RIFF Movies Archive

Bell Jar



Netherlands, 2008, mini DV - Color - 16

DIRECTED BY:
Janita Han

CAST:
Severine Porzio, Feng Han

SCREENPLAY:
Janita Han

PHOTOGRAPHY:
John Malaihollo

EDITING:
Janita Han, Ren Horng Yee

SET DESIGN:
Janita Han, Ren Horng Yee

COSTUME DESIGN:
Janita Han

MUSIC:
Tanyi Huang

SOUND:
Joost Buijs

PRODUCER:
Janita Han

PRODUCTION:
Janita Han

STORY DESCRIPTION:

A girl ponders about her feelings for a BOY. As she talks, you realise her emotional journey begins to correlate with the space that she is in. Her journey to liberation is followed by the viewer in a single shot through the tunnel, where the shot pans from GIRL to GUY in a linear space. Throughout, GIRL and GUY talk in their own world respectively- in terms of language and screenplay- only at the end do they appear on screen at the same time. Bell Jar refers to Sylvia Plath’s work The Bell Jar, where the GIRL perceives the BOY as insulating himself in a bell jar, unreachable by her.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:

As an architect, I am interested about how space can be manipulated to create effects. The camera becomes a single perspective where the parameters of its operations were determined- namely a single panning shot with (as much as possible with the technology that we have!) constant speed in one direction. The camera is static at the beginning of the film, and almost at the end during the turning point of the film. The idea of the technique of filming came about from discussions with Ren Horng, who helped conceptualise the movie. In terms of content, various events in my life became the material for the screenplay. The GIRL is pseudo-autobiographical and the BOY is a combination of different people in my life. The use of metaphors is very much inspired by Günther Grass’ writings.

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