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Quit Your Job, Marry Your Girlfriend, Move to Sri Lanka

Sebastian Linda’s short film shows off Sri Lanka’s vibrant culture and muses — with the help of philosopher Alan Watts — on how we experience the passage of time.

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At the end of last year, German filmmaker Sebastian Linda quit his job, married his girlfriend, and went to Sri Lanka with a camera. What came of it was a film that is as philosophically provoking as it is visually daring. The entire video was shot on a Canon 5D Mark III and a Lumix Gh4, Linda’s only assistance being a gorilla tripod, a skateboard and steady hands. The filmmaker uses hyper lapses, motion and macro shots to amplify the beauty of Sri Lanka’s people and cultures. And, he also uses his film techniques to visually articulate ideas on the passage of time.

Anchoring the time musings is the voice of Alan Watts, an English philosopher. “We think of time as a one-way motion — from the past, through the present, and on into the future,” he recites. “In such a way that what happens now and what will happen is always the result of what has happened in the past.” In this section, the film moves forward. And then, Watts switches his tune. “But I want to turn the thing around completely the other way, and say the past is the result of the present.” At this point, the film moves through a montage of reversals, moving time from “present” into “past”. It’s a clever and compelling way of articulating a lofty concept, and creates a visual argument that our past will always be framed by our present focus.

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