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Tin House Reels: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Tin House Reels is pleased to screen Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s “Dark Matter,” a short film dealing with sadness, “the unexpected weight of the universe.”
“[The film] came about when a very close friend, who works in the sciences, tried to explain dark matter to me,” says Rowan. Her friend’s scientific description of a mysterious weight in the universe seemed to help explain the inertia of depression: When ill, you can make plans to live differently, but the plans are almost impossible to lift up or carry out. That “inability to follow through on…plans becomes the most crippling part of the illness. I hoped scientific language could provide an alternate narrative…that was precise.”
To create the film, the individual segments were inked and watercolored, then assembled in Photoshop.
Visually, Buchanan “was inspired by a paper theatre I had as a child. It had background scenes that could be slotted in and out, and characters who moved across the stage on long paper tabs. My brother and I would lie on our bellies and tell stories. Internet animation can have a similar feeling of peering into a small and personal space.”
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan was born in London, has lived in New York and Tokyo, and is currently pursuing an MFA at the University of Madison-Wisconsin. She writes fiction and poetry, and pairs her writing with illustration on her blog. Her previous work has appeared on NPR’s Selected Shorts, Tin House’s Literary B-SIDES, and in The Columbia Review.
Tin House Reels is a weekly feature on The Open Bar dedicated to the craft of short filmmaking. Curated by Ilana Simons, the series features videos by artists who are forming interesting new relationships between images and words.
We are now accepting submissions for Tin House Reels. Please upload your videos of 15 minutes or less to Youtube or Vimeo and send a link of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also send us a file directly.