Jóhann is relentless. The blood is a reminder to all of us how alive he is at 91.
The life and work of Jóhann Eyfells is a constant reminder that “if something can go right, it will go right.” Since the first day I met with my friend Jóhann, almost nine years ago, my life has taken a whole new meaning, and for the better, without a doubt.
See the following link to a video I put together for Jóhann over 6 years ago: Dancing Steel
This is the precursor to A Force in Nature (password: spirals), a feature length documentary film looking at the life and work of Jóhann Eyfells.
I recently spoke to the artist, and as usual, I come away inspired. He called to say that he had some hopeful news coming from Iceland that some individuals are taking a keen interest in his work. He seemed optimistic that more and more people are beginning to understand his vision, “almost to a tee.” Personally speaking, in the 8+ years I’ve known Jóhann, I’ve seldom thought of him as being anything other than optimistic.
As always, he asked how I was faring, and how both my children were. He was especially interested in knowing how my own pursuit of a Master’s degree in Motion Picture & Television Directing was getting on. I told him I was inundated with the richness of academia. With regards to A Force in Nature, I told him we were in full post-production and we expect to be close to finishing.
He paused for a moment and then said the following: “Directing is understanding darkness, silence, and stillness.” At first, I did not get it, but he proceeded to elaborate and said that “light is a consequence of darkness, sound a consequence of silence, and movement a consequence of stillness.” Because light, sound and movement are so fundamental to the making of any movie, I was now re-engaged, thanks to Jóhann, as I reflect on the role I am playing as a director of our film, A Force in Nature. In short, I was re-ignited by a man almost twice my age as I step away from my own effortless tendency towards complacency.
I spent all 24 hours with Jóhann, filming him, sleeping at his home and enjoying his presence for an entire stretch of time. It was probably the most intimate I’ve ever got to spend with my dear friend in the 8 1/2 years I’ve known him. I am grateful to him for trusting and allowing me into his most inner sanctuary.
I have grown to love and respect this man who by all account has managed to defy the burden of age and earth’s gravitational pull. For instance, Sunday morning, after wondering what to do next, he decided to do a little gardening on his 11 acre property. The task at hand was to cut down a hundred year old full grown oak tree that had died. The work began early in the morning, and by lunch time the tree had been chopped down by a 91 year old man.
He is unstoppable!
Jóhann the Lumberjack:
Jóhann the Artist:
Jóhann the Philosopher:
Jóhann the Man:
A Force in Nature – a feature documentary co-produced and directed by Hayden de M. Yates and co-produced and edited by Vishwanand Shetti.