Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Video Review: BREATHE (featuring Sky Claudette Soto) by Dave Wolff

A short film starring Sky Claudette Soto
Visual scenes filmed by Sky Claudette Soto
Footage of Sky Claudette Soto filmed by Vlad Marco
“Carnale” by Clock Heart Symphony
It’s been long since I reviewed a video by Sky Claudette and Vlad Marco, also known as Eros Fyre. Earlier I followed their activities attending their fire dance performances whenever they appeared in NYC, interviewed them a couple times and published Sky’s poems (Artist Winston Blakely also based a piece on their likenesses while this zine was still published in print). I haven’t gotten to see them since they relocated to Pennsylvania and most of their performances are private, but I’ve kept in touch with them as much as possible. So when I heard about this independently produced short from Sky the other day I wanted to watch it to see what Eros Fyre are up to nowadays and capture my thoughts and impressions about it. In comparison to older shorts, Breathe is far more surrealistic than I remember. In its own way it’s more expressive and provokes a lot more thought than you would have expected. Many bands have written about the end of the world, or at least the end of civilization, but few explore the long term effects in a way this short hints at. Here you see fleeting images suggesting some recent apocalyptic event (whether it was a war, a series of natural disasters or a global catastrophe) after which only vast wastelands exist as far as the eye can see. There are few human and animal survivors here and there, but not nearly as many as the insects that remain to inherit what is left of the earth after this unnamed apocalyptic event. What happened to the world? How extensive was the cost to humanity? Can it ever be recovered from? These questions aren’t answered but the answers are rather left to your imagination. From the shots in color to those in black and white, most are appropriately grainy and appear captured by amateur equipment. These shots add to the intended effect, being unfiltered products of what Sky and Vlad had in mind when filming them. The quick cuts, the closeups and the camera angles present the illusion of seeing these images in a prophetic dream of the future. Clock Heart Symphony’s Carnale is an apt soundtrack for the images presented in the video; it may be too cutting edge for MTV and VH1 but I imagine it would work for IFC, going by film shorts I’ve seen aired there. Other short films by Sky and Vlad, and clips from various fire dance shows, can be viewed at Sky’s Youtube channel. -Dave Wolff

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