FILM

REVIEW

BFA

FOR FILMS IN CHARGE OF CHANGE

SPECTRATTA

directed by Susan Maughlin Wood

The short Spectratta is the visual accompaniment of the piece "Parallel Plaid", a Sonatina for Violin and Piano composed by the director of the film, Susan Maughlin Wood. Having been diagnosed with ADHD herself, the music composer aims at raising awareness about the different ways people with ADHD/ADD and/or Autism experience the world.

The video’s dynamics and rhythm matches the music’s. Shot entirely with an iPhone, the scenes depict a natural environment and the dynamics of the relationships that exist in nature. Although the picture is at times unclear, the video quality of the iPhone is nonetheless surprising for a mobile phone.  

Regardless of being entirely observational, the scenes portrayed in the video become a metaphor for the various ways people with ADHD/ADD and/or Autism relate to and interact with the world. Highly dynamic, hurried shots are followed by slow-paced, slow-motion scenes in a harmonious and well-balanced composition. The in and out-of-focus shots evoke a different manner of perceiving the world, while the special effects contribute to a distorted sense of time. At times, one gets a feeling of prolongation, while other times, the impression of compression is overwhelming.

Furthermore, another asset of the video is the homogeneous and relevant editing. The interactions between natural elements are doubled by the rhythms of the musical composition. Ultimately, the powerful harmony between the visuals and audio adds value to the music video and its social and artistic purpose.

Despite being the composer’s first video as a director, Spectratta manages to impress both in terms of music and visuals. The microcosm of flowers and insects that the artist has captured is a harmonious, dynamic way of bringing to attention a sensitive issue. Although the director’s stylistic and aesthetic approach could use improvement, we can only look forward to watching and listening to Susan Maughlin Wood’s future works.

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