Muybridge's Strings

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Muybridge's Strings is a short film by Koji Yamamura telling parallel stories of Eadweard Muybridge’s life and a Mother’s life with her daughter. The connecting theme is time. Muybridge’s sequential photography captures moments in time and in a way the Mother desires to do similarly with her time with her daughter.


The first noticeable visual element is Eadweard Muybridge’s story was animated in black and white while the Mother’s story was in warm color. The primary purpose is to separate the past from modern day. The secondary purpose is to create a mood that befits their situation. The black and white palette fits Muybridge’s dark and tumultuous life. The warm color reinforces the feeling of love and affection between mother and daughter.

Death Parade Episode 1

Saturday, January 10, 2015

In the first episode of Death Parade a husband’s suspicion about his wife’s infidelity comes to light during a painful game of darts. For these types of scenarios the natural inclination for the audience is to ask the question, “Who do I believe?” However, this episode’s camera work actually leads the audience to an answer to that question by presenting one character as more believable than the other. Of course, this was done as misdirection.

When the husband finally revealed his suspicion, he was shot with a high angle and low angles. In the visual language, the common use for high angle is to portray one as weak and inferior and the low angle to portray one as strong and superior. For this scene the high angle and low angles were used to give the audience an unleveled view of the character. The audience could easily associate these unleveled shots with emotionally instability. These shots magnify his suspicion and turn it to baseless paranoia. As a result, he’s portrayed as a character the audience most likely would not believe.

The last image, a worm’s eye view shot of the spinning chandelier, creates a dizzying effect. This feel of dizziness creates a perception that the husband is emotionally unstable and not one to be believed.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

De_Riria_Subasutaimu is a surreal and abstract short film about grief. It shows a husband and wife dealing with it in different ways.

Just in case you haven’t watched it yet, here’s the short film:

The film is specifically about the grief of pregnancy/child loss. This grief is presented in both a surreal state and a more grounded manner through parallel storylines of a husband and wife. The surreal is portrayed through the dreamlike journey of the husband, which is a mix of escapism, depression and resilience.

Much of the husband’s visual storytelling is consisted of repetitive and rhythmic imagery. Even the though the journey is abstract, the strong use of rhythm and repetition organizes the composition. This organized composition is a visual progression that leads the audience along this dreamlike journey.

The wife’s story is more grounded but not without strong composition. Since she stays in her hospital room, much of her emotions are expressed by adding, subtracting, and changing visual information.


The film begins with a lateral tracking shot that stops at the above static shot. Immediately the film establishes a melancholic tone. Seeing the IV bags, the wife lying on the bed and the husband’s sad body language communicates sorrow quite effectively. The large negative space and the use of ray of light (from the window) as a leading line isolate the couple and further accentuate the feeling of sorrow.

The shot above also establishes the use of repetition and rhythm as evident by the diagonal shafts of light coming from the ceiling. The dynamic nature of the diagonal line and its repetition aids in the emotional expression of the shot.

The husband leaves the hospital and the audience gets to follow him with the use of a tracking shot. The low angle magnifies and emphasizes his grief as we follow along. He then looks off screen to an empty lot. The overhead of the empty lot shows just the foundation, made up of randomly sized rectangles, perhaps symbolizing his jumbled mental state. He then jumps in to begin his surreal escape from the reality of pregnancy loss.