with other poets and filmmakers.