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San Francisco Film Society







The next International takes place April 25–May 9, 2013.


SFIFF: 1000 Journals

 Documentary 1000 Journals showed at the San Francisco International Film Festival this week.  Director Andrea Kreuzhage and also the main subject of the film, Someguy, were in attendance for a Q and A after a screening Wednesday.  1000 Journals is the directing debut for Kreuzhage, who has worked in the film industry since 1986 with companies Beyond Films and Sony Classics, on films like Strictly Ballroom (1992) and Bookies (2003), to name a few.

In the summer of 2000, a man living in San Francisco who calls himself Someguy launched 1000 journals into the world in an experiment called the 1000 journals project.  Someguy's idea initially sprouted by his interest in bathroom graffiti.  Constantly struck by the meaning and power of bathroom graffiti, Someguy thought perhaps he could make a book with photos of the graffiti in it, so he could share it.  Or better yet, what if people could add their own thoughts?  This is where he got the idea to launch the journals.

Some journals were shipped out and left in random spots on the earth, others were distributed to fans who had heard about the project online.  All were inscribed with a stamp and Someguy's address: the plan was to send the journals out, have them fill up, and then eventually get them back, read them, and figure out some way to share them.  There was a waiting list: more people wanted to write in the journals than Someguy had planned for.   

 An interesting statistic opens the film.  In Kindergarten, most kids raise their hand when asked if they are artists.  A few years later, less kids raise their hands. In high school, only a few kids out of a classroom might raise their hand.  And if asking a bunch of adults, you'd be lucky to find any person raising their hand.  Think about it: where did our creativity go?  Aren't we all artists at some level?

The film interviews writers and follows the path of a few journals.  The journals tap into this unused creativity:writers and artists fill journals with life stories, words of wisdom, jokes, quotes, pictures, paintings, and art.  Some are glad to share it with the next person on the waiting list, others are so sad to say goodbye.  All love to read each other's stories, art and thoughts.  "There's something amazing about connecting people together," Someguy said about the project.  At this point, 2008, about 80 journals' whereabouts are known,  The rest are still out there somewhere.  

The film is quite engaging- I highly reccomend it.  Its affective-ness stems from its portrayal of the simple beauty and power of human connection.