Reading the Impossible "Meshes"

Prior to class on Thursday, I had watched, “Meshes in the Afternoon,” two times and I was still quite bewildered by the ambiguous film.  However, while we were analyzing, “Cool Hand Luke,” I began to brainstorm how the same techniques we were using could also apply to that one crazy film I had watched the night before, “Meshes.”  Upon watching, “Meshes in the Afternoon” a third time, I started to notice how much the director utilizes the, “rule of thirds,” and the lighting to create each shot.  Lighting especially was greatly utilized to create the views and feelings the film was supposed to emit.  Lighting and the use of black and white film are what I believe achieved that eerie feel the film was going for. Also, one can figure out what is important in the shot based on what is included and what is not.  Depth of field techniques, similar to the ones in the scenes we watched of, “Cool Hand Luke,” were also utilized to show importance and highlight the main characters. 
Symbolism seemed to be extremely RAMPANT in this film as well, the director being quite indirect with what he wanted to say.  I feel as if the cloaked figure is supposed to be a grimm-like angel of death, something haunting the woman.  The woman is asleep in that chair, but she is having a nightmare in which the angel of death keeps coming to her and she chases her. I feel as if the use of black and white is also supposed to symbolize something, as well as many of the objects in the piece.  I feel like the door, the winding path, and the flower all provide room for symbolism.  Obviously, even after learning the film reading techniques, I am quite confused, but if anything, I can just pick out the director’s techniques here and there.  Maybe on my fourth attempt, I will be able to pick up more.


4 thoughts on “Reading the Impossible "Meshes"

  1. Justine,I also watched the film, "Meshes" again after we discussed reading film in class. I agree that the director uses lighting to create certain moods and feelings in the audience. I do agree that the director of "Meshes" used black and white in order to create an eerie feeling. I agree that symbolism is extremely evident in this film. I noticed that many of the elements of the film that was symbolic fell on the rule of thirds.

  2. Justine,I am happy to read that this film was not only hard for me to understand. Rather than focusing on the techniques uses, I have tried to see sense in this work. I made an attempt and wrote everything down in my post. If you like, you can read it and tell me what you think about my interpretation.

  3. I concluded with a similar understanding of Meshes, as you explain in your second paragraph that you're quite confused but can pick out the techniques the director used in the short film. I felt this same way after my second time watching the film, and it's interesting to be able to compare what you inferred from the first time watching the film and the second, third, maybe even fourth attempts at decoding the film, after we've learned these specific techniques.

  4. Justine, I like what you said about the cloaked figure being the Grimm Reaper/Angel of Death. That’s definitely a symbolic feature that I failed to pick up on during my first viewing of Meshes of the Afternoon. I think you’ve read the film pretty accurately, and I agree that much of the film takes place in the woman’s dream/nightmare. In my blog post I focused a lot on the non-diagetic sounds and how they helped dictate the actions. The sounds in this film definitely assist the audience in understanding and reacting to the images on the screen.

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