Sabrina Ratté b. 1982
Mirages (2010)
Director: Sabrina Ratté
Year: 2010
Time: 18 mins
Music: Le Révélateur

Eye of Sound: One of the most promising names in Canadian experimental film today, Sabrina Ratté has been exploring the mysteries of colour, contour and shape in moving images for nearly a decade. Not afraid to frame filmic experiments as such, her films usually convey a sense of discovery and risk but also of conceptual focus and matured observation of materials, often betraying an acute awareness of video-art history and sources. Mirages was born of an ongoing collaboration with Montréal-based musician Le Révélateur: having been projected at several of his live performances, it evolved and metamorphosed in a concert immersion context which is, I believe, hinted at throughout the film. Working, as in other films, with relatively simple materials and a contemplative stance, Ratté begins by exploring the flickering movement of light and its distortion as it is translated into the digital realm, using chromatic excess as a means to corrupt her sources' integrity. These somewhat inform images of natural events slowly morph into geometric grids with which moving human silhouettes are later juxtaposed before we are finally sent back to the abstract shapes that opened the film, now harmonised with these colour-looms and figurative forms. Perhaps intended as a veiled tribute to the video-art tradition of the 70s (a connection which could be said to be reinforced by Révélateur's "library"-reminiscent soundtrack), Mirages is an aptly chosen title for this work, as its optical explosions seem to be built like an inquiry into some of our perception habits and a test to their limits.