Emily Richardson

Aspect

A cold, grey sun shinging through some trees

16mm
9 minutes
2004
Prod/Dir: Emily Richardson
Camera: Emily Richardson
Sound Composer: Benedict Drew
Made with support from Stour Valley Arts and Film London
Distributed by LUX Distribution.

Colour, light and shadow shift across the surface of the forest as the period of a year is condensed into minutes. Aspect is filmed in a forest over the period of a year. Using photographic techniques, such as time-lapse and long exposures on single film frames, the forest year is condensed into a few minutes. Light, colour and shadow travel across its surface and the film shifts between seeing the trees as trees and seeing the movement of light and shadow abstracting the real environment. Fragments of unconscious forest sounds, ants in their anthill, the wind across the forest floor, the crack of a twig are reconfigured into an audio piece by Benedict Drew, that articulates the film (and the forest) in an illusive and ambiguous way. Listen to the BBC Open Country programme featuring Stour Valley Arts and Aspect.
Across the surface of the forest, light, colour, shadow shift; rhythmic, kaleidoscopic. Matter and the immaterial in constant counteraction. The screen becomes a painting in animation. Ordinarily, light describes the motif. Here, the forest is almost - almost - occluded as the light that delineates the world becomes autonomous, visible; describes itself as subject. There are some very strange effects: light and shadow grow, die back; bark shimmers; branches tremble, or clouds pass above; trees shiver in the cold, or shake in threatening gesture; sunlight flickers, on and off, like an electric bulb. The portrait lives. These films are not the index of space and objects, but a cinema of time, movement, light; flickering lashes of mesmerised eyes in the click of an aperture. — Mark Edwards; extract from Invisible / Visible in Time Frames.