As a film student, I am one of the one or so percent that actually enjoys artsy films. I don’t know what it is about them, but when they are good, they are really good.
One thing to note about really artsy films is that they are way more about the visuals than the story (which seems kind of backwards to the whole idea of a film). Jay Ahn doesn’t have the arc (essentially the change in the protagonist) that we usually look for in films, but he did manage to craft a visually interesting piece that immediately grabbed my attention. The idea behind a girl going back and finding her time capsule years later is simple but elegant. And while the concept begind the visuals seperating present day from the past is nothing new, Ahn does it really well.
The cliche way to create this effect is to have the past be black and white and the present be in vibrant color, but Ahn chooses to use a 16mm effect instead that really adds to the cinematic feel of the piece. Overall, the lighting in “Capsule” is some of the best I have seen since “Sparks.” The deeply saturated green during the subway and escalator scenes may be a bit much, but based on the flawless nature of the rest of the film’s lighting, I’m going to assume that it was entirely intentional.
Now, everything I am talking about seems pretty simple and straight forward, so why am I bothering to show you this piece? Well, Ahn made a descision that really sets this film apart from so many other entirely narrated films: the child is narrating (well reading a letter) not the adult. This gives the film a whimsical feel that just can not be achieved any other way. Hopefully we will be seeing more from Ahn in the near future, but until than make sure to check out his website.