Red Shovel

All aspects by Leighton Pierce.

A narrow angle of a view, closely watched, on the Fourth of July.

RED SHOVEL is an impressionistic documentary focussing on a few moments in a small town along the coast of Maine on the Fourth of July (American Independence Day). The approach to image is very painterly with the simple view transformed "with Turneresque luminosity." Most of the unusual visual effect is from the careful use of a shallow depth of field and natural objects (blowing grass, bushes, etc.) to bend and twist the images into a languid sense of time. In the end the film documents a state of mind more than a particular spot. It also resonates with the ambiguous metaphoric threat of a national symbol impinging upon the child's toy.

Awards: Cash Award, Bucks County Film Festival, 1992; Kodak Cinematography Award, Sinking Creek Film & Video Festival, 1993; Juror's Award, Black Maria Film and Video Festival, 1993; Humboldt Film Festival; Cash Award, Ann Arbor Film Festival; MediaWave, Gy?r, Hungary, 1993; AVE Festival, The Netherlands, 1993; Osnabruck Media Arts Festival, 1993; Impakt Film Festival; First Place, Marin Film Festival, 1994.

Exhibition: American Museum of the Moving Image; National Gallery of Art; Robert Flaherty Film Seminar; included in Grey Suit #6 (a video art magazine).