One of the many wonderful things about the Ashland Independent
Film Festival is that one often has the opportunity to meet the
filmmakers or get the chance to hear them make post-film
commentaries and answer questions from the audience. At the
opening gala reception last Thursday night, I had the opportunity
to converse with Aaron Wiederspahn, writer and director of THE
SENSATION OF SIGHT. He told me about his influences in Eastern
European film, so I was eager to see his film.
The film was stylistically very different than most American films,
very slow and contemplative. The eight or ten characters in the
film were very well developed; the movie was a literary success,
helped along by some excellent performances of the actors/actresses.
They struggle with their burdens in different ways, burdens which
are only alluded to. Brilliantly, the character’s lives are interwoven.
The filmmaker rewards the patience of the viewers by revealing
specifically what those burdens are and explaining some of the
whys that whirl around in their minds. At the same time, there are
some questions and connections which are left unanswered, leaving
room for the viewer to fill in the blanks.
Besides the narrative enjoyableness of the film, there is some
very beautiful cinematography, especially the black-and-white
sequences which refer to the past. The film’s music is also
very effective. (I was especially pleased to hear some Modest
Mouse in an important scene in a bar near the end of the movie.)
This choreography of elements makes me give this film four
stars out of five. I look forward to more films from Wiederspahn.