There was a point where watching this I had an incredibly visceral reaction that nearly provoked anxiety in me. And all that was happening was people riding a bus. In silence, and with the light of the rising sun coming through the windows and both illuminating and casting shadow over the interior landscape of a North Carolina public transit vehicle and its residents.
This is why I am a Mubi fan! Wish we saw more of this kind of thing. I love the bus as rolling observatory/eyeball/camera/cinema analogue. And on the one hand, Rosa Parks would be much happier nowadays on the bus, but she might not be happy that her people are often stuck riding the bus long distances with multiple changes to have access to work far from home while wealthy folks drive SUVs and can live closer to work
the beauty of the mundane. the rhythm of the ordinary. arcs of flame crawl over smooth metal. a mother's love. a long trip. the morning sky forming above a corridor of streetlights. the sun casts luminous fog across window glass. light causes shadow to flicker playfully. a smile a watchful eye something is said.
Ever seen black folk sitting on the bus? I have. "The more I lived and worked in Durham, the more vividly I began to see that many legacies of slavery and racism were alive and well." Oh really?!?....what a revelation. I bet Mr. Wanek hid his camera under his coat. Or maybe he just stuck it in their faces like he was at the city zoo. By the way, Sun Ra was from Alabama, New York and Philly, not North Carolina.
I must admit, I'm a pretty easy sell on experimental films, indie films, and film studies. This one just didn't do much for me. Although I loved the plays with light and the gradual shift over time, the faces of the people watching their day begin on the bus, this one just didn't speak to me.
On the surface, this is just a film documenting a bus ride. I feel as if there are some messages being portrayed, but they are too obscure to realize. Maybe it is supposed to show that there will always be sunshine even if it comes and goes. Maybe it means to express that many people are not social in social situations except for the last woman. There is not much that is intriguing. Overall, it is not worth watching.
A meditation on light, shadows and reflections as well as a study of the faces of bus passengers, most of whom don't appear to know they are being filmed. Only one woman at the end seems to look into the camera. It manages to discover enchantment in the everyday and urges us to overcome boredom by paying attention.
In Chicago, Sun Ra lives thru free jazz and many followers. In the US, the racism in NC is real, just as in Chicago, all demonstrated by the recent election and future white house, never whiter. I missed sound, I missed pure light at the end, I missed the bliss that is Sun Ra