Twin Star Event

Lora Robertson's avatar Lora Robertson

Twin Star Event a short film by Lora Robertson, explores an allegory of longing and regret borrowing from Mexican retablo painting and sculpture. Written commentary on banderole-style scrolls tells the story of tragedy. The film began with a libretto by Kevin Draper about the Columbia space shuttle disaster. The luminescent trail and shedding debris that were hallmarks of the craft breaking apart are symbolized in the film. The roll and yaw of the doomed shuttle and the broken last communication between its crew and Mission Control echo in the film’s stop-motion pace and the score’s abstract rhythms. But the symbols at work in the film’s narrative transcend the literal events of the Columbia disaster. The fragments from the shuttle explosion remain in space, some of it relocated on the moon. The film locks into that space and time of de-orbit and re-entry, fragile spaces between planetary bodies, those spaces ripe for dream and setting new courses and fates. The space and time of the film, a perpetual pre-dawn, symbolizes hope and the trail of a dream’s clarity upon first waking. Robertson approached Yale-trained composer and bandleader for the Brooklyn-based San Fermin Ellis Ludwig-Leone about his already-composed score. From there, Robertson began crafting images frame-by-frame with her Leica camera. The result was a stop-motion animated allegory. In a creative process of reverse engineering, Robertson created the images in response to Ludwig-Leone’s abstract score. Both composer and filmmaker wanted to challenge the normal model of a composer creating music in response to images. As the images came together, the narrative evolved. Robertson purposefully imposed the traditional retablo method of storytelling for its delicate approach to tragic events, even though Ludwig-Leone wanted strict abstraction. Even so, both Ludwig-Leone and Robertson agreed throughout the process that the score and images would not become linear storytelling; rather, there exists a dissonance and longing that never quite resolves. The effect becomes one of a dreamscape of circular emotions—a moonscape on which plays out intensifying, ebbing, and shifting feeling. A place on which dreams gather a heavy and fitful center of gravity, and its inhabitants are blind from and bound to great spans of time. The film explores our interior quiet on which rests a most compelling innocence, far flung from our Earth-bound carelessness and regrets. The moon is our interior shelf space for lighting up intentions of escape from careless direction and the torpor that anchors us to indecision over time.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Time-Based
  • Depth:
  • Medium: Stop-motion film
  • Width:
  • Year created: 2013
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