STRUCTURES OF NATURE
Review by Panchali Kar
Film by Martin Gerigk
This film is a brilliant example of abstraction of the subject and creation of relationships between the possibilities, which aren’t usually apparent. The visual narration of eighteen minutes makes and breaks the likelihood and correlation between natural phenomenon with that of spirituality, sociopolitical practices, scientific explanations, mathematical equations, and so on.
Every topic touched in the film has been described from three distinct points of view: scientific, i.e. in relation with physics of chemistry, behavioral, and establishing a simile with something apparently unrelated. It won’t be incorrect if I say that water has been the prime protagonist in the film. The film begins with the description of water, its chemical formula, molecular structure, pH index and so on, with relevant illustrations on the screen. I feel a little skeptical for a moment, thinking, is it going to be one of those science laboratory video demonstrations for the kids? My doubt has soon been cleared when the narration takes a sharp turn as the forms of water are described. The whole pattern of storytelling molds into a poetic juxtaposition of information and romanticism. The visuals on the screen changes into astoundingly captured macro shots of droplets of water. The third turn is even more interesting, when water is connected with human emotions and feelings. It is a leap into spirituality.
Every single topic it touches, it takes that to another level of realization. It is completely unpredictable how the phenomena of fluid mechanics: cohesion, separation, alignment, flock, etc. finds its relationship with the creation of a colony of the insects, or the creation of a colony of the insects from two insect bodies is correlated with parental career, nest builder, food provider, to something completely out of the box like nuclear fission. The film goes one step ahead to remove the line of difference between the act of killing by the soldiers with toxicity & suicide. The film has touched numerous relevant social and political topics like emergence, social entropy, internal energy, caste, class, metamorphosis, action-reaction, and so on. Throughout the movie, the director takes important political stance and conveys his messages with beautiful subtlety.
From the film, Structures of Nature
In spite of being an unusual narrative, Structures of Nature has the capability to keep the audience glued with its astounding visuals. The visual narrative is composed of macro shots, extreme close-ups and a few long shots; and each of them is very carefully designed. Each and every frame is postcard worthy. The narration is soulfully done with minimal background score and incorporation of right amount of ambiance sound and silence. The sound designing requires a special mention. The post processing is very skillfully executed. The pace in the change of the visuals has been an important factor, which did not let boredom creep into the course of the story. Use of split screen, bright colour palette, colour pop have boosted up the visual experience. I personally would have preferred if each and every frame did not dissolve into the next frame while making a transition, however this is too small a feedback in front of the overall experience of the film. In the end Structures of nature leaves us with endless possibilities to think, ponder, and look for answers.
Panchali Kar is a Dancer, Choreographer, Actor and Filmmaker. In addition, Panchali is a devout advocate for egalitarian social change, is affiliated with the NGO, Responsible Charity and currently working on a photo documentary on LGBT rights. She is an avid scholar and veteran of the performing arts and a seasoned instructor. Panchali maintains several degrees in the Arts including a M.Mus degree. Ms. Kar is also affiliated with AKTO, a Kolkata theater group based in the city in which she resides.