16 February 2006

"Hurt" performed by Johnny Cash; filmed by Mark Romanek in 2003

I don't know if there is a single tune or a collection of film clips that could summarize my life.

I'm still a "thirtysomething," but I've already had an intriguing life. If I were voted off the island tomorrow by a speeding bus, flash of lightning or a falling anvil, I could leave the game satisfied that I'd covered a fair amount of physical and emotional terrain.

Regrets. I've had more than a few. But, in regard to relationships, spirituality, travel, family and career, I've had a full - if not fulfilling - life. Quite nice, really. Still, I just can't imagine what audio-visuals would be chosen to condense life into an honest and accurate electronic capsule.

I suppose if Director Mark Romanek was put on the job he could reduce, stir, then expand my life - or yours - into a short film. He's done just that with his 2003 project called "CASH." Johnny Cash is a compelling subject and the performance he gives in the brief film, which is saturated with Romanek's style, will never leave you. June Carter Cash hovers in the periphery as her husband appears fragile, perhaps for the first time in our eyes.

I would be remiss in my duties if I did not suggest you get your hands on a copy of the four-minute film for your collection, or just to watch once and pass on to a friend. Essentially, it's an inspired music video that weaves a soul-aching performance of the song "Hurt" - sung by Johnny Cash - with vintage clips of his life.

The original version of "Hurt" is a moody Nine Inch Nails song. It becomes haunting when Cash puts his heart and voice to it. Romanek's film is incredible - four minutes that will hurt and entertain. My friend Carda purchased a DVD version of the short film in California. (She's cool like that.)

I don't think the film is available in Paris individually, but it is available (at FNAC) as part of a documentary about Romanek's career. This version is acutally a better value, given that it comes with so much other content.

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