And what to do with it, featuring the Iranian director Jafar Panahi
"This is the goal: to be 100 percent in doubt about what you’re doing and 100 percent still doing it."
Very inspiring words for me at this moment, as I work on a new recording. Thank you.
Mason, I so appreciate you drawing attention to Panahi's situation and the broader political situation in Iran! Most people read this film as (only) a statement on Iran's censorship of filmmakers, so I really like this analysis of it through the creative process. If you haven't seen THE MIRROR, check that out. I think it's his best film.
As many other commenters pointed out the idea of being 100% in doubt and 100% still doing it is remarkable! It reminds me a bit of Keats's "negative capability"-- the idea that great poets are able to hold opposing thoughts in their mind at the same time. Keats wasn't referring to creative doubt, but it strikes me as a very particular skill suited to the creative life. I've been working on Octavia Butler recently and she seemed to have the exact opposite approach--just flood yourself with positive self-talk. It definitely seemed to work for her.
This is a wonderful testament to how constriction can sometimes be an incredible spur to further creativity and growth. I think it's worth all creative people thinking deeply about how they respond to the constriction of options, time, etc. and how they might invite opportunity through the experience. I know I just started a full-time job out of the house (first time since 2017) and the reduction in time to dither about has forced me to really step up and work whenever a chance presents itself, and not put it off in the hopes that I'll "get to it" when things feel more optimal.
Deeply touching and very inspiring
This was like watching a preschooler in the school yard. I guess this is the one thing artists and makers know how to do better than most adults: they still know how to play.
The next time I'm stuck, I must remind myself: the antidote to doubt is play.
I love emails from you and always enjoy hearing your thoughts and insights on the creative journey. I like how you pull in stuff from other creators and make me feel less alone in my struggle to overcome resistance to making things.
“...smuggled out of Iran on a flash drive concealed in a birthday cake.” So great!
Thanks for sharing this! No Bears was on my radar but now I'm going to check out This Is Not a Film as well. Sounds amazing.
“to be 100 percent in doubt about what you’re doing and 100 percent still doing it.” - YES. Forever. I needed this today thank you. Will go hunting down this not-film film - brilliant.