In astronomical terminology ‘redshift’ is a term used in calculating the age of stars by measuring their distance from the Earth. Redshift attempts to convey the vast cosmic geometry of the night sky and give an altered perspective of the landscape. Long exposures and lingering shots, fixed camera positions and timelapse animation techniques reveal aspects of the night that are largely invisible to the naked eye.
Gently intense, the film is composed of changes of light across the sea, sky and mountains. Where there is apparent stillness it reveals frenetic movement, whether in the formation of weather patterns, the movement of stars, the illumination of a building by passing car headlights or boats darting back and forth across the sea’s offing.
The film’s soundtrack is composed by Benedict Drew, drawing from field recordings of the aurora borealis and using computer-generated tones to evoke the normally inaudible 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 Hubble’s 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.”