A different kind of movie going experience: The New Frontier Theatre and Miwa Matrayek’s “Dreaming of a Lucid Living” and “Myth and Infrastructure”

January 23, 2011 : 11:02 pm | by Lizzie Moyer

While everybody else was off to see “Pariah” or “Hobo with a Shotgun” as their first feature for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, I on the other hand took a very different route.

I am a person who isn’t afraid of exploring; so when I read the premise for “Dreaming of a Lucid Living,” I thought this would be very interesting and something I will remember. I was not wrong.

So, what exactly is Miwa Matrayek’s works about?

What I actually got out of this program was that there were two, “Dreaming of a Lucid Living” and “Myth and Infrastructure” both of these programs in combined length were 28 minutes long. They were a well spent twenty eight minutes of my life.

But here is the deal about her programs, they combine animation, performance, and 3D aspects (not your typical 3D I assure you). Her works to begin with do not have a plot, or a storyline at all. They are images that represent a feeling of how we feel about our environment or the human condition. I was always entranced at how Miwa uses her shadow in the works she performs.

Yes, she is in her works, or at least her shadow is. She performs live while the movie is going, and every move is carefully choreographed to an original, hypotonic, and otherworldly soundtrack.

The fact still stands is why did I choose this film and why did I like it or dislike it?

I liked it for a lot of different reasons how it explores film as a medium of art. One could even see this as a longer piece to be shown at an art museum. What I didn’t know was that Miwa’s work is featured in TED. But not that I really care about that. Her work speaks for herself and how she is as a person. During the Q&A some of the questions were asked as to what inspired her to look at the natural environment and how did she come up with the choreography for her show?

This was the part I didn’t like when she started answering the questions. Miwa really couldn’t answer the questions she was asked, she said as an animator the choreography came to her (someone thought she had a dance background which she said she did not). I kind of thought that could work, but then again when there is a performance aspect you have to think about the stage and the movement, not just the animation. Also, when commenting on the natural environment she really didn’t have an answer for that either. For as beautiful as her work is, the way she explains it means she didn’t really think about the deeper meanings of what she was producing. Which, to be honest is either the person asking the question was digging way too deep, or she wasn’t comprehending how someone looked at her work.

Though to be perfectly honest she did say her animation comes from what she is thinking and feeling, and I can give her some kudos points for that at least.

I guess for me the one part that really will stick with me is how I think about cinema and art, and how they can be completely intertwined. Sometimes people forget movies can be art for example the Star Wars prequels though seriously lacking a great number of things, were fantastic in the scape and scope of the universe, the ship designs, the costumes, and the makeup. It’s all art, and takes a large amount of talent. Miwa Matrayek’s is just as powerful in her own way, and for me the greatest takeaway is knowing that we can connect as people through different mediums.

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