Following the trace of love

It is a bit hard to define what type of work “Love at Fifth Site” is — a digital installation, a creative project, or simply a film (even though there is no record of this on IMDb). The installation is made of 5 film clips, and you get to “watch” them by standing in front of 5 different screens. However, instead of listening to the characters speaking to you, you actually follow the characters’ dialogues by pointing your own phone at the screen at each of the site, with the help of an APP.  At the same time you also get to experience the scenes by interacting with the props supplied onsite, which appeared to set in the same way as the ones in the film.

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At first I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I encountered that at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, but it turned out to be a very fun and enjoyable experience to follow the development of a love story. The lack of music is the only small disappointment to this experience, as the audio and sound element would make the whole story more engaging together with the visual and interactive elements.

It is fascinating to see how this creative use of digital device gives people a new way of “being in control”, which has been seen in many other creative artworks such as this one. It certainly allows the audience to explore the visual space more actively compared to the traditional cinematic experience. However there has already been contemplation on a  world where smart phone penetrates all parts of everyday life and even dominates people’s thinking and perception. An extreme but not unrealistic example has been demonstrated in Black Mirror-Episode “Nosedive”, where people constantly rate each other with their phones after every single encounter, and the whole social trust system is built upon that as a result.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to have the choice available in the meanwhile, so that we can all be easily surprised and inspired with that little device in the pocket.

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Black Mirror-Episode “Nosedive”

 

More Than a Dreamer

It’s very hard not to associate La La Land with The Artist, not just because of the singing and dancing part, but more the vintage style and nostalgia feeling the two films both have, even though I have pretty much forgotten about the actual story of The Artist.

La La Land has won 6 awards out of its 14 Oscar nominations. So it wouldn’t be surprising if La La Land harvest similar amount of attention as The Artist, who won 5 Oscars.

In fact, the film has already connected with audience on different levels all over the world, such as:

Naomi Watanabe dances to the theme music of La La Land.

and “Lie Lie Land”graffiti.

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Back to the film, the main characters-  Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling made a lovely couple — A young actress trying to build her career in L.A and a musician who is constantly facing the dilemma between art and living.  The opening and the ending scenes are the highlights of the film to me.  Especially, the ending is a flashback of the what-ifs that could have happened in their lives — a made-up “happy ending” that completes audience’s imagination for that couple, just as we have all wondered about wot-ifs at some stage of our lives. Watching the whole process actually unfolds in details are something that is quite powerful and fascinating.

Overall it’s a film showcasing the distance between dreams and reality, and the romance that happens on the journey from dreams to reality, presented with great music and dancing performances.  Not so much a film for Valentine’s day maybe, but is a good  option for couples who are facing choices or singles who simply want to fall in love.