A critique of Mike's video
I enjoyed that Mike’s video concentrates mainly on music. As the video starts, we see a person walking into a chaotic room. For the first scene, Mike used a rhythmic, loud drumbeat. This reminded me of a parade, which gives the video a theatrical and circus-like quality. The theatrical effect is then reinforced by the lights, which lead the viewer to a blank board. From here the viewer enters an imaginary world that opens up with several images such as disorderly placed letters and designs and then shows us drawings of instruments that are played by a real hand. First, the hand tests every instrument and then the hand plays them all together producing a unique melody. Mike concludes his piece by leaving the imaginary world and reentering into the room that was shown at the beginning of the video, which gives the impression that the viewer is pulled back to reality. This time, reality looks clean and the loud music is replaced by the new melody created in the fiction world.
From this narrative part of the video I understand that Mike’s intention was to show a perfect world as a creative world where creating music has a liberating effect from the messy world that surrounds us every day.
With respect to the visual part of the video, I think his use of space is effective in that he leads the viewer from one space to another, implying different worlds. The choppiness of the images created by the stop motion adds a humorous quality to the video, which goes well with the parade-like opening and ending. Some of the best shots that stand out in his piece are the shots of the real hand playing the instruments. That those images stick out helps the viewer to really understand where Mike has put the focal point in his piece, which is his understanding of a perfect world.
The only negative critique that I have is that I did not really understand what the first images that were drawn on the board represented. I think that it would have made more sense if there were already chaotic images on the board to start with that the hand could then wipe out. This solution might more clearly illustrate the cleansing and purifying effect of the imaginary world. Furthermore, this would work well with the beginning and end of the movie in which he starts with a messy room and ends with a clean room.
In conclusion, the video effectively gets its message across and shows a very creative solution to the assignment where context and form work well together in showing Mikes unique, musical world as a liberation from chaotic and messy surroundings.