Opening 4 May 2023
The introvert Eva (Simone Bucio) hangs heavily on her sibling Zara (Simon Jaikiriuma Paetau) who suffers from a nervous breakdown. Her attempts to make contact are completely blocked. She’s forced to take on Zara’s job as a Foley studio artist in order to survive. So, what is a Foley studio? Foley studios were created to add sounds to live broadcasts of radio dramas in 1928. Nowadays, reproductions of everyday sound effects are added to films and videos to enhance the audio quality; therefore, sound plays a strong role. German director Ann Oren created a surrealistic atmosphere. Sounds include a range of experimental sounds such as clapping coconut husks or a massive chain clenching against Eva’s teeth. This reminded me of the 2012 British psychological horror film Berberian Sound Studio by Peter Strickland which is one of the rare films that included a Foley studio.
Piaffe switches from color to black & white adding another layer to this fantasy world. Eva grows a horse’s tail while working intensely on a film clipping of a horse performing a piaffe. Piaffe is a dressage movement where a horse is in a highly collected and cadenced trot, in place. The movement is elegant and controlled on film, except Eva just can’t get it right. Her inexperience takes her on a journey where she learns empowerment, self-confidence, and control. Our journey crosses the fantasy line where we are confronted with irrational, submissive and sexual dreamlike sequences, including slow-motion film footage of ferns’ growth patterns relating to topics of fetishes, obsessions, and gender. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)