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Night Sky

Alison O'Daniel
Year Grant Awarded 2010

Email >
State > CA
Zip Code > 90004
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Night Sky has parallel, overlapping stories: two girls – Cleo and Jay- travel through the desert while a group of contestants compete in a current-day dance marathon. A small hula hoop serves as a window between worlds, hovering unnoticed by the contestants above the floor of the marathon and simultaneously hanging in the desert air. Sound bleeds between the locations, drawing attention to parallel series of events. For example, the girls’ car breaks down at the same moment that the speakers blow out in the marathon, forcing the dancers to continue competing in silence as the girls navigate their situation. Shortly after, the judge’s deaf dog jumps through the hoop, joining the girls on their journey. In the marathon It is always nighttime. As night falls in the desert, a host of strange phenomena, otherworldly visages, and seemingly transcendent and omniscient messages are transmitted to the girls through the ground, a chain-link fence, and a dog speaking from the sky. In the morning they return to the car, exhausted and for the first time during the film converse. The final scene reveals that Cleo is deaf and Jay can hear. Meanwhile, the exhausted and weeded out contestants continue dancing. Night Sky problematizes the audience’s relationship to moving image through the senses. The film refers to road movies, buddy films, sci-fi as well as queer narrative while developing its own set of signs, impulses and languages that rely on experiences of deafness without overtly politicizing them.