Space Part I: Interior


A film by Jake Saner and Ashley Robicheaux

Music by Tim Hecker and Jonsi & Alex

Special thanks to:
The Robicheaux Family
Tori and Mike Sims
Bryan Saner and Teresa Pankratz

And thank you to Directors Notes for the beautiful write up:

And to Odd Friends for their interview with Robi:

A B O U T - T H E - P I E C E:

"Spaces Part I: Interior" inhabits the genres of dance film, surreal narrative and cinematic documentary. Though this film began as a clinical exploration of space, by its final iteration it became something much more personally significant. It became the odd story of an almost accidental homecoming. Robi (Ashley Robicheaux) and I set out with the simple task of exploring how different spaces inspired movement. Eventually this task led us to the question “where do I belong and how do I fit?" This exploration took place in Mississippi while visiting Robi’s family. Towards the end of the trip, Robi’s mom mentioned that she still had a key to the front door of their old house. Her mother had filed for bankruptcy some 5 years ago, the bank had seized the house and no one had set foot in it since. To our surprise, they key still fit the lock.

Familiar childhood objects littered the floor, remnants of a rushed move. The walls were a bit dusty but the space was generally clean. It was Inviting. We spent the afternoon exploring the old dining room, kitchen, hallways and at last ended up in Robi’s childhood bedroom. As Robi danced, I could see a sense of relief enveloping her. She was conversing with the child that used to sleep there. A calm innocence with a touch of melancholy and, at last, a simple confidence.

How does revisiting the familiar put newness into perspective?

In New York City, where change can persist at an almost addictive rate, it can be extremely grounding to reconcile yourself with the past. Sometimes physical spaces are the only element that resists this urge to move forward. Entering a familiar space brings you into dialogue with past versions of yourself. “I remember who I was when I was last here and what the world looked like in the eyes of that person.” This film documents Robi’s journey through a series of foreign worlds and explores the reciprocal relationship between person and space.

The beauty of this collaboration was its spontaneity. We had a very small camera setup (Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera with old 1940’s Arri Schneider Lenses and a Manfrotto Monopod) that fit into a backpack. This allowed us to explore. Nothing was planned before we arrived at the locations. I would set a shot and Robi would feel what the room had to offer. I would begin to record, and she would begin to move.