Directed by Pınar Öğün
Written by Meltem Arikan
Starring Pinar Ogun, Julia Farrington, Mark Vernon Thomas, Melin Edomwonyi
Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
Now for all you men out there who are reading this I’m sure you are aware of the standards that are put on women by the media, by social standards, and by men, to look and appear a certain way in order to be accepted. And as for all you women reading this I’m sure you are part of that social oppression even if you try not to be, but have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the one judging? To be the one pulling apart the male ego by studying his appearance alone?
Short film Exhibit opens with 2 women entering an artistic instillation of a variety of nude middle aged men in masks, kind of like the freaky ones that were used in Eyes Wide Shut, holding up frames to their faces.
The women take their time studying the men’s bodies, interrogating them about what they can offer them, until they come to realise that the men are working very hard to avoid being chosen...
Exhibit feels like a stage production and in fact it was written to be just that, with a black background and simple lighting on the two women and the men they investigate, there is little more going on in this production visually.
But Exhibit does not require flashy camera angles and effects, it’s strong and deeply engaging script is captivating from the get go, with obvious reflections of the standards for women in society and how they are judged mainly on their appearance, the piece also tackles how women perceive men, how they are often guilty of choosing a man on what he can offer her in terms of security and for filling personal needs rather than his kindness or a personal connection.
Now these opinions expressed by the characters is something I could pull apart in this film review and spill my theories on to paper, but like going to an art exhibition, it is something for the viewer to decipher, I believe there are many different paths the audience could take when making their minds up about the message that director Pınar Öğün is trying to present.
Each actor is confident within their role, displaying a wide range of emotions, each male that is on display seems to express certain characteristics of what the women are looking for, each displaying their individuality well in such a short period successfully.
Exhibit is just that, it’s an exhibition of the perception of genders, an exhibition of patriarchy within the modern society, a study of no matter how much power the women have they are still part of the system that is governed by men; they will never truly be on the other side of the frame.
Öğün takes a refreshing approach to this sensitive subject and personally I enjoyed the subject of gender segregation and the issues that face women in this modern age without feeling too over whelmed by the sometimes more biased based films that tackle this matter.