In Search of Something – A film guide

The great beyond, the itch that can’t be scratched, sometimes there’s a burning will just to go on a journey you don’t know where or why but somewhere down that path the hope of finding that missing jigsaw puzzle may just present itself. Ed Aczel and Joz Norris have just made a very amusing meta-mock-mentuary that features John Kearns, Ben Target directed by Jonathan Brooks and  looks at where to find meaning and where it might be found. We asked Ed and Joz for some films that bestowed some influence on them in the making of In Search of Something.

The Searchers

Ed.Ok its a John Wayne western, and an epic of grand proportions. In hindsight it has vaguely racist overtones to modern sensibilities. The plot centres around the abduction of a young girl from a Texan family homestead by a tribe of Comanches and the subsequent  epic search to find her across the American plains. To cut a long story short they find her and there’s a fair amount amount of unnecessary bloodshed and of course travel. Whilst our film doesn’t wish to associate itself with any of the major themes of this legendary blockbuster – there are similarities for example travel and indeed searching for something you’ve lost.

Into The Inferno

Joz. I watched this last Christmas while trying to come up with ideas for a documentary me and Ed could make, and fell in love with Werner Herzog as a documentarist. He seems to me to encapsulate that very human thing of setting yourself a noble, specific, profound goal and then setting out to achieve that goal and then getting completely distracted by the first thing that falls into your lap and kind of forgetting what you were doing in the first place. In this film he sets out to investigate active volcanoes around the world, but then happens to arrive in Ethiopia at the same time as an explorer has found the bones of an early hominid, so completely abandons his documentary for a while and films that. Later, he becomes the first western documentarist allowed into North Korea, ostensibly to film their dormant volcano, but again he just gets distracted and starts making a film about what it’s like in North Korea for a while, because you don’t get the opportunity every day and who cares if it takes him completely off the path of his original objective? It’s a really beautifully random film.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Sometimes great stories need to be told – like the destruction of a soul into eternal darkness or the gentle movement of society into a dystopian nightmare. And Sometimes you’re just trying to keep the gag count high. We chose the latter – so did Monty Python and the Holy Grail – another similar aspect is the search for something which you’re unlikely to find and possibly might not even exist. In their case it was the Holy Grail in ours it was a way out of the maze. Both essentially road movies without the need for roads – but hey….
 
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
 
Joz. The ultimate search movie. As Ed said above, search quests don’t come much more exciting than looking for the Holy Grail, but Lucas and Spielberg really put a lot of thought into what would make a search for the Holy Grail more exciting than the Monty Python boys did – Nazis! A zeppelin! Father-son bonding time with Sean Connery! A tank chase! An invisible bridge! An immortal knight! Blades coming out of the floor! A deadly jigsaw puzzle that requires knowledge of ancient Aramaic! We’ve done the exact opposite of this in our film and tried to chart the least exciting search quest possible, with no tangible goal in sight. Though, like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, our ultimate message is that perhaps the thing you’re really looking for isn’t the ornate golden cup encrusted with jewels, maybe it’s the crappy looking clay tumbler in the corner. Though we don’t even have one of them.
Ed Aczel & Joz Norris: In Search Of Something