Film of the Week // Synesthesia // by Terri Timely (2010)


A few weeks ago I began the unprecedented task of sorting through all of my internet bookmarks. It was tough but I survived; as did this visually rich film by Terri Timely (the moniker for creative duo Corey Creasey and Ian Kibbey).

Two years have passed since I first watched it and since then it appears to have caught the eyes of many a blogger and for good reason too. Structured and beautiful, but not aggressively so, Synesthesia adopts a colour-saturated look and depicts a family at home performing what I presume to be their evening routine. A mother roasts a collection of printed recipes while her husband sits down to eat a good book. Meanwhile one son hooks up various produce to his headphones as the other son sniffs LPs and records the colours that he smells.

This film struck me as visually inventive and a great goody bag of images such as indoor fireworks, cats jumping out of speakers, and a roast turkey made from paper and words. An absurd logic is in operation so even when the curtains are on fire and pigeons are flapping around the living room, all is as it should be and the family are relaxed.

As you may already know, synesthesia is in fact a condition suffered (or enjoyed, depending on your outlook on life) by many people, whereby the intake of an experience through one sense produces a sensation in another. Hearing colours, seeing sounds, and so on. This film does not attempt to make a statement about this condition, nor does it require the viewer to have any prior knowledge of it; it simply uses it to set the stage for what was clearly a lot of fun to make and is a lot of fun to watch.

You can see more work from Terri Timely here. Only today did I learn that they make music videos for two of my favourite musicians, Joanna Newsom and St Vincent. Hurrah!

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