Thoughts on Richard Kerr's Action: Study (2009)
2009, 16mm to DV, b/w, 5 min
Action: Study opens with a young silhouette, the silhouette of Richard Keer’s daughter, as she frolics in front of an expansive body of water. This is an action study on film vis-a-vis a hyper-action study of the human body, humans, and water. The action is captured with a shaky, hand-held 16mm camera, and is exposed on a high-speed film stock (high sensitivity to light); this renders grainy and noisey, hyper-contrast black and white imagery — arguably, this draws close focus on nodes of light and dark, and forms of water and human.
Music dins. The momentum of Kerr’s cathexis steams. The inherent story streams and splashes. Kerr’s deconstruction of action seemingly leads to his daughter melding with water, present in a sequence of where the young daughter is superimposed with the body of water — perhaps the daughter is being infused with water. The images flicker and weave; the daughter melds with water and the water embraces the the body of the daughter, perhaps the existence of the daughter, perhaps the spirit of the daughter.
Action: Study appears to be one of those brilliant films where the story unfolds itself; the filmmaker is the one who takes time to go fishing, fish for the story, hook it, and reel it out of the unknown and into our world of existence, for all of us to watch, react, ponder, and interpret.
Action: Study opens tropes of unity: the unity of water and daughter; the unity of human and water.
Richard Kerr’s Official Website