Philosophers, intellectuals, and abstract thinkers you will LOVE this one! James George Oshoba’s experimental short film ‘Moonstone’ combines very unique elements in a very original interesting way that pushes the film to the border of mysticism. Actually it crosses that border and goes out on a mystic quest in search of identity, origins, the source of imagination, good and evil and human condition. Sounds exaggerative and pompous? We actually mean it.
We are not going to pretend an experimental is easy to read and decipher – and eventually every individual collects their own meanings – like everywhere else – but this is what we saw in James Oshoba’ s film: the first thing that stands out in ‘Moonstone’ is its kaleidoscopic appearance and editing. Most of the images shot in the film appear as being watched at through a kaleidoscope. The music assisting the show is epic and we give it much importance especially in the context in which the kaleidoscopic appearance of ‘Moonstone’ is related to dream. The dream reference also connects the short experimental to imagination. It is now that we’ve started to understand the film approaches dream as an access gate to an alternative reality, a mystic dimension in which a parallel stance of existence, defined by different rules than those of the tangible everyday reality, is taking place. The reality as James Oshoba is perceiving it is hard to reach to. It is not the material one experienced every morning when we open our eyes; that is just the surface, the illusory skin under which lies the essence of things, the apparatus that is the true leverage of what ever happens at the surface. Desires, beliefs, the freedom of imagination, the psychological ability to relate and react to one’s own way of perceiving reality – suggested in some inkblots test looking alike shots – are instruments that can either serve God or they have fallen in the hands of the evil and are used to tempt and corrupt the human spirit: it is them and the forces handling them that form the apparatus.
For those who are unfamiliar with the inkblots test also called Rorschach test after its Swiss creator Hermann Rorschach, this is a psychological test used to determine the subjects’ emotional perception of reality. It is believed to be able to help identify underlying thought disorders considered to be one of the causes for schizophrenia, or simply put the failure to understand what is real. Interesting right? Well it doesn’t stop here: beyond questioning the reality’s ‘reality’, truth, authenticity, the director names his film ‘Moonstone’ and absurdly sets out a stone as a compass for the human being overwhelmed in this ‘surreal’ realm.
Oh! Most of you probably don’t know what a moonstone is! Well neither did we so we looked it up. It is a rock with the ability to diffract light. The light appears to billow across the rock and the rock looks like encapsulating, entrapping it. Made us think of it as of a searchlight made for introspection – or maybe a lantern is more appropriate to define the ‘lineament’ of this kind of a ‘search’. Moonstones are believed to be an amulet of protection for travellers, a talisman of the inward journey. As we learn from James George Oshoba’s experimental one would need it for guidance if they were to ‘dive’ after their own ‘selves’. Some properties are also attributed to them: intuition, sensitivity, ability to calm responses and stress – what can be more stressful than diving inwards, after your own self, and discovering reality is in fact a product of your own beliefs that guide your imagination: do you have the power to trust in God and his misunderstood actions or are you easily tempted by your dreams – the only place where your imagination runs totally free and uncontrolled, where this uncontrollable state of your imagination running free favours otherwise ‘unimaginable’ desirable things… temptation! Vanity! Sin!
Moonstone’s main character gets lost in the parallel dimension of this extra sensorial alternative reality, learning about and having to bear the burden of her true self, naked of secrets and forced to wear and resign to her own ostentatiously obvious individuality in a world where everyone else hides under the umbrella and gets lost in the crowd remaining undisclosed and unexplored. This is literally crazy, turning meanings inside out like this, but if this experimental inspired us like this imagine what you could discover behind it. What would it speak to yourself?
This was a literally mystic, occult and delirious journey for us. A one of a kind experience!