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Tin House Reels: Carolina Melis

Tin House Reels is excited to share the work of Carolina Melis this week. Melis’ short film Le fiamme di Nule combines live footage and animation to tell the story of three weavers, Anna, Rosa, and Maria, competing in a contest in the Sardinian village of Nule. When all is revealed, the women create three very different tapestries, the result of which is as surprising to the characters as it is to the audience.

Drawing from her past as a choreographer, Melis transforms the making of the textiles into a flamenco like dance, giving the women’s labor a hypnotic quality that draws out the grace of their movements. Animated sequences of black silhouettes, as well as stark photographs of the village broken by textile patterns, give the short a feeling of cinematic folklore, with a tinge of high fashion. Given this combination, it is not surprising that the rich grayscale cinematography and high contrast lighting calls to mind such Italian black and white classics as Il Posto, The Bicycle Thief, and the oeuvre of Federico Fellini.

The story was inspired by Melis’ visit to Nule, where she became fascinated with their traditional textile-making techniques. Melis often works on projects with fashion companies like Max Mara, Prada, and Chloe, so she pays special attention to fabrics, pattern and collage. After making the film, Melis started to be commissioned to design tapestries that were then made by artisans in Nule.

“I almost feel like I’m becoming part of my own film!” she said.

This film was made in conjunction with the Istituto Superiore Etnografico Della Sardegna.

Carolina Melis is a filmmaker, illustrator, and art director who has created projects and work for BBC, IKEA, MTV, Adidas, Microsoft, Volkswagen, Max Mara, Prada, Chloe, Vogue, and Sony PSP, to name only a few. She also produced music videos for Colleen, Metronomy, and Four Tet. Her work on the ongoing BBC3 re-brand Threeworld, has won her a Brand Identity award at Eurobest.

Alison Pezanoski-Browne is an editorial intern at Tin House. She is a writer and producer, focusing on music, documentary, and experimental media. She is currently pursuing her master’s in Critical Theory and Creative Research at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

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 totinhousereels@gmail.com. You may also send us a file directly.


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Posted in Poetry, Videos

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