In “On Beauty and Being Just”, Elaine Scarry notes that a perceptual event has the ability to capture a person’s attention as a “contractual arrangement” between a specified world and ourselves, “producing the small flex of the mind” that allows us to become open to all possibilities. Scarry’s ideas resonate with my own intentions when working on films. As such, when constructing my own film projects I utilize the camera with the intention to create a timeless yet interconnected space that represents a unique reality, while also incorporating perceptual events that unsettle and ping our subconscious emotions and thoughts. In many ways, I attempt to bring to the filmic realm the puncta that Roland Barthes describes for the photographic realm. That is, I attempt to push the viewer to come face to face with a visual moment that “flexes” the mind in a way that is difficult to convey in words, as well as to explore the unknown and highlight what a viewer may miss or discount. For example, I may choose to bring into focus a pair of calloused hands that are capable of suddenly lending a particular transcendence to a limited space. Likewise, I may choose to concentrate on a portion of a location usually known for its historical importance, but that has been overrun by flora that has created a new reality at that location. In this way, by allowing a detail to shift in importance and become the subject of interest, I am able to create in my films the dichotomy between punctum and studium as described by Barthes. As a result, every frame that I film is not simply an attempt to film a composition of the subject at hand, but rather becomes an in-depth exploration of a particular location and the elements within it.
Mireille is currently a fourth year undergraduate Film & Media Studies student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. With a major concentration in Film Production, Mireille has worked on and created several short digital, 16mm print, and hand-drawn animation films. She is most interested in and passionate about experimental and avant-garde films, as well as documentaries. When not working on personal and university projects, Mireille does freelance cinematography and editing.