About Wittgenstein Abecedarian

Wittgenstein Abecedarian is an experimental documentary about the Austrian philosopher, architect, schoolteacher, and inventor, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the graveyard where his is buried. It grew out of a long-term project that I started four years ago, that entails living in a different city, town, or village every month, and finding a subject there to make a short film about. It could be a street, a river, a person, an idea, or anything that the location suggests to me.  I don’t write scripts, I make the films entirely in response to my experience of the place, and the people, augmented by research.  WA came about when I visited Wittgenstein’s grave while in Cambridge, England, and decided to make a film about the graveyard he’s buried in. I spent several months photographing the graveyard, re-reading Wittgenstein, and interviewing people who visit his grave (day in and day out, at least several people visit, from all over the world). However the film grew from portrait sized to Sistine Chapel sized when I realized that the film really needed to be about Wittgenstein’s life, philosophy, the ways in which he is connected to modern culture, and the complex ways in which language and image are connected (a central theme in Wittgenstein’s work). Ultimately I spent three years photographing and editing the film.

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