Emily Richardson

Redshift

Picture of sun glinting on a cliffside

16mm
4 minutes
2001
Prod/Dir: Emily Richardson
Camera: Emily Richardson
Sound Composer: Benedict Drew
Distributed by LUX Distribution.

In astronomical terminology redshift is a term used in calculating the distance of stars from the earth, hence determining their age. Redshift attempts to show the huge geometry of the night sky and give an altered perspective of the landscape, using long exposures, fixed camera positions, long shots and timelapse animation techniques to reveal aspects of the night that are invisible to the naked eye. The film has a gentle intensity to it, and is composed of changes of light across the sea, sky and mountains. It shows movement where there is apparent stillness, whether in the formation of weather patterns, movement of stars, the illumination of a building by passing car headlights or boats darting back and forth across the sea’s horizon. The sound has been composed for the film by Benedict Drew, taking field recordings of the aurora borealis as a starting point, and using purely computer generated sound to create a soundtrack that reflects the unheard elements present in the earth’s atmosphere.
Belying their apparent stillness,Emily Richardson's time lapse studies make for compelling and surprisingly eventful viewing: in the case of Redshift (named appropriately, after Hubbles law regarding the different wavelengths of light from stars), the activity is on a galactic scale: the wheeling of the heavens over a ragged line of coast. Her other piece, Nocturne, offers compelling evidence of her gifts as a filmmaker: her extraordinary compositional sense, her precise editing, and her uncanny intimation of the menace and beauty of cities at night. Based in London she is undoubtedly a major talent. — Shane Danielsen; 57th Edinburgh International Film Festival 2003, Black Box Activity.