Title: Travel Notebooks: Barcelona Spain
Artist: Silvia de Gennaro
Run time: 2 minutes
When I first viewed this piece, I was beyond confused. There was upbeat Latin music playing, buildings shifting and warping to the beat and at one point a very clingy nude woman grinding up on a man and speaking to him. After coming out of a deep stage of confusion, I began to realize that not only the buildings were moving, but also all of the smaller details, such as papers and props on the street. Not only that, but they were hitting each other on beat; as if creating the sound. That’s when I realized what I believed the artist was trying to say: music is everywhere. From the man with the Spanish guitar sitting on the side of the road, to the hustle and bustle of a construction zone; sound is music (but the hills are not alive). The more I started to realize this connection between the audible and visual aspects of the piece, the more I noticed that the visuals were “creating” the music. This piece was very well composited in both visual and audible terms.
Title: An Ordinary Blue Monday
Artist: Naomi van Niekerk
Run time: 3:17
This animation (which uses sand which I am highly impressed by) tells the hardships a student faces in an average day of her life. She starts with a normal morning (mother leaving notes, going to pick up cigarettes) but things quickly turn for the worse. We learn a girl in her class is pregnant and has a miscarriage in the middle of class, that there were multiple people killed right outside the school on the streets, and a woman is running screaming from some threat we do not know of. All of these terrible things being the norm for her school day. By using the contrast of black and white, it helps to build a deep, dark psychological presence that very much so matches the feeling of these events that the artist experiences. Another great example of the use of contrast is in the end credits as the shadows of the sand wash over the screen behind the text. This movement and “washing over” effect symbolizes the artist falling back asleep, cleaning her slate; preparing for a new day. But when the screen fades to black, we know that this new day will be just as dark as the last. This is a great short film and the artist’s attention to detail and extreme patience (seriously, doing stop motion with sand is awful!) really pays off and helps express the artist’s message.