The Ox – A Breakwater Original
[ Editor’s Note: Breakwater Studio’s search bots picked up one of their productions, Kunstglasser, that I had in my last three-pack Vimeo weekend. This weekend I have an inspiration gem, something I clicked open out of curiosity and was well-rewarded. Vietnam vets have had life journeys galore, from the peaks of success, to the depths of depression… and worse.
Eric Hollenbeck carries his days as a 19-year-old Vietnam combat vet with him everywhere he goes, and ultimately to his grave. But he will also be carrying the memories of the lives that he has touched, despite a life’s work carved out of his desire to separate himself from society by being able to make everything he needed.
He now shares that journey and those skills with wayward reform school kids and also with the next batch of young vets coming home with the wounds you cannot see at first.
The shooting technique was classical but unusual. Intense natural light pervades a good number of scenes, and he uses floating sawdust to filter his motion scenes. He will then switch to shooting the darkened face of the main talent with no fill light, a study in contrasts. Was this symbolism for a man who walks in both darkness and light? That will be for you to decide.
This is a wonderful portrait of a man, his redwoods which you will see a lot of, and his journey to carve a niche for himself, at first as a retreat into solitude – but later opening up the doors to enrich himself and those he has shared his work with. Enjoy The Ox. I sure did… Jim W. Dean ]
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THE OX is a portrait of master woodworker Eric Hollenbeck.