Lay Down Tracks

  • 61'
  • USA
  • 2006
Not long ago, almost all documentaries were shot on 16mm. Even at a later stage, shooting on 16mm was still an option, certainly if people wanted their work screened in a cinema. But anyone who shoots a documentary on 16mm these days, however creative or experimental, has to have a special idea in mind.
This film was shot with a silent 16mm camera. The sound was shot separately using a tape recorder. As a result, the film does not have any synchronised sound and distinguishes itself from virtually all documentary footage shot in the last 50 years. So no talking heads, even though there is quite a lot of chattering going on off-screen.
Lay Down Tracks is an impressionist documentary in which a portraitist sketched five simple Americans. What they have in common is that they are always on the road for their work and hence in a certain sense uprooted. And they have all had quite a history. A trucker, a fairground showman, a railroad worker, a surfer and a riverboat skipper captured in soft 16mm shots that are accompanied by a radio-like soundtrack.
The makers have a great deal of attention and respect for their very ordinary protagonists. They make everyday things special and an ordinary life story moving. A small-scale film that most emphatically does not want to be special, which is exactly why it is. (GjZ)

Brigid McCaffrey, Danielle Lombardi
International première
Countries of production
USA, Bolivia, Morocco, Sri Lanka
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Brigid McCaffrey, Danielle Lombardi
Production Company
Lace Factory Films
Lace Factory Films
Danielle Lombardi, Bridgid Mc Caffrey
Danielle Lombardi, Bridgid Mc Caffrey
Danielle Lombardi, Bridgid Mc Caffrey
Sound Design
Danielle Lombardi, Bridgid Mc Caffrey