A SIMPLE LIFE (2021, Danielle Zorbas, 20min, A+30)
You can watch the film here:
1.I’m not sure about the process of the making of this film, but I guess it originated as something like a video diary: recording friends gathering, talking, doing some activities on a balcony from the morning until the evening during the Covid time. Then the filmmaker turned this video diary into “something surreal” by editing the footage in a way that the audience cannot understand most of the conversation in the film, and by sound design.
The result is a very strange film. I cannot understand what the characters are talking about. I still don’t know who these people are after the film ends. What I get the most from the film is the atmosphere of the gathering. It is as if I was in the balcony, too, but I was too drunk or too dizzy because of some drugs I had taken, so I cannot remember anything clearly in the next morning. What I remember in the next morning is something like this film: I remember some faces, some conversations, some activities, some short moments, but I cannot put all these moments in order or tell what happened coherently.
2. What I like is the fact that this film seems to focus on the atmosphere of the gathering, which is a very strange thing to do. I think most other films do not focus on the atmosphere like this. Most other films may choose to focus on the conversation the characters, or some special events. I mean most other films may choose to present us a story about a special gathering in which something important happens, or in which some meaningful conversations occur, or in which some characters impress the audience with their activities, their lives, or their thoughts. But this film presents us the atmosphere of a gathering in which nothing special happens and in which we don’t understand most of the conversations. So I think the choice of this film is very strange and very interesting. It neither tells us a story nor gives us any messages. It makes this film very different from many other films.
3. I like the last part of the film very much. I think the last part, which happened at night, is very dreamlike.
4. Somehow this film reminds me of the films of Phaisit Phanphruksachat, because Phaisit likes to record “real conversations” of other people, and turns the footage of these real conversations into some fictional films. But the similarity ends here, because Phaisit’s films tell some fictional stories and don’t focus on the atmosphere like this.
5. In conclusion, what I like very much in this film is that it somehow manages to turn “a simple gathering of friends” into something surreal and fantastic.