Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Film and Electronic Arts
Project Advisor 1
Invisible Spaces is a culmination of narratives that I have been dreaming of and writing about over the past two years. Film is a unique medium that can both mirror reality and create fantasy. For my senior project, I wanted to construct a world where there are no boundaries between these two realms.
Ever since I took a literature class on Latin American magical realism during my sophomore year at Bard, I have wanted to translate my interpretation of this literary movement into a visual, cinematic space. During my junior year, while studying abroad in Prague, I was exposed to Czech New Wave and Czech puppet animation—traditions in which many filmmakers created distinctive bridges between realism and imagination that have inspired me.
The stories in Invisible Spaces take place at the intersection of the psychological and the magical. It represents a space that is invisible to the rational eye, only existing outside of the societal gaze. I am attempting to illustrate a new, spiritual, sensuous perspective on some of the mysterious conditions of living. The film circles between the spaces of departure, drowning, disappearance, and death.
The project was initially developed as a series of six short films that were both loosely related thematically and discrete narratives without overlap or any specific order of presentation. Throughout the year, however, the project transformed into an interwoven net of the narratives, and finally, into one film.
The film consists of live action, 2D Flash animation, 3D Blender animation, and stop motion animation. The reason I chose to mix these four media was to expose an alternate or imaginative world that diverges from the seemingly literal. Contemporary film audiences typically have preconceptions about the realist “credibility” of photographic images verses animated images; photographic film shows reality as physically sensed, whereas animation tinkers in fantasy. Bringing these two realms of narrative storytelling together in one piece destabilizes the distinction between realism and fantasy on a broader level.
After knitting the stories together, I made the decision to take out one of the six parts I had initially been working with. Throughout the process, I was afraid of the response people would have to piece: would this perspective resonate with others or was it all in my head? I had used this first piece as an introduction or explanation for the film. I decided, through the feedback of my professors, that if this section discredited the ethereal quality of my film by grounding it into rational explanation, then it is better to be bold and remove it.
My goal was to create a film that would push people through a keyhole into an imaginative way of seeing the world. I hope that my film will inspire people to let their minds contemplate the unexplained in creative ways and let their eyes glimpse the magic that surrounds us.
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Troutner, Joanne Louise, "Invisible Spaces" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 354.
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