I wanted to fashion my video with variable meaning and a strong emotional quality. Although I had a storyline in mind when I made it, I wanted to leave it open to interpretation. Please don’t feel obligated to look through the lens I looked through, find your own significance. Even when you are aware of my concept, keep in mind that I am not trying to tell you what to think. I wanted to depict a mental battle, not tell you how to fight your own.
My inspiration was a video titled “How Much Affection”, a public service video chronicling a teenage girl’s struggle between what she feels for her boyfriend and what is societally acceptable. It’s a common tale I know, especially for the time period of the video (late 1950’s). My aim was to adapt the story through the video clips and the selected audio to fit a much more pervasive issue and the feeling behind it. I wanted to illustrate the emotional struggle my character experiences when confronted with incredibly contradictory ideas regarding sexual affection. The nature imagery represents these conflicting ideas.
During the first scene, when my main character is visibly upset, I focused on the view of sex that labels it a disgusting, aggressive, if natural act to be kept in dark recesses of the mind, much like a giant centipede creeping out of its den and through the underbrush. As she begins to think more about the event itself, I attempted to illustrate her doubt. How could a feeling like love possibly be as filthy as the centipede? It’s more like a blooming flower. Or is it?
The video of the centipede that I found happened to feature the attack of a tarantula. The more I watched the video (as much as it pained me, no animal disgusts me more than a centipede), I began to realize that there was something oddly tender about the attack. How the centipede encircles the tarantula, how it cradles it in its many legs, even how it eats it. I tried to illustrate this duality throughout the video, but especially toward the end when I fade the scene of my characters kissing into centipede scenes. This was not intended to make a statement about the romance being gross, it was a suggestion that possibly what we have been viewing as hideous and brutal is actually closer to something sweet. But as I stated before, and as I attempted to illustrate in the last scene, the ultimate decision is yours to make, hers to make, the individual’s personal choice.
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