The travel diary genre provides the format for experimental filmmakers Dustin Thompson (The Travelogues) and Kathryn Ramey (Yanqui Walker and the Optical Revolution) to explore, in richly textured and multilayered pictorial and audio fashion, journeys of adventure and conquest. Ramey portrays American expansionist William Walker's ascent to the presidency of Nicaragua in 1856. This film is densely structured. Threading together educational film clips, expressive animation, location photography, on-screen text, voiceover narration, and an array of experimental filmmaking techniques, the filmmaker raises compelling questions about visual perception and the construction of history.
In The Travelogues, Dustin Thompson creates a more personal story. He travels with his film camera across two continents and compiles a series of mini-narratives, suggestive of loves gained and lost. He generates lyrical images, shot at oblique angles and developed with shifting camera speeds; in each scene, the heightened film grain tends to move the depiction of the natural universe toward abstraction. From the prologue through to the epilogue of his journey, this artist travels a fine line between real and imagined worlds.