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Siblings’ Relationship Is Focus of Film
Courtesy of The Albuquerque Journal
By Adrian Gomez

Sat Nam. Growing up in the Duke City, Martina Comstock recalls watching movies at the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. Those visits were always as a fan, and she never felt any pressure.

Fast forward to 2011 and after five years of living in Vancouver, British Columbia, and studying film at Emily Carr University Art + Design, Comstock will make her Albuquerque debut with a screening of “Pair of Opposites” on Friday.

“It’s been a lot of work, and I’m so thrilled the Guild is giving me the opportunity,” she said. “It’s all just beginning for me, and I’ve just got back to town.”

Her film explores the interconnected nature of siblings through the dynamic of the sister-brother relationship.

On one end, you have Comstock, who is a creative filmmaker and esoteric, yoga instructor immersed in a far-out spiritual group called 3HO. On the other, her brother, Alan, is a hard-living daredevil with a feverish passion for rock climbing.


Alan and Martina Comstock
Courtesy of Martina Comstock

       
Martina
                                  Alan                  

Their life philosophies differ as much as their interests; whereas Comstock values balance and grace, Alan prefers living dangerously close to the edge.

Comstock said she wanted the film to explore the relationship between the two.

“We are quite different, and you don’t always see brother-sister relationships,” she said. “There is always a focus on parent-child relationships, and I wanted to show something different.”

Comstock said her brother is a thrill-seeker who climbed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park at the age of 17, while she practices Kundalini yoga and takes a different approach to her life.

She said Yogi Bhajan, who brought the style of yoga to the United States, lived in Española until his death in 2004 and his followers hold an event every year to celebrate the practice.

“The premise of the film is that we step into each other’s world,” she said. “He’s never done meditation or yoga, and I, in turn, went with him to explore his extreme rock climbing.”

Comstock started shooting the film last summer in the Jemez Mountains and then she went to Yosemite to film the other half. After the monthlong shoot, she had about 25 hours of footage and the editing process began.

“It was very difficult because my school required the film to be 10 minutes,” she said. “It landed up being 20 minutes.”

She said when she screened the film at her school, she was told that the film didn’t feel like it ran 20 minutes.

“I hope that being told that was a testament to the entertainment value of the movie,” she said. “It was nice to have it done.”

Comstock said when she was growing up, she was always interested in fine arts and performing arts. She didn’t get the idea to be a filmmaker until she started attending screenings at the Guild and fell in love with movies.

“It hit me, and I’ve been chasing it since,” she said. “Even when I was writing my essay to get into art school, the Guild lent me their copy of ‘Touch the Sound’ by Thomas Riedelsheimer.”

Comstock said Riedelsheimer did a residency at her art school while she was there.

“I got to work with him and it was amazing,” she said. “I learned a lot from him.”

As Comstock readies her film to screen, she said she’s been asked to do a documentary on the life of Yogi Bhajan and is working on an hourlong version of “Pair of Opposites.”

“I’m trying to take one thing at a time,” she said. “I’m honored to be working in a medium that I love.”
--

      

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