There is a saying that true art always depicts present state of society. Hollywood commercial films surely do that, but behind the veil of magnificent spectacle of computer graphics and animation, there is a lack of awareness, concerning reasoning of conveyed idea. Michael Robinson’s work in film-making, on the contrary, is startling in terms of subconscious impact on the viewer and has been branded as experimental film-making.
Harnessing the techniques of avant-garde film, Michael appropriates all sorts of media and alters it in different ways, with an array of visual effects, to create an affecting spectacle. Original footage also is shot by the film-maker, which is exactly how his latest movie “Circle in the Sand” has been done. I chose this particular movie because of its emotional side, abstract plot, and characters. It takes us to the post war scenario where only leftovers of the last civilization are left. Casuals roaming the terrains are supervised by a group of soldiers. They all were rummaging and smashing the remains of previously wondrous civilization. Dayglo nails, music CDs, and all sorts of every day equipment relentlessly get thrown by these vagabonds into one big pile of garbage. The behavior of characters is quite alarming. Instead of being disturbed by the horrible event, they languidly amble across, filled by their own apathy. In one scene a girl picks up a plastic nail and puts it into her mouth, disregarding the actual designation of the item. This is very clever indication made by Robinson what was the real drive for humans. It was a physical attachment. If we take a step back, we realize what made us normal when we had all these goods and colorful things at our disposal. Once the significance of it was gone, people fell into trance-like state, revealing their true source of sanity in the past, which was surrounding themselves with glamour and glitter or filling street shops with unlimited number of “useful” consumer items.
Unlike the conventional doomsday scenario movies, where everything is permeated with darkness, Robinson choose to use a lot of sunshine to make his scene more affable for the viewer. The main idea is not to scare the public, but aesthetically point out where we have gone wrong and where exactly we ought to veer. There are printers, telephones, and CD players amongst the remains of the gone-away world. All of these items are the manifestation of intelligent creativity and the epitome of knowledge that is absolutely soulless and misbegotten. The knowledge was destroyed due to the inability to find direction for that knowledge.
Michael Robinson’s films are conceptual. His ability to use form and imagination remains remarkable. He is probably one of the few film artists who can say a lot by creating a speechless movie. It is easy to find oneself thinking over his ideas after having watched some of his works.