Station to Station Review – An Amiable Journey Through the Creative Process

Station to Station is a celebration of arts in all manner of forms whether it be music, film, photography or something entirely unclassifiable. Following a 4,000 mile train journey across North America, Station to Station is a documentary that displays the magnificently different worlds of creativity that exists within America as a whole.

Along this long journey across America there are ten different ‘events’ that artists participate in, each artist being represented here in cinematic form. Director Doug Aitken presents these different creative entities in one minute vignettes, giving each artist enough time to display their presence in relation to this ever moving train. Whether it be from well-known artists like Patti Smith and Cat Power or to a small band from the back of nowhere standing by a train track trying to explain what they sound like, each artist relates a story about the train, or movement in general, and what it means to them in different ways.

Beck sings about the train moving along whilst he busts out a few bars on a harmonica, where a minute earlier there is a man who walks through a train station proudly cracking whips whilst an army of people walk behind him. These varied visual and audio feasts make Station to Station an invigorating journey to embark upon even. At times you wish you could get more than just a minute per artist, but just the like world outside the windows of the train, they’re over and gone before you know it.

The creative boundaries placed on artists who embark on the train makes for some interesting pieces. For example, the photographer who talks about how he usually would take time to prepare his shots is instead forced to present something that pushes his creativity. Station to Station is not a deep film, but it is a film which will make you think about the creative process in different ways and will no doubt keep you entertained throughout its short run time.

Director: Doug Aitken

Featuring: Rick Prelinger, Doug Aitken, Chris Camp

Andrew F Peirce

Andrew is passionate about Australian cinema, Australian politics, Australian culture, and Australia in general. Found regularly talking online about Sweet Country, and reminding people to watch Young Adult.

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