A sleight of hand artist and an actress play a strange game at a table with layers like transparent wheels, communicating in a secret code, both hiding and revealing meaning. Colored playing cards are shuffled, spread, stacked, arranged, thrown, and mysteriously substituted, to a yearning soundtrack of voice and electronics.
Closeup Gallery completes the trilogy of short films that began with In the Palace (2000) and Birds (2001). The small communities of those earlier films are replaced here by an intimate communion of two; the earlier elaborate mise en scene are distilled into the microcosm of a card-covered table; the conceit of ‘hand made magic’ that travels through the trilogy is here literalized through the card players’ world of fakery, where simple materials transform.
Within a ‘backstage’ space that seems to bind opposites, clumsy fumbling and suave expertise relate; a flow of learning appears to pass from the man to the woman, but his fingers too falter, and the control is sometimes all hers. Following the two performers’ tentative exchange of glances, spray painted cards dance free from their manipulations, as if dramatizing inner worlds in motion.
Music Composed and Performed by
Director of Photography
First Assistant Director
First Camera Assistant