Since its premier in the Fall of 2005, The Journal of Short Film has distributed nearly 200 works from artists and collectives from all over the world. As part of its mission to distribute under represented works, the journal reaches far and wide for submissions. Many of the artists selected are from outside of the United States. The works selected demonstrate that cinema speaks its own language. Subtitles are not necessary for moments of play between two brothers in Carolina Hellsgard’s Hunger (Vol. 19). Words would be superfluous to the stomach clenching tension of the escape in Nash Edgerton’s Lucky (Vol. 6). An interpreter is unnecessary to absorb the beauty of wordless animations of Rob Tyler’s color+modulation (Vol. 18), Lemeh42’s Inner Klånge (Vol. 19), and Scott Kravitz’s Loom (Vol. 16). These moments in cinema unite us under the grand universal experiences of human life. Sharing intimate relationships with our friends and family, living in moments that are turbulent and trying, and inevitably reaching the end of this life are relational across cultural boundaries and the limitations of language. We are all attracted to the every day beautiful images we see, sounds we experience, and textures of our environment that color our interpretation of everything.
This is the power of cinema, to take these experiences and punctuate them within one beautiful moment between two characters who smile, to present two abstract colors in motion that excite, intrigue and elicit strong emotions. Cinema has the ability to capture us without lingering consideration as to what it is communicating to us. Whether from Israel or Germany, India or the United States, the universal language of cinema speaks to all of us.
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photo credit: Hunger (2009), Carolina Hellsgard, Journal of Short Film Volume 19