Each within their own microcosm, the characters of Thomas Nuijten’s film - “Hanging around isn’t going to make anything happen.” - all embody a sense of suspension. We see them stalling for time, like when you know you have to leave but you want to stick around just a little bit longer. And by pushing each scene to the edge of non-narration, Nuijten makes us wait around, too. A passion project born amidst the turbulent times of Covid-19’s first lockdown in the Netherlands, this film is Nuijten’s way of dealing with change. There are times when we deal with change - especially imminent, out-of-our-control change - by simply not dealing with it. We try to hold off the inevitable by prolonging moments, standing still so time can pass us by... Without a single word being spoken, Nuijten activates our ability to instinctively associate images with emotional states. We see fire and know that it could equally be burning with desire or regret. And by presenting us with a non-linear sequence of moments whose point is to appear as abstractly as our own feelings do, Nuijten’s film mimics and mirrors our internal process of self reflection. While the point that this film wants to make is no secret (it’s right there in the title), it’s not until we experience the euphoria of animation in contrast to an uncertain sort of inertia, that we truly understand the price we pay when we refuse to move forward. In doing nothing we gain nothing. And so the only other option is to take that first step.
Amsterdam-based filmmaker Thomas Nuijten graduated with honors for his BA and MA in film at the Royal Academy of Arts in Ghent, Belgium. Thomas has developed an elegant visual language, appealing to the emotional and intellectual registers of the viewer. His work spans fiction (short) films, fashion films and music videos.