jajf 2021 project
Clark Gable (2021)
From the storyboard for Clark Gable, 2021
In his winning proposal for the 2021 Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship, Theodore Taplitz astounded the jury with a full-fledged script for his proposed narrative short film, Clark Gable, as well as the concept expressed in his project proposal (excerpted below):
"Consciousness, mortality, and the hybrid reality between physical and psychological perception: these are the themes that have inspired the development of my latest concept, Clark Gable. On a more personal level, the idea stems from the immediate coping-mechanism response I experienced when someone close to me fell ill: my mind flitting from solution to increasingly unrealistic solution, trying to solve a problem I had no answer for. It is this magical-thinking state of consciousness that I intend to investigate in this project, the waking dream state that sudden trauma and loss induced in me, both the child-like, fairytale sense of infinite possibilities and the pervasive sense of disjointed, unstable wrongness that accompanied these feelings.
"Clark Gable will take the form of an experimental/narrative short film, exploring a young man’s efforts to reconnect with his non-responsive grandfather’s consciousness through electro-chemistry and the inscrutable spirit of Clark Gable that speaks to him through radio waves. The world of this film is ambiguously phantasmagorical – part reality, part memory, part psychological manifestation, with no clear dividing lines."
Theodore shot Clark Gable during the summer of 2021 in his hometown of LA before heading east for his freshman year at Columbia University, where he will study film.