By José Sarmiento Hinojosa
The sound of impending apocalypse, properly designed by Zach Leyton, is a proper background for Jeanne Liotta’s latest work, which feeds from JG Ballard’s “The Drowned World” and features Liotta’s trademark obsession for all things cosmos. A commissioned work for NOAA’s Science on a Sphere, a platform for earth science education, Soon (2014) becomes one of the first works of the filmmaker directly concerned with the current trend of global eco – awareness, a direct message which finds its way into the source images collected and treated by Liotta herself, which mutate into a cartography of destiny: what we as humans are waiting to happen, inevitably.
Eco issues aside, this short film makes a couple of impressive accomplishments: the use of film/image/collage (something that Liotta has tried with outstanding results in earlier works) through the relentless inherent presence of time (represented as time lapse maps), the insertion of Ballard’s novel extracts and The New York Times texts about climate change (which reminds us vaguely of a more abstract Johan Grimonprez well into the mix of literature, documentary and experimental film), and the C02 data visualizations on earth, which are reminiscent of two pulsating three-dimensional hearts, choked in a suspended space which depletes them of vital pulses, an echochardiogram of a broken planet.
Liotta, one of the most accomplished avant-garde filmmakers of our time, keeps reinventing herself in innovative and creative ways that sets her apart from the rest of the movement, and Soon is another chapter of a prolific and outstanding work that has yet to surprise us again and again.
Director: Jeanne Liotta
Sound: Zach Leyton
A project of NOAA SOS, and Eco ARts Connections with funding from CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.