by John SMITH
2001-2007 / DVCAM / color / sound / 1S / 82' 15

Hotel Diaries consists of a series of video recordings made in the world's hotel rooms between 2001 and 2007, all of which relate personal experiences to the current conflicts in the Middle East. In these works, which play upon chance and co-incidence, the hotel room is employed as a 'found' film set, where the architecture, furnishing and decoration become the means by which the filmmaker's small adventures are linked to major world events. There are 8 works in the series:

Frozen War (Hotel Diaries 1)
Ireland, October 8th 2001. 11 mins.
A disorientating experience while attempting to watch the TV news in an Irish hotel room triggers a spontaneous response to the bombing of Afghanistan.

Museum Piece (Hotel Diaries 2)
Germany, October 14th 2004. 12 mins.
While the Iraq war continues, a day's sightseeing and the features of a German hotel provoke a stream of thoughts about events large and small.

Throwing Stones (Hotel Diaries 3)
Switzerland, November 13th 2004. 11 mins.
As the camera looks out through a barred window and the clock strikes four in a Swiss city, the death of Yasser Arafat provides the starting point for a journey back in time.

B & B (Hotel Diaries 4)
UK, November 26th 2005. 6 mins.
The perception of an Anglo-American hotel room is coloured by new revelations about 'The War on Terror' and 'The Special Relationship' that exists between Britain and the USA.

Pyramids / Skunk (Hotel Diaries 5/6)
Netherlands, January 29th 2006 / January 29th 2007. 16 mins.
Hamas have just won the Palestinian elections and a chocolate bar in a Rotterdam hotel room eventually reminds the filmmaker that there are more important things going on in the world outside. Exactly one year later he returns to the same city and checks in at a very different hotel.

Dirty Pictures (Hotel Diaries 7)
Palestine, April 15th/16th 2007. 14 mins.
Moving from one hotel in Bethlehem to another in East Jerusalem, the filmmaker encounters a series of problems involving a ceiling, a video camera and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Six Years Later (Hotel Diaries 8)
Ireland, October 20th 2007. 9 min.
The filmmaker returns to the city where he made the first video in the series and looks back at the events of the past six years.


distribution format Digital file on server (PAL)
screen 4/3 (single screen)
speed 25 fps
sound sound
original language English
translation French (Embedded subtitles)
rental fee 158,00 €