A PROPOSAL TO PROJECT IN SCOPE

      No Comments on A PROPOSAL TO PROJECT IN SCOPE

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

by Viktoria Schmid

grade: 8.5

In her A proposal to Project in Scope, Viktoria Schimid has skilfully opted for a minimalist mise en scène in order to show us a kind of Eden, an ideal world where nature in its purest sense blends well with something that man himself has created. And what results is a total, perfect harmony. A harmony that can only be observed in religious silence, without the need for words or redundant captions, but with a directorial approach that closely recalls the cinema of James Benning and is extremely reverent towards what it wants to show.

Dreams come true

It was in the (not too) distant 2012 that the famous Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul and US actress Tilda Swinton decided to organise an innovative film festival – the Film on the Rocks Film Festival – by placing a huge movie screen directly on a platform over the sea in Thailand. The magic of cinema, then, inside an equally magical natural reality. What could be better? But while it is true that a cinema screen could be placed practically anywhere there is enough space to accommodate even a few spectators, situations are not always exploited to the full. This, however, was taken care of by young filmmaker Viktoria Schmid, who, in her short film A Proposal to Project in Scope – which was supposed to be part of the official selection of the Diagonale 2020, but which, following the cancellation of the festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was screened at the Viennale 2020, as part of the section Diagonale’20 Collection – “The Unfinished” – imagined a possible ideal reality in which a huge screen in cinemascope format could be placed in the middle of nature, in a forest near the picturesque Lithuanian coastline.

In just eight minutes – and rigorously in cinemascope format – the magic begins. While the sound of branches blowing in the wind, waves crashing on the rocks and birds twittering delight our ears, nature in all its magnificence appears before our eyes. The director’s camera concentrates on the landscape, shot from various points of view and with a focus, each time, on different perspectives. Then, as if by magic, there appears, perfectly positioned among the trees, a large cinema screen. There is no trace of any human being in the depicted environment, and yet, despite this, it seems more alive and pulsating than ever.

Slowly the sun begins to set. The shadows of the trees are cast on the screen and almost remind us of shadow puppetry. All is silent, but this placid calm makes us extremely pleased.

In her A proposal to Project in Scope, Viktoria Schimid has skilfully opted fot a minimalist mise en scène in order to show us a kind of Eden, an ideal world where nature in its purest sense blends well with something that man himself has created. And what results is a total, perfect harmony. A harmony that can only be observed in religious silence, without the need for words or redundant captions, but with a directorial approach that closely recalls the cinema of James Benning and is extremely reverent towards what it wants to show.

Realism and minimalism take on almost fairytale-like connotations in this A Proposal to Project in Scope, and manage, even if only for a few minutes, to transport us into a kind of parallel universe, into an ideal universe, in which nature, art and, more generally, beauty give life to something totally new. And young Viktoria Schmid has skilfully depicted the essence of this unusual reality. A reality that, especially at a time when cinemas seem to be going through a serious crisis, we desperately need more and more.

Original title: A Proposal to Project in Scope
Directed by: Viktoria Schmid
Country/year: Austria, Lithuania / 2020
Running time: 8’
Genre: documentary, experimental
Screenplay: Viktoria Schmid
Cinematography: Vilius Maciulskis
Produced by: Viktoria Schmid

Info: the page of A Proposal to Project in Scope on the website of the Diagonale; the page of A Proposal to Project in Scope on the website of the Viennale; the website of Viktoria Schmid