In this essay, Simeon Bonetti calls the film that is being reviewed by me “Insanity”. Julia Billington played the insane main character. This play displays a lot off different emotions; many of them are scary and make me feel uncomfortable. At first, I thought it was strange, but as it went on I realised that these emotions were intense. The beginning was sinister, with a lot of different lighting, which made the scene eerie and made the main character, as the title implies, insane. She makes butoh-type faces, which is an ancient Japanese theatre; these faces are frightening and confusing as most of the time, you don’t know what is happening to this mad woman.Order now
At the start, the insane female character drags her body across one side of the wall to the other in a bizarre way. She then stops at the joint of the two walls and momentarily reaches up to the video camera that is placed there, then turns her back to it and raises her chest in a deranged manner, almost as if she were possessed by some demon that was trying to propel itself out of her body. She then falls gently to the floor and stands up again, the noise of falling objects is a strange thing and her faces zooms in and out of the camera. The lighting changes around but stays more or less always a white light.
At some point in the beginning, the character starts to turn around in circles until she is on the ground, rolling around. The character seems slightly frightened as she is hugging herself, as a consolation. Then, a video camera that is attached to the wall is zoomed in, trying to show that some other people, whom she might be afraid of, are watching her. She then starts making butoh style faces such as the old man, which indicates to us her insanity, as she is unaware of what she is doing. She wrings her hands around and mixed with the butoh faces she makes, she looks crazy; she also looks as if she’s trying to eject herself from her own body as a kind of exorcism. Afterwards there are forwarded shots of her in different bodily positions with strange noises in the background.
Then she is seen behind bars for a few moments, and after that there are other people in the scene. The lighting is red and they are making sexual noises, as if they were having sexual intercourse. The other characters also make butoh type faces. They are seen in different positions, such as on their knees and also stomping their feet on the ground as a kind of tribal dance. The main character then looks as if she is in a lot of pain, wriggling on the ground in a possessed manner; this scene could be of her exorcism, her attempt at getting rid of her insanity. After a bit, she falls to the ground, as if defeated and lies still for a few moments. She then resumes her strange movements and raises her hands to her mouth, seeming as if she is drinking water.
Then, she makes the outline of a table with her hands on thin air, tries to put down her invisible drinking glass but drops it, making a clattering sound. She looks a bit scared as again, starts making butoh style faces and looks like she is in a type of trance. The red lighting and the strange other characters reappear; the main character is sitting on the floor in the spotlight, with the others running around her.
The spotlight that covers her is of normal white light, however, the other people running around her are in red light. This carries on for a while, with the sexual noises in the background. The camera then zooms into her face, in the red lighting and slowly zooms back out. She crawls back into the white light spotlight and then falls back into blackness. She is then seen sitting down, moving her arms about her and also moving her upper body part without moving the bottom part of her body. The camera finally zooms out and blacks out.
I think that throughout most the play the main character is trying to make sense of what she may be doing. It seems that when the other characters come into the scene, she is trying to exorcise herself. She is obviously not in her right mind and she may be trying to rid herself of the demons inside her. This would only be if she was religious and believed that demons could possess a person, which the in turn made them crazy. The character also seems childish; to me she looks fragile, and acts more like a little child playing around. This may be caused by her insanity, but she seems more immature then crazy. The butoh faces to me have more of an impact; I think they are used to make the main character look crazier and give her more expression.
The costumes were simple and not overworked, but because of the character’s insanity, it fits and makes it look as if she is in an asylum. The costumes used by the other characters look more primitive and mostly simple. I think the lighting was good; it was very effective in showing the different scenes and to change the display. There weren’t many designs, but there were shadows of bars and different lighting techniques, which might have been corresponding to the main character’s thoughts. The character limited herself to either the center or the sides of the room, but it was effective as she looked small and fragile, which may have been Simeon Bonetti’s intention.
There wasn’t much colour, only in the lighting and the shadows. To me, this kind of set up isn’t appealing, but it was interesting and may be very appealing to some as it is simple and has a lot of different shadows made by the lighting. The only special lighting was the red lighting and when there were shape shadows in the room. Some of the sound wasn’t recorded live, such as the objects that fell on the floor, the fast-forwarding sound and the sound made by the main character when she made the outline of the table. The butoh faces enhanced the story by a lot; she seemed crazier and made her come alive. Her movements were strange, but it fit the character.
At first, I didn’t like this play, but after analysing the content, I come to the conclusion that it is actually a very good piece. The lighting was impressive and had a big effect on the way the character and the scene looked. The main character’s movements also enhanced her actions as they made her insanity increase to me and made her have more of a personality. The sound effects also affected the way I looked at her, she seemed infantile and young whilst dropping the plates, and she also looked careless and unconcerned. Overall, I think this play was a success and showed very well the concept of insanity.