Midlands Review of Lost Identity
By midlandsmovies, Jan 27 2020 09:37AM
Directed by Ruth Holder
Early on in the short, experimental dance film Lost Identity, director Ruth Holder makes it clear she has something to say.
A girl is sat at a dressing table, applying the usual make-up to her face, however her face is one of discontent, an expression that doesn't alter throughout the film.
There is no dialogue, Holder decides to communicate with the audience through dance accompanied by a grand musical score by Osi & The Jupiter.
Staged in a seemingly neglected loft space, only simmers of daylight creep in as our actress performs. Additionally a cold, blue light descends and embraces her literally and metaphorically, as a quiet storm rages inside her body. Holder remains focused on her the entire time, not letting the camera leave her sight.
The choreography proves to be vital and key to the success of the director being able to strongly portray what Lost Identity means. Circular actions are repeated indicating frustration within, and when theatre curtains are introduced our performer carefully wraps these around her neck before fighting and pushing them away. The score soars during these moments, reaching crescendo just as she overcomes the urge to give in.
As mentioned earlier, a permanent look of unhappiness is displayed when applying make-up, as the film proceeds the make-up becomes smeared in a constant battle between leaving it on and taking it off to reveal true beauty.
Lost Identity reminded me of the work Terrence Malick has been doing the last decade. Powerful, evocative images supported by rich, classical music. Traditional dialogue is also not used often in these films, imagery in Malick's case and dance in Holder's is the tool they use to peel back the outer layer of ourselves and society, inspecting even closer once inside.
An experimental dance film is not something I have much experience in regularly watching, it wasn't until the credits starting to roll that I really understood what the film meant to me and what writer and director Ruth Holder was trying to convey. A second viewing is recommended and achievable with the runtime only being five minutes, to truly appreciate what has been achieved.
Not a frame is wasted in the film, similar to the products and processes we sometimes use to create a different identity in life, less is most definitely more.
The brilliant performance, choreography, score and direction make this an absolute tour de force by filmmaker Ruth Holder.