"You're the Mirror" Short Film Review

★★★★

Directed by: #EnyaBelakGupta

Starring: #YOVA (#JovaRadevska & #MarkVernon)

Film Review by Huw Buckley

The performing artist Jova Radevska in smart casual clothing, sitting against a wall, with the name of her act "YOVA" emblazoned above her in capitalised text.
Above: Jova Radesvka, one half of the double act YOVA.

Taking a minimalist approach to the production of a music video can be highly effective, providing that the mise-en-scene, cinematography, and editing are all used effectively. Enya Belak Gupta seems to recognise this, as her video for YOVA’s single ‘You’re the Mirror’ (released in June 2020) is a perfect example of this kind of attention to detail. Gupta makes use of some highly engaging visuals that ensure those watching will be consumed by more than just the music that soundtracks the video.


It is a fitting accompaniment to a musical production that oozes with quality. The members of YOVA (Macedonian singer Jova Radevska & London-based artist Mark Vernon) collaborated with some high-calibre musicians, who have worked with the likes of PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi, Kate Bush, and Peter Gabriel, in order to produce the track. The result is an unsurprisingly catchy, easy-going song, with lyrics that hint at some interesting themes. Providing a visual appendage for such a high-quality production was likely a difficult task, but, luckily, Gupta was more than up to the job.


The video makes use of some really interesting visuals, often involving the song’s main theme (physical/metaphorical reflections) and provides a fitting companion to the laid-back song with some lovely set-design, packed with pastel shades of cream, peach, and pink making for easy viewing. This complimented with some delicate natural lighting and a stylish, somewhat retro chic approach to set dressing (crumbling plaster walls, antique mirrors and furniture, old suitcases, etc…) results in some highly engaging optics that perfectly reflect the mellow nature of the song.


The song itself seems influenced by the sound of the eighties and nineties (possibly a reflection of the musicians that contributed to the piece) and Gupta, as well as editor Victoria Man, seem to reference this in the cinematography, as well as the editing. It’s clever stuff, with its zany transitions and slow-motion shots (that fade in and out in a blur), the style is, at times, reminiscent of a Kate Bush video from that era, and this matches the music in a highly satisfying manner. However, the work doesn’t feel outdated with some invisible cuts, quick pans, and camera work that is, in general, really fluid and well executed. So, while a hat is respectfully doffed to the aesthetic that clearly influences the production, that retro feel certainly doesn’t define the video, and this ensures that the work never feels stylistically outmoded.


Overall, this is a really fresh piece of work that has a clear style and Gupta seems to really understand the piece of music and the video reflects this. Most of the video is consigned to the same set but this never gets boring because of Gupta’s intelligent use of design aspects such as colour and props, as well as the highly engaging cinematography and editing. The sonic and visual elements are woven together expertly, and it results in a fun, pleasing, professional music video.


See the music video below.


#HuwBuckley