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Film Review: Birth of a Muse

Director Michal Kar brings the spirit of the Greek muses alive in his experimental short film “Birth of a Muse.” Whether or not it was shot there, the film evokes the power of Mount Helicon, noted in the intro as the favorite “haunt” of the Muses. According to myth it houses the spring where Narcissus was inspired by his own beauty -- that it is a place of mythical resonance.

Over a distorted atmospheric soundtrack, actress Zoe Rose recites a poem through voiceover. She poses in the wardrobe stylings of Karolina Frechowicz, wrapped in prints of iconic art pieces from history like the Mona Lisa. She holds a Greek bust in her hands and a printed sheet over her head as she moves methodically, seeming to evoke the mysticism of the muses at their inspirational height.

Director of Photography Andre Jaramillo captures the haunting beauty of a mountain top with intercut images of mist and volcanic flow in tandem with the Hesiod-inspired poem that recites “a...beautiful goddess, ash appeared under her feet.”

From the design led by Alejandro Peraza (designer on Beyonce’s “Black is King”) to the poetry and mood, the piece stimulates the senses from beginning to end. Psychologically the power of the mountain can be felt in everything. It’s fashionable, it’s empowering, and soulful all at once. There is a foreboding sense of whether or not you should love or be afraid of these muses. Looking at it through a feminist lens, it shows the potential for grace and strength in women.

Fear and love are two themes found in several religions and the dichotomy is effectively explored in this two minute film. Though brief, the film still gets under your skin leaving you wanting more - perhaps an art film, a concept album, a clothing line. The ideas within this piece are powerful. Ultimately, one thing is true and that is Kar and his team can deliver through all facets when it comes to high concept.


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