Pieces of New York is an Art-documentary. Artists exposing their ability to give up everything for their art, mixing images of New York of today with the 70s using super 8mm films that by chance the director found filmed by her own grandfather.
Pieces of New York is an intimate film, the third piece of a trilogy that aims to study the creative process. It is a love letter to New York, a place where many artists converge with the same purpose, to obtain from their art a personal realization.
Vanessa, actress; Jonathan, photographer; Ze, saxophonist; Naomi, singer; Robert, artist; Ilona, painter, are some of the characters that show us their process, their way of seeing the world and life in a present-day New York.
At the same time, pieces of New York is a reflection on how the city has changed using images filmed in super 8mm in the 70s by the director’s grandfather, who could not dedicate himself to his passion, filmmaking, and where the director compares her own Work with his, reflecting on her concerns and trying to guess her grandfather´s.
In order to fully perceive the experience of seeing Pieces of New York, it is inevitable to be able to see it in a movie theater because Pieces of New York does not talk about great stories but rather tries to experience it with all the senses because it deals with emotions, Pieces of New York is a film that you have to feel it on your skin so a dark room with good speakers will make the experience really complete.
My first intention with this film was to write a love letter to the city that had given me shelter for four years and from which I had learned so much, New York. It is very difficult to describe what that city has meant for me, and having finished the film I still doubt if I have managed to fully capture that very deep feeling that I feel for the city.
When viewing the images that I shot during those four years, I saw that, after all, I had never been away from the central theme that captured my last works, and I decided to complete the trilogy about the creative process.
This trilogy composed by: my fiction short Color Thief (2013), my short documentary Quixote in a fragmented world (2014) and this feature documentary Pieces of New York (2017), try to find an answer to something that for me still does not make sense: Why devote to art?.
It is obvious that, since it is highly complicated to live from art, there must be a superior force to be able to continue pushing or pulling that heavy burden and decide to continue creating despite what it entails. Giving up a more comfortable life, for example, to the calm of a more organized and under control life, is something that every artist has to face. So, why to continue? There are many answers and all of them very diffuse but the most common one is that there is no alternative.
It was then when I decided to select all those images of the people with whom I had coincided in the city, most of them artists, and edit them in the form of collage, a copy-paste with jumps, changes of rhythm and textures, both in the image and in the sound, where you could see the borders and the dry glue, the roughness of the paper and the craftsmanship of it all.
The film presents different sequences of the daily life of these artists who live in New York, using the editing as another main character of the history. In my eagerness to get the viewer out of the lethargy that I think we are immersed lately in this Internet age, I decided to create a NO narrative line; a contemplative assembly of the city that invites the audience to the reflection, mixed with rough and tumble cuts of image and sound, which hope to be able to wake them up from that drowsiness. The idea is not to allow the audience to settle, to have the need to be always alert, to force them in a certain way to have a self-reflective look using a rhythm that is not harmonious but has stops as a metaphor of the New York City subway, which is the element I use as a transition between scenes to show the underworld of the city, the underground, those artists who have no voice.
Those scenes, where it seems that nothing is said is where everything is really said, as in the deliberately prolonged takes of the city, it seems that nothing happens but it is there where everything happens, we just need to take a little time, and it is true that perhaps it takes some effort, to see it. Because that is the way I understad cinema, where the speech is actually in what is not said. “Cinema of the Invisible”. For me cinema is what you can not see, what you don´t percive at first glance, but as in the theaters, just by introducing some light, the magic emerges… Those conversations seemingly insignificant, those contemplative stops where it seems that nothing happens, just the city, is where the true speech of the film is.
In short I have tried to make a more reflective film and not a very descriptive one, where the importance is in the feelings, risking, consciously, that these don’t always have to be good ….
cast & crew
director: VIOLETA BARCA-FONTANA
screenplay: VIOLETA BARCA-FONTANA
cinematography: CHEM-CHEM / RAFAEL FONTANA
second unit camera: JONATHAN CURTIS
editor: VIOLETA BARCA-FONTANA
music: ZÉ LUIS
sound: JORDI RABASCALL
additional color correction: SONSOLES GALINDO
fx visuals: JAVIER RUEDA
JONATHAN CURTIS, himself (Photographer)
VANESSA CALDERÓN, Irene (Actress)
ZÉ LUIS, himself (Saxophonist)
ROBERT JANZ, himself (Street Artist)
FILIP POGADY, himself (Violinist)
NOEMI PÉREZ SEGURA, herself (Singer)
MATT METZGARD, himself (Dums)
JASON GOODROW, himself
PETER SPAGNUOLA, himself
MICHAEL STEWART, himself
PABLO AZCURAIN, himself
ILONA GRANET, herself (Painter)
CLARISSA JACKS, Mary (Gallery owner)
NEREA MORENO HERRANZ, rapsoda (poetry)
VIOLETA BARCA-FONTANA, voice over
RAFAEL FONTANA, voice over
RALPH M. JONES, himself (Flute)
KENNY WESSEL, himself
ÁLVARO GONZÁLEZ, himself
JOHN STEVENS, himself
RYAN LUIS, himself
ALBERT ALABEDRA, himself (Guitarist)
ADAM RUDOPH, himself (Drums)
KAORU WATANABE, himself (Flute)
MICHEL GENTILE, himself (Flute)
MIA WALLINGTON, herself
FRANCESCA SANTOS, herself
ROBIN MARTIN, Lily