Rule of Three
directed by Lucile Hadžihalilović
A stream flows by, its current a blur of dull colour, its sound a quiet burble. Peace is interrupted by a sudden transition to the view above ground, as water crashes loudly into itself and lashes the bank. White froth bubbles up and cascades, until we cut to a scattering of still, tall trees. The camera moves in staccato jumps, contrasting with its fluid motion up to this moment. These imposing scenes of the environment serve to underline Innocence’s theme of entrapment. The narrative sees a group of girls pass through various stages of a secluded boarding school, from which they are unable to escape.
Words by Sophia Martin-Pavlou
The Green Stuff
by Ali Smith
Ali Smith’s audio story begins with a confrontation between two figures: a young boy walking through his father’s forest, and a glistening, green creature. They clash over the question of who owns nature, their exchange both playful and poignant. Beneath the dialogue, a recorded soundscape undulates, occasionally falling into silence before abruptly erupting with the beating of wings. Within this pastoral backdrop, we can hear the rustling of grass, the crunching of trail underfoot, and the chirping of birds. Closing our eyes, we may let the story’s leafy setting envelope us, drinking in the scenery alongside the protagonists.
Words by Katherine Fieldgate
directed by Michel Gondry
The music video for Björk’s first solo single is a mangled fairy tale, in which humankind and a host of other animals fail to coexist. A hedgehog is threatened by looming headlights. A giant teddy bear lumbers about looking for lunch. Swaddled baby Björks wriggle anxiously in their nest. The singer is seen submerged in water, planting a flag on the Moon, and channelling Goldilocks in a log cabin. As she plays with a spoon and an empty bowl, she watches a moth writhe about on the window, hover by the flickering bulb above the table, and meet its end. Meals are secured, revenge exacted, and the smallness of the world asserted.
Words by John Wadsworth
More to discover
Innocence: You can watch a trailer for Innocence here, and see an excerpt from the film here. (The scene described above begins at 04:37.) Julie Banks has written an academic article on affect and perception in Innocence, which can be found here.
The Green Stuff: You can listen to the sound story in full on The Guardian website.
Human Behaviour: You can watch the music video here. You can read more about Björk's videos via a pair of top ten lists posted by Paste and Slant. Emily Witt has written on the peculiar genius of Björk for The New York Times.
All three artworks are set in woodland areas.
Question of the day
Thunderbird Shaman Teaching People, a visual artwork by Norval Morrisseau, the pioneer of an artistic genre known as the Woodlands style. (→)
– John Wadsworth, Silent Frame's Editor-in-Chief (via Patreon →)