Saturday, September 18, 2004

Amelia-Beauty all around 

Not more than 30 seconds into Amelia I found myself thinking, “Where can I get a copy of this?” The exquisite dance on film soars in every aspect and would make the perfect jaw-dropping video loop at your next artsy party. Shot entirely in a square room, the hardwood flooring curves up to form the walls such that there’s no distinction between where one ends and the other begins. In this futuristic bowling alley of a dance space Lock’s dancers, all trained ballerinas, flow between styles, at times appearing like Argentine tango at others classical ballet. Their precision is astounding. There is not a muscle out of place, not a finger that slips beyond the dancer’s intention. Effortlessly they oscillate between whirlwind and statue.

One moment in particular finds a woman on point, frozen in a lunge. By the way it’s shot one could believe they were being deceived by special effects. Like the Matrix’s cg stylings, the camera shifts around it’s subject while she appears on pause in mid air. However, as disbelief sets in, as the viewers become convinced that they are a prey to trickery, they notice, she’s breathing, there’s a slight tremor in her thigh. And then it is awe that they’re feeling. These dancers are miraculous.

Not to be understated is the role the camera plays in all of this. At times itself a dancer, the camera, from all angles, including aerial, captures the interplay between dancers, set, and soundtrack.

The score is hauntingly beautiful. A woman makes dirges of some of Lou Reed’s VU classics: Heroin, I’m Waiting for the Man, All Tomorrows Parties. Violin, cello, and piano fill in the rest.

Amelia is a carefully woven synesthetic masterpiece.

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