An experimental film about the ‘Open City’ of New York:-Justin Bonilla, Student, Media Mavericks
I am so moved by the wrenching call for an OPEN CITY, one in which people can simply be themselves. With such a short period of time, two minutes, you call for a society where love can be expressed honestly and passionately. It was brave to begin the film with that horrific homophoebic diatribe, but soon we your audience is whisked away by the call –not to arms, but to heart.
I thought this subject matter was interestingly worked into a major metropolis that allows for sexual anonymity but simultaneously has a rich history of bigotry towards behavior deemed non “normative” shown from individuals who have simply been “open” and free about their true feelings. I felt an interesting mini historical narrative that begins with violence and anti-gay sentiment from the past that somewhat soothingly concludes with not only a physical “openness” illustrated in an wide, unenclosed space on the pier but also an emotional “openness” of liberation that was achieved from not focusing on a defeat in battle but rather an optimistic look towards the future in an effort to find an escape from the hatred.
The audio sounds almost like an antony and the johnsons song that’s had its pitch and tone tweaked with/reversed? Regardless, it only hauntingly calms the feelings of longing and escape that pervade throughout the piece.
I liked the opening scene the most. At first I thought it was going to about AIDS and as soon as I heard homosexual I knew the direction that you were going in. I also liked the fact that you chose areas in NYC that are known for the gay community, I think you chose the village and The Pier? The dialogue text at the end was great.
I really like your use of stock footage, especially the old 1950s anti-gay propaganda. It helps to contextualize the distance that’s been traversed in such a short time without glossing over the fact that this is still a matter that’s far from resolved. I like the contrast of the two spheres: public (propaganda, archival news footage of riots) and private (POV of running-to or from something?-with the internal dialogue).
I love the title most. It is simple, and most effective. I love how it starts, and how it moves through this borrowed footage. There’s something about the fact that it’s borrowed, it puts the discussion into a public domain, where public ownership brings up the question of public responsibility.
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