January 27, 2023


By Claire Apple

originally published: 01/20/2023

Exposed to Each Other is a film by Mersolis Schone and comes to us from Vienna, Austria. This short film is based on a poetic text collage by Marion Steinfellner, bringing together a multicultural and multilingual collection of Indian, Japanese, German and Austrian texts by Yuko Kaseki, Savita Rani, Mersolis Schone and Marion Steinfellner. Presented as a kind of film poem, the common thread of these texts is touch and touch, which are presented as journeys and how interpersonal, intercultural encounters connect us with one another worldwide. This is the fundamental question that is central mutually exposed – How are we connected? – and each scene propels us further on a multi-faceted journey to explore that idea.

The connections themselves remain implicit. It is up to the audience to interpret how the performers, visuals, voiceover and poetry are used as proxies for more concrete representations of those ideas. The language is symbolic and, yes, poetic, but also deliberately open. The technical elements – lighting, cinematography, coloring, framing and shading – are all combined to create delicate, dynamic and intriguing images that fit the spoken words and themes of the piece. The silhouettes of people surrounded by the beauty and splendor of nature, the slow, lazy tempo of the dissolving shots and the lilting rhythmic off-commentary make up only part of it. All elements in combination create a tangible atmosphere, something mysterious and yet something intimately familiar at the same time. It’s a living film – the colors captured here are unlike colors you’ve ever seen before, giving you the illusion of stepping into another world, an alien world. What has actually changed is the way these elements are presented to us. Removed from its context and placed in a new context, paired with new ideas, it is perceived differently by every viewer. This trademark makes it a very personal viewing experience.

Its subject matter as well as its structure and its very obvious emotion also make it a very personal viewing experience. The audience can identify the filmmaker’s own personal journey and go on their own journey, having their own emotional response (or not) to what is presented to them. I’ve said before that it’s called a film poem and follows many of the characteristics of that form, but at its core it defies definition. It’s an unpredictable film, a film that challenges you to stand out from all genres because it draws from all of them. It is a true synthesis of poetry and film, generating its own associations, connotations and metaphors that neither the original text nor the film alone could have provided. It’s a film that demands attention because you need to be drawn into the very special atmosphere created by the synchronous interplay of all the artistic elements. It is a work of art, a piece of spoken word poetry, a dance film, an avant-garde experimental short film, a collage. It’s a film that demands attention because the way it’s made demands attention and thought.

Do not miss mutually exposed which is at the 2023 New Jersey Film Festival as part of the #1 Short Program on Saturday, January 28 online for 24 hours and in person at 5 p.m. at #105 Voorhees Hall/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ , will be shown . To buy tickets go here.

General information about the film festival can be found here: https://newjerseyfilmfestivalspring2023.eventive.org/welcome

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