Moving right along…..

The final assignment for Digital Imaging class is (drum roll please!) making a short film. And by short, I mean one minute. Given a list of choices, we have been asked to pick a subject of interest and create a film using the formal principles of design associated with visual art. Some of these are:

Value (light and dark)

Scale (size)

Symmetry (balance, rhythm)

Perspective (point of view)

Texture (illusion of physical texture)

Form (shape)

Photograph from the "Women of Allah" series by Shirin Neshat.

In preparation for this task we were asked to view a short film (app. 9 minutes long) by Shirin Neshat titled “Turbulent” and featuring vocalist and composer Sussan Deyhim and male vocalist Shoja Azari ¬†engaged in an exchange of Persian music. Set up on a split screen, Neshat contrasts symmetry, value, perspective, and texture to create a compelling piece about gender roles in her world. Having already seen her full length film “Women without Men” I knew to expect both subtle and dramatic visual manipulation that entrances the viewer while suggesting the story. I felt drawn into the world she was presenting to me during both films and a little pleasantly visually hung over afterwards. “Turbulent” uses a split screen format, one screen is visually calm during and after Azari completes his song, but as Deyhim begins to sing her screen becomes almost frenetic with energy and passion. The shadows, motion, body language and constantly shifting perspective within her frame add up to a strong contrast between the screens. The tension of this contrast creates a feeling of anticipation and challenges the viewer to observe carefully so as not to miss whatever comes next.


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