A Review of the Movie “Sunday in The Park with Clare”
The film's title appears on a painting. The famous painting is called "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat. This very interesting painting that the film starts with shows a scene of a holiday afternoon in the park where some people are lying on the grass and others are standing with parasols and dressed in formal clothes. From their appearance, it is clear that the time of this scene is the late 18th century. The audience may wonder why the film starts with this painting. This choice is an intelligent one that aims to establish a relationship between the content of the work and the history of art. From here, our filmmaker's unconventional approach shines through with a brilliant link between art and this work.
The film is 4:29 minutes long and its writer, producer, and director is Johnny Vonneumann. The movie begins with lively and energetic music that plays a very important role in the movie. The images are precisely based on this music and change with every beat and rhythm of the instruments. The filmmaker divides the image into three vertical parts, each with different images from a fixed position, which may seem risky at first glance. We see a little girl named Clare playing in the park. The filmmaker's decision to make a movie based on this design shows how skilled he is in the language of images and how he can turn a design into a story without any dialogue or monologue, using visual techniques.
As we move forward, the filmmaker opens vertical slits between these vertical images, showing four, five, or even six scenes simultaneously. Some images are repeated in other places, and some scenes are seen again in reverse. These repetitions are supposed to create a space in which the story takes shape. The space that the filmmaker creates for such a story is very vital because in the heart of this dynamic and rhythmic environment, Clare's character can be introduced, and we can identify with her. The diversity of images we see is one of the winning cards of the filmmaker, who can emphasize the environment and the identity of Clare as much as possible by slowing them down, repeating them, changing angles, and using long and close-up shots.
The movie can be very interesting in terms of how to turn a risky design into a watchable work that is both lively and rhythmic and creative, doing so after production, especially behind the edition desk. By relying on creativity, it is possible to work with limited tools and achieve excellent results.
One of the important aspects of the film is its music. This rhythmic and energetic music with ups and downs provides a suitable background for the filmmaker to place his images on its waves. The film is a combination of all the tools available to the filmmaker, including editing and music. The filmmaker has given such life to Johnny's music that it not only complements the images but also plays an equally important role. Perhaps if another music was chosen, the result would have been different overall.
The film "Sunday in The Park with Clare" returns to the painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" at the end, completing the cycle. This poetic aspect of the movie can be considered one of its strengths. The filmmaker takes us to the world of a painting to see things that are not visible in the painting itself. This makes us imagine that other parts of this park are also full of people and other children who can come alive in our imagination. Giving importance to the imaginative aspect of this painting can be considered one of the filmmaker's interesting ideas. The filmmaker not only uses the painting to introduce us to the environment of his story but also transforms the painting itself by ending the movie with it. The connection between the artistic work and the story of the film is one of the reasons for the movie's success. The filmmaker, without claiming, succeeds in engaging the audience’s mind intensely with this short film.
"Sunday in The Park with Clare" is one of those works that can be examined as an educational film in terms of valuing imagination and creativity. It shows how a simple subject can be chosen, filmed creatively without flashy productions, and ultimately produce a meaningful, rhythmic, and tonal work from these raw materials on the editing desk. Establishing a connection between cinema and painting is one of the risks that, if done correctly, it will have excellent results.