Slow it Down: Cat Power’s “Where is My Love”

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A moment. What is it? How long is it? How deep is it?

Paul Auster (writer) and Wayne Wang (director) played with these questions in the 1995 film Smoke. There is a memorable scene in which cigar store owner Auggie, played by Harvey Keitel, invites writer-friend Paul (William Hurt) to see his “corner of the world” project—a collection of photos taken at 8 a.m. every morning in front of his Brooklyn cigar store. Year after year, Auggie captures this particular moment from the exact same location—each snapshot directed at the same “corner of the world.” As Auggie pulls out album after album, Paul quickly blows through the pages commenting on the absurdity and monotony of the seemingly “same” moment in time. Auggie interrupts the oblivion with “You’ll never get it if you don’t slow down my friend.”

“Slow down.” Streetgang Film directors Josh Melnick and Xander Charity have engaged with the idea in a literal-sort-of-way with Cat Power’s latest music video “Where is My Love.” Utilizing Charlyn Marshall’s (a.k.a. Cat Power) entrancing vocals alongside the implicit beauty of the human face and the often unnoticed objects of the everyday, Josh and Xander capture their own moment in time.

In a recent online interview, Xander comments about the shoot and the interest:

I think we do fall in love with the things we shoot, and a lot of what interests us is exploring the “thingness” of those things, if that makes any sense?… To kind of celebrate even the smallest and most banal moments in a way that feels somehow grander… To make small things feel big, and to make big things feel real. We draw a lot of inspiration from reportage photography of both people and places. Usually we’re just trying to capture moments, or the little moments in between moments, with intention and singular focus of a great reportage still.”

Whether flipping through a photo album, watching a music video, or whatever it is that you or I will do in the next 15 minutes, many “things” will occur. Some will seem trite. Some will seem irrelevant. The question is… could the opposite also be true? Could significant “things” happen before our eyes? Is there meaning beyond the mundane? Could “moments” speak?

With these questions in cue… Auggie’s words seem all the more appropriate: “You’ll never get it if you don’t slow down.”


Related Sites:
For the complete interview with Josh & Xander, visit here.
For the comoplete workd of Josh & Xander:
Click here for a “non-YouTube” version of this video (.mov)
To see the “Photo album scene” in Smoke, visit here.
Cat Power’s MySpace.


“Where is My Love” (Cat Power)

[ Hi-Res MOV ]

“Where is My Love” (Lyrics)
by Cat Power

Where is my love
Where is my love
Horses galloping
Bring him to me

Where is my love
Where is my love
Horses running free
Carrying you and me
Where is my love
Where is my love
Safe and warm
So close to me
In my arms

There is my love
There is my love
Horses galloping
Bringing him to me

Where is my love
Where is your love