45 DAYS AT SEA AT HOME

I’ve been watching this container ship drift about the sea for 45 days. Nearly all day, every day, this film plays in front of me. While eating, while writing, while watching other films, Logistics has become the Chief Mate of my visual landscape. Each and every morning I make my coffee and embark on a nautical journey of watching a ship that, visually, is completely still. 

From our perspective, the ship never moves. The world shifts and swirls around it, cargo is shuffled about, but the ship itself is the single fixed point of references in a melting world. We are not a viewer along for the ride, we are the ship. 

It’s the cultivation of a kind of organic machine consciousness. A meditative approach to thinking as a hive of steel, fiberglass, and plywood. Marathoning the world’s longest movie requires the film critic’s equivalent of a machine ontology. 

In order to watch this entire film by my fixed deadline of April 30th, 2022, I must watch at least 9 hours each day. No matter how busy work gets, regardless of my social life, as long as the boat sails, so must I. The container ship and I are companions displaced by time and experience. 

My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts. We meld with the container ship. The ideological solvent of this mostly still container ship clears the eyes and becomes a new humor in the blood. It’s stillness compensated for by my reaction. 

This encountering of a ship at sea is a flat plane of ideology, emotion, and legacy. A history of ghost ships, maritime mythology, and perennial Evergiven jokes weigh you down into a sea of interpretation. There is water rising up, slowly, past your ankles, to the level of your eyes and then back and downward to the soul. 

This ship-being surrenders no meaning, no cargo, to a discursive sea. When it docks, we have only to exchange the weight of time for insight—so long as there is labor enough to withstand the task. 

Go on then, hide your meaning, boat. I am ever with you and will have it. It is your last cargo to unburden. The dock approaches. 

-Cinecartographer, Darrow