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Critique for Emanuela

Manu’s video is very well crafted. It presents an industrial world created of both clay and drawings in which a single subject is freed from the busyness by their own state of mind. Starting out surrounded by a mass of people, we see a woman trudging along among them. As more people keep passing her by, the camera zooms closer to her, following her to a busy intersection. From here, we zoom in and enter a mental state of bliss, marked by the clear switch from black and white to color (like the Wizard of Oz!). In this dreamscape colorful pinwheels, flying fish, and colored streamers surround our subject. And as she draws back to the real world, a sea of commotion again surrounds her; only this time, she is still happy in her tranquil state of mind.

I liked the narrative form that the project took, creating this circular trip in and out of this character’s mind. By starting and ending with the same images, we as the viewer, feel both the sense of completion and the effect that this state of mind had on the character. Along these same lines, the sense of space felt in this world is very well portrayed. We get a depth of field with the perspective drawings of buildings, and the characters appear and disappear in what seems like a huge expanse of unseen space. In the pure creation of such a world, I would say that Manu was very effective with her project. Aiding this claim, I’ll move to the sound aspect of the film.

The sound here is very beneficial to the project; without it, it would completely loose its effect. The viewer gets a great sense of the sound fully encompassing and taking over the space on the screen, which has the effect of placing the viewer in the scene and in turn, surrounding them. A great element of the sound is the transition between the busy surroundings into the state of mind. There is a great fade out and fade in to the ambient audio for the dream sequence, which is repeated to go back into the ‘real’ world. Although maybe lacking in varied “outdoors sounds?, the general hubbub sound of the streets was also done very well.

I think what Manu’s working at here is very effective with its meaning. The idea of a perfect world being a state of mind is a profound take on the directions we were given, seeing as many of us chose to create a physical alteration of our present world. I think she did a great job in executing her idea, and the work itself is genuinely good.