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Film Review: Walkscape (dir. Vasco Diogo)

Walkscape is an experimental short film that explores the streets of Lisbon using image processing and time-lapse techniques. Most scenes consist of 8-9 still images per second, which creates a unique viewing experience (not suitable for people with epilepsy, though). At some point, and probably based on the music's changing rhythm, the stills are presented much faster, which feels more like a fast-motion video footage with a soft strobe effect.

The music by Welcome To Silkeborg is very dominant and fits the fast cuts and camera movement. Visually, the shots are interesting and unique. They definitely show the everyday Lisbon atmosphere, from the director's point of view.

Showing so many strangers walking in the streets, using editing techniques that make the walking feel faster, is a promising concept in that it enables this film to provide a deeper look into the human experience if rightly executed. For example: As individual human beings, we're so small in this world / Each one of us is different and unique, but at the end of the day (or the walkspace), we're all the same / Time goes by so fast, don't waste it / Be the one who doesn't walk in the same direction / People who know how to stop running and take a breath, are the happiest ones, etc... The interesting footage has the potential, with proper editing, to convey thought-provoking messages. While the unique storytelling concept works, it seems like the execution is a little bit of a missed opportunity - it could have provided a deeper meaning to this film.

Another missed opportunity is the lack of silence - musically and visually. Imagine watching a few minutes of fast-motion shots, with rhythmic music, and then suddenly, everything stops, for just a few moments. And you can focus on just one individual, in complete silence. The combination of the audio and visual contrast would create a very powerful and reflective moment.

Director Vasco Diogo explores the streets of Lisbon through his own artistic vision, without trying to imitate others. Vasco's ability to see the world differently from most artists, his courage to try different techniques, and the spontaneity with which he creates and documents the simple daily routines are worthy of appreciation. Vaso is a true experimental creator who has no desire to resemble any other creator.

Director Biography - Vasco Diogo

Vasco Diogo was born in Lisbon in 1970. He has a degree in Sociology by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, a master degree in social sciences by Universidade de Lisboa and a PhD in Communication Sciences by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, with the thesis: "Video: specificity, hybridity and experimentation"(scholarship by FCT, 2008).

Since 2008 he is a professor at University of Beira Interior teaching mainly cinema directing, new cinemas and experimental cinema.

After being co-founder of Projecto Teatral, works, since 1998 in performance, video art and experimental cinema around themes such as self-presentation, truth and manipulation. In experimental cinema he has won several international awards (more than 40), specially with the film: "anexperimentalviralvlog - the movie remix # !". He has shown his works in several exhibitions and festivals in Portugal, Spain, Italy, USA, Canada, India, Germany, France, Cyprus, Poland, etc.


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