This is the first documentary I have filmed! When I was only driven by my curiosity and I was greedy to intervene in the world and mess things up a bit. Of course I am still doing it, but professionalism has distorted the innocent look I used to have and consequently the way I film - I am afraid.
Now, think about it.
Every day, almost 4 million people take the London Underground. They are one of the most heterogeneous and multi-ethnic community in the world. Who are they? Where are they coming from? Where are they going?
We spend a great part of our days extremely close to people that we ignore. I wanted to explore this moment of transition, this space of missed encounters. Hence, I decided to talk to them.
It's only 10 minutes watch. Enjoy!
So, how did you find it? Let me know on the comments and share some stories and anecdotes from your underground adventures.
Filming this documentary gave me a unique insight in the London Underground. Besides the contrasts, I am strongly convinced that you will be able to see the similarities, connect the dots and find a link within what seems to be a continuous stream of thoughts.
In London, commuters spend on average 75 minutes a day travelling to and from work. That is the equivalent of five weeks a year. They are mostly sleepy in the morning and tired on the way back. We spend a great part of our days underground, so close to people that we ignore, just waiting to come back to the surface.
You can come across the carpenter who still wears his dirty coverall. The man with the suit sitting next to him might be a successful entrepreneur.
A young girl with the veil is applying her make-up while a distinguished gentleman is reading the newspaper, slightly peeved by a bunch of teenagers yelling few seats further on.
And then students, married couples and lovers, an unemployed guy holding his CV in his hand, buskers, drunkards and a considerable amount of bizarre characters. And an EXORCIST - LIKE THIS GUY BELOW!
Tourists from all over the world crowd the most central stations and enrich this moving melting pot.
Every carriage is a world itself, a microcosm, a compressed extract of humanity.
I have always been fascinated by the idea that such a mixture of cultures, religions, generations and social classes travel on the same train without any sort of communication and interaction, except when it comes to make room for an elderly lady, give a reproachful look or – why not – a leer. The majority of people on the Tube try to maintain their private space by playing video games on their phone/tablets, listening to music or reading books/newspapers/the advertisements over their heads.
When travelling in the underground it is clear how people comply with common rules of behaviour. Especially in London, a British discrete attitude contributes to create a relaxed and comfortable environment, but doesn’t satisfy our curiosity of knowing who our fellow passengers really are. It is of course still a way of moving from one destination to another. However it might be thought of as more than pass time. People will either find themselves at ease and answer, refuse politely or perform a character which will only exist for the duration of the journey. Yes, because they can act, and just make things up! Isn't that a great chance to pretend to be someone else?
Try to do the same! If you live in a big city and take the underground talk to the people next to you! Ask them what they were thinking before you show up, just to break the ice. I believe that the underground is one of the few places that allows you to breath and take a break from the chaotic city-life. It gives people pause for thought, and you can bond with strangers in a relaxed way. They may seem like they want to keep their privacy (overall in London) but they are probably incredibly bored and they would love some company! You won't regret it! Let me know how that goes...