Week 3: Narrative Traditions II – Other Structures

tommy o.

Hello DTC 354.

I chose “Meshes of the Afternoon” because it was very difficult for me to understand, and I’m not sure that I do understand it. I am interested to hear more about this film in class discussion.

There is no dialogue so the viewer is left with musical scoring and visual information to interpret the film. The general flow is a loop in time where the central character changes perspective each time. Each perspective changes reveals an aspect that may not have been seen or understood before, which heightens the tension between understanding and curiosity. It’s like a spiraling journey of recognition.

The music was moody and at times discordant, which fostered unease. The initial shots were mostly of high contrast shadow which added a disconnected feeling and an urge to understand what was beyond the metaphorical shadow.

Very early on I thought the main character was, or would be dead. Unfortunately, I have yet to connect why I guessed that so early in the film. With each progressive loop the story moved more strongly in that direction eventually being represented visually by the knife being the key to understanding the story and unlocking the memory or reality of the end.

I found the visuals disorienting through the use of camera movement, camera angle, and harsh lighting. Both running and use of slow motion also built a sense of urgency toward grasping the final understanding that the main character is dead, leaving behind things unfinished like a drink on the table, a disconnected phone, and turntable with a played out record.

Building stories without words is fascinating to me. Using visuals that have a dream-like or not quite real quality to them intrigues me. I’d like to know how each of you would tell a story without dialog.

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