CANDID & ANONYMOUS - 001 - The Buds / by Samuel B. Prime

"I am candid. You are anonymous. Together, we make movies."

Today on LA Ciné Salon, we begin a new series of short films called CANDID & ANONYMOUS. These secret mini-movies range in length from ten seconds to a minute-and-a-half and feature effectively anonymous folks in Los Angeles going about their day, but being caught in the act. Each was captured on an iPhone 5s based on a sudden impulse to begin recording. What I love about the iPhone 5s (and any camera phone) is how you can record and yet remain invisible. Nobody ever thinks you are recording, but - when the moment strikes - you are.

The inspiration for and spirit of this series rests with Chris Marker, whose nonfiction filmmaking and photography work often thrived on operating candidly or without anyone's permission (save his own). Marker loved to hide, to be removed and invisible, behind the camera and yet relished the moment when a subject would finally notice him and stare directly into the camera. In this first entry, there is no staring back. That comes later - and, I think, sends a kind of jolt down your spine at the moment when gaze meets gaze. The above picture is a rare instance of someone snapping a candid photo of Marker himself. Someone sent it to me years ago. I wish that I could remember who took the photo, but Marker wouldn't ask permission and so, thematically, I think I am in the clear.

For each of these CANDID & ANONYMOUS entries, I have asked a filmmaker or otherwise creative person to write something brief, 250 words or less, to the moving image. It could be prose, poem, criticism, essay, an excerpt of screenplay dialogue, really anything at all. These movies are snapshots of Los Angeles-based reality, certainly, but they are also creative starting points - stories in media res, whether real or imagined. Each entry has a number and a name - for the first, The Buds. The name is a suggestion, a kind of descriptor for who the subject(s) may be. For this first movie, I've done the writing myself just to get things started. So, below, you'll find the first C&A video alongside my written reaction to the piece. More of these will follow in the weeks to come. 

In the moment, I loved them and hated them at the same time.

Such a blatant disregard for the obvious rules of the LA Metro.

I wanted to toast with them, but they were in their own world. 

A private party in a public space, scored to the tunes of one earbud each.

I don't often drink, but when I watch and rewatch these two buds on the bus,

it makes me want what they have - the beers, the friendship, the zero fucks they give.

I still can't discern their every word, but one sticks out: "Fiona." Apple? I will never know.