October 11, 2007
Pitcher of Colored Light, 2007
In a sense, Robert Beavers's muted, sensual, and reverently observed short film diary, Pitcher of Colored Light may be seen as a companion piece to the climactic, long awaited homecoming sequence in Jonas Mekas's Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (albeit without the reflective commentary) - a personal chronicle that similarly evokes the silent intimacy and unarticulated melancholia of a child, now a grown man, absorbing, lingering, and reveling in the realization of a cherished, recreated memory, yet acutely aware of its impermanence and isolation. Composed of fragmented images that capture the essential minutiae of his aging mother's bucolic environment and the idiosyncrasies of her everyday routines - a treasured, black and white photograph, an eclectic assortment of country kitsch paraphernalia, a favorite chair from which she takes her afternoon naps, a pampered cat, an unused, but pre-decorated formal dining table, a meticulously tended garden - the film reveals an inherent restlessness in Beavers's gaze. Constantly scanning, cutting, and refocusing between objects and their shared spaces, light streams and cast shadows, Beavers creates a sense of perpetual motion within these quotidian images of apparent stasis. Framed against the changing of the seasons, these restless images become an inherent reflection, not of a wide-eyed curiosity, but a reluctant, desperate memorization to preserve a fading, transitory bliss.