Between and Among
If you've ever experienced that feeling of being lonely beyond all measure yet surrounded by a sea of humanity, Carl Janes and Andrew Barranca have a film for you. The two local artists have spent the past two years with a vintage Super 8 camera, a microphone, and a handful of Charleston characters – real characters – in their making of The In Between, a 45-minute film the pair has just completed and will give a premiere screening at the American Theater this weekend (see listing at right).
Janes, a Folly Beach artist and architect, has created several site-specific installations in town, among them the disarticulated "Labyrinth" at Marion Square for 2005's Piccolo Spoleto and a work for the De(Re)Construct show at North Chuck's former John C. Calhoun Homes site on Mixson Avenue in spring 2005. There, he turned half of a gutted duplex into a "Ghost House," capturing a moment of the former residents' lives by stringing up clothing to represent people in the midst of activity and playing recordings of household noises like showers running and food cooking.
Janes knew what he wanted to say in The In Between, but he wasn't certain what kind of medium he wanted to say it in until he met local filmmaker Barranca.
"It's about how we exist between a feeling of togetherness and utter loneliness, and we're constantly balancing between these extremes and cradling this hope that we're going to be able to get outside this balancing act. We've got several characters who have a kind of surrealist quality to their own reality. And we put them in different locations around Charleston that also have that surreal sort of essence."
Those characters include local artist and musician David Boatwright and John Michel, a CofC sculptor. They also include others best known for inhabiting the fringes of society, like Henry "Hooks" and the Folly Beach resident known as Nick the Torch.
While The In Between doesn't have any dialogue in the strictest sense of the word, it's hardly a silent picture. The pair recorded sound at a variety of unlikely places (beneath MUSC's medical rescue helicopter, for example) and laid it down over the digitally edited frames as a running soundtrack.
The finished result will be on view this weekend at the American Theater, where Friday's screenings will be accompanied by a full-on red carpet party and open bar. –Patrick Sharbaugh