Lætitia Tamko, who performs as Vagabon, reminds me that intimacy, closeness, is perhaps the most expansive thing there is. "Fear & Force," a single from Tamko's debut album Infinite Worlds, is a heart-wrenching testament to that truth.
Directed by Zadie and shot on 35mm film, the video meanders through a day two people spend together. They take a drive. They take a walk in the woods and no one else is in sight. For a fleeting moment, they are the only two who exist. Then they are hurled back to reality and reminded how capable they are of hurting each other.
The short film, Tamko writes in an email to NPR, "aimed to highlight the blurred and murky lines between friendship and intimacy." The love it portrays is not interested in your labels; the world it creates is too expansive and realistic for that.
In "Women and Honor," the essayist and poet Adrienne Rich writes, "An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word 'love' — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other." With "Fear & Force" and its visual counterpart, Vagabon captures what makes these relationships so scary, so easily torn.
The final shots of the film are perhaps the most stunning. They occupy themselves with another, equally delicate and terrifying relationship: the one you have with yourself.
Infinite Worlds is out now via Father/Daughter.