Directed by: #PSKing
Written by: #PSKing
In the whitewashed walls of an art gallery, you will find an experimental film. Illuminated on a blank wall with a projector streaming waves of hot pink, cobalt blue and fluorescent yellow, a movie will play. There will be a few bucket seats below and a sign glued on the wall with the artist’s name and the year printed proudly in black ink. Sometimes these experimental films are a riot of colour, washing over the gallery visitors wearing their rain macs and clutching their guidebooks. Sometimes, the experimental film takes the form of a slow documentary, with mumbled, inaudible conversation. A fantastic film featured a still-life scene slowly rotting until the rabbit’s flesh turned green and fell off the carcass, and the apples bloomed with mould and turned into brown gunk.
Experimental filmmaking can inspire, emote and evoke. Dziga Vertov’s seminal film Man with a Movie Camera might be one of the most well known experimental films, and it’s a film which patchworks snapshots of a city together without a narrative. Man with a Movie Camera affects the viewer deeply. They will feel the jostling city and can imagine lives bustling past and coexisting. Unlike Vertov’s brilliant work P.S. King’s The Loneliest Girl on Mars fails to communicate any truly ground-breaking thoughts to the viewer. This is a film filled with bright neon colours, repeated words and a club-like music track. Even though the audio track and mumbled repeated lines of dialogue may seem promising, King’s film worryingly lacks substance. It’s difficult to understand the crux of the film. Themes crackle throughout the film so lightning fast that it’s impossible to grasp onto one train of thought. As a result, The Loneliest Girl on Mars sorely lacks depth. A screenshot of the news reflecting on the coronavirus and Dr Fauci is then replaced by prints of blue monkeys. But after that, but the film doesn’t attempt to reference the pandemic again. It’s frustratingly unclear if the film even has any kind of a stance on the pandemic. At the very least, the juxtaposition of these images feels crude. This film quickly becomes a slideshow of pictures and noise, connected only by the runtime.
King’s imagery and inverted colourways occasionally spark interest, from the hot pink and blue beachgoers to the bright red screaming mouth. These images aren’t left to be explored, adding to the film’s frustratingly sloppy tone. The film may evoke the much-missed atmosphere of being in a nightclub. But, there is no warning that this film is chocked full with flashing imagery. Even if flashing images don’t tend to affect you, the rapid-fire pictures can result in the start of an irritating headache.
When the artist creates work, the work should say something of substance. If there’s nothing beating beneath the clutter of images and music, it is hard to feel inspired or enlightened after viewing it. King’s film is worryingly sloppy and unfocused. An excellent experimental film nourishes the mind. This only leaves your brain feeling bruised and desperately needing paracetamol and a glass of water.