Spark and Light
by So Yong Kim
"Spark and Light is directed by So Yong Kim. It’s the seventh commission from Miu Miu Women’s Tales, the acclaimed short-film series by women who critically celebrate femininity in the 21st century.
“Mom’s stable, asleep. Drive safe! Xoxo Dad.”
Soon after Elizabeth receives this text message, her mother isn’t the only one lost in sleep. Elizabeth’s car has broken down. It’s freezing cold, no sign of life nearby. She just has to wait, patiently. The recovery guys will be here soon, Elizabeth. Till then, she warms her young hands on the vents, drifts into a strange slumber, followed by an even more surreal awakening. Icelandic landscapes merge with Elizabeth’s memories. Fears are magically transformed into comforting and fantastical fabrics. Father, upstairs, alone.
This latest addition to Women’s Tales is redolent of So Yong Kim’s previous features—such as For Ellen, Treeless Mountain and Inbetween Days, which won a Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. “I’ve always been obsessed with family dynamics,” says the Korean born American writer and director, “I’m always trying to develop my understanding of that.”
In the new film, we see this take the shape of a mother divided in two: one unconscious on a hospital bed; the other vibrantly alive surrounded by love. Riley Keough’s acute performance as Elizabeth paired with the poetic isolation of Iceland effectively multiplies the size of this dream-like story.
It adds new intellectual and emotional colour to the Miu Miu Women’s Tales series: that twilight space between childhood, adulthood and mortality."
Photos by Brigitte Lacombe