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A 16mm Film That Documents Stillness And Self In The Australian Outback

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Australian filmmaker Jack Birtles has teamed up with choreographer Cassandra Kowitz to create ‘Non –’. This enchanting short film uses the movement of a body in space as a metaphor for the struggle to be centered and present in an increasingly frantic world.

The film references the common desire or expectation that one should “assume a fixed, bold and worn identity”, the pair explain. ‘Non -’ addresses this by offering a fluid explanation of self that is without words. Kowitz’s mesmerizing movements are silhouetted against the mirrored surface of a lake in the Australian bush. “Through this work the body, heightened through dramatic symmetry and colour, speaks not only to connect with, but [to] create gestural imprints”, the pair explain. The piece is intended as an investigation into presence: In a world where we’re buying coloring books in bulk to foster mindfulness, it is a pleasant reminder that there are other ways to be centered.

“Through this work the body, heightened through dramatic symmetry and colour, speaks not only to connect with, but create gestural imprints”
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Cinematography and Editing: Jack Birtles | Featuring: Cassandra Kowitz | Assistant: Brigid Gordon | Makeup: Sarah Smith | Wardrobe: SWOP Clothing Exchange | Music: Mary Lattimore, “The Quiet at Night”