Spiraling through old, painted faces, comic characters and the now ubiquitous N95, the short film “Beyond Noh” by Patrick Smith Sequences 3,745 masks in an enchanting rhythm. The individual images span several cultures and periods of time and change from one to the next with the rhythm of a hand drum.
A decade-long mask lover, Smith photographed three-quarters of the work from museum archives, galleries, and his own collection, with the remaining segment being submitted by people around the world. “For me, masks are an interesting way of looking at humanity. It seems to me that every culture in the history of the world has participated in some form of mask-making, be it for performances, rituals, protests or utility, ”says director Colossal, noting that he had only finished the film a month earlier first outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States.
This month “Beyond Noh” will be screened at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Stuttgart Animation Festival, the Florida Film Festival and the Mecal Barcelona Animation Festival. Watch an excerpt edited above exclusively for Colossal and keep streaming the entire movie Smith’s YouTube channel with a paid subscription. (Thanks, Marcin!)
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