When a woman meets the ancient Babylonian goddess, Ishtar, in her dream, she embarks upon a journey to complete a lethal mission.
The result in this short called “Ishtar Speaks”, by Dena Ryane, is a very interesting combination of literary and filmic elements.
In our opinion the most valuable part of the film lies in its experimental filmic features. Cinematography relies on many visual solutions that create a language that is deeply connected to mythological roots, with fractals and kaleidoscopic images that creates a profound oriental feeling.
The mission the protagonist has been chosen to fulfill, revealed to her in a dream by a Babylonian goddess is accompanied by an interesting prop-making, set design and art direction that give the film a look that is a combination of different contaminations from distant cultures. Sound, visual effects and editing further contribute to this feeling of something bigger coming from the universe, driving the protagonist’s sexual desire.
Ishtar Speaks is a very inspiring experimental short film.
It deals with the moment when a woman meets the ancient Babylonian goddess, Ishtar, in her dream and she embarks upon a journey to complete a lethal mission.
The short film opens with a clarifying and important quotation of Jung that works as a prologue to the following visual trip: “The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens into that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was a conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach.” (Jung, The meaning od Psychology for Modern Man. 1934).
This sentence introduces us to the dreamlike world built by the director Dena Ryane. This short film is the first job as a director of this young Iranian-American filmmaker. She is also the writer and the producer with Charles Biderman. They had a limited budget production but the visual result doesn’t suffer because of this aspect. It’s interesting to see in this short film how the director lets mythology meet the world of cinema through a “dream”.
Cinematografy, by Renick Turley, lets us to have the constant feeling to be in a dream, the visual impact is “impressionist” and very effective in painting the world of dreams and of the unconscious.
Set design is also very refined and helps the story of myth to be always believable in this representation.
Voice over is smooth and ancient and helps us to feel constantly the inner trip of the main character. Also music, sound design, editing and visual effects are coherent and refined. The original score is by Travis Shook.
The cast of the short film is composed by Charles Biderman who plays the main character and the director Dena Ryane who also plays an important lead role in the film.
Because of all this qualities and the courage of the director to deal with this dreamlike world Ishtar Speaks won Honorable Mention the monthly competition at Florence film Awards in the category Fantasy Short Film.
Many congratulations to all cast and crew!
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