David Knight - 20th May 2020

Split-screen has become part of the visual vernacular of the world in isolation, and directors have been looking for imaginative ways to use it. Now Karni & Saul have found an original and yet strikingly simple way to turn the new everyday into art, for Micah P Hinson's emotional new song You And Me.

The Bristol-based husband and wife team collaborated with nine female dancers from around the world in quarantine. The dancers are connected by the choreography they perform from within their own homes, but as well as presenting them together, Karni & Saul keep the nine-frame format when focussing on each dancer separately. Each frame the movement is slightly different by a few frames, creating a staccato effect. It is very engaging, and soothing to watch.

This deconstruction of movement is reminiscent of the experiments of Edweard Muybridge in the late 19th century - although Saul Freed points out below what we are seeing is also different from Muybridge - arguably the opposite of what he was doing.

But what is also striking about this particular lockdown video is the composition of each set-up, remotely directed by Karni Areili. These were shot on the dancers' phones, but they are as immaculately presented as anything we've seen during this period.  

This projects also represents a coming around full circle for Karni & Saul, as one of their breakthrough pieces as directors was a video for Hinson's Beneath The Rose - also a live action video that was rooted in domesticity. And it's one of the best lockdown videos so far.

SAUL FREED (OF KARNI & SAUL):

We built a kind of broken movement visual... like Muybridge in a way but the opposite.

"Micah and us had been talking for a while about collaborating again with dance...

"We already made him a snails music video beneath the rose many years ago. When we went into lockdown and heard Micah's new emotional song You And Me... we asked nine dancers from around the world that Karni had been working with, to create and improvise some dance based on Micah's song, as well as reacting to the concept of touch connection and lack of it in isolation.

"They filmed themselves in their living environments on iPhones directed loosely by us... and had a big part of creating this piece. Karni and the dancers sent material and feedback back and forth. until there was enough footage that worked together.

"We really wanted this film to express something about the individuals that were in the film as well as a reaction to Micah's song, about us being human and needing human contact. Then we chose the parts we thought worked and built a kind of broken movement visual...a hypnotising kind of choreography with oneself. Like Muybridge in a way but the opposite. It creates a new kind of flow and rhythm within the work, so it's a layered piece.

"We wanted it to feel authentic and honest, and create a film people could connect with in these times. It wasn't simple working in isolation with two home-schooled kids, but definitely was rewarding. Somehow reaching out to other dancers and creatives to make something in these challenging times. We are glad we did.....some small visual diary of this period. And music and dance definitely heal!"

Credits

DirectorKarni & Saul
DancerNatalia Iwaniec
DancerMasumi Saito
DancerDelicia Sefiha
DancerNatasha Farrell
DancerChloe D'Arcy
DancerAlice Smith
DancerEmma Nunez
DancerMariana Marcelino
DancerSophie Catherine Chinner
Production CompanySulkybunny Productions

David Knight - 20th May 2020

Related Content

video

Sivan Talmor 'Sad Heart' by Karni & Saul

UKMVA-winning animator-directing partners Karni & Saul have returned to music videos with this delightful visual for Israeli singer-songwriter Sivan Talmor.

David Knight - 22nd Jan 2019

news

TURNING by Karni + Saul

On his sixth birthday, Robert receives three beautiful old birds in his mother's sitting room, and they, fuelled by tea and cake, weave an extraordinary tale about a naked emperor...

David Knight - 6th Feb 2011

video

'Skinmeal' by Karni and Saul

This short by Karni and Saul made for C4's Random Acts strand, is a story about a miniature predator in the world of tattoos - with delightfully deft animation courtesy of Aardman.

David Knight - 6th Aug 2013

Latest News