UK based filmmaker Simi Abe's latest film Moonlight Bruises Girls explores the depth of language. Predominantly, the film explores how people and context imbue vocabulary with meaning. In Moonlight Bruises Girls Simi cherry picks words that feel like poetry because of their frequent use in poems. Stitching them together to create a visual poem wholly constructed from singular 'poetic words'.
Simi Abe 'Moonlight Bruises Girls began as a poem. Having read poetry for a while, I noticed I came across certain words and images repeatedly and I saw the same pattern in my own work. I would use words that felt like they had an inherently poetic quality about them like parts of the body: the hands or chest or mouth. Celestial bodies like stars or the moon. So, I compiled a bunch of words that felt like poetry, words that I am drawn to and turned them into a three-stanza poem.
I thought the idea would only ever exist on the page. And then I realised there could be power in coupling the words in the poem with imagery. Specifically, imagery that doesn’t have any immediate link with the word it represents. That too felt like a kind of poetry.
Filming took place at the end of 2020 during lockdown. I shot everything on my Google Pixel phone on the dining room table while my family watched TV in the background. The shoot took a couple of days to complete – I had initially planned for this film to be part of a 3-part series (one for each stanza of the original poem). I was going to title it, The Non Sequiturs Series. And each short film would have a different tone and series of words.
I had planned to record a voiceover of myself saying each word in the film but decided against it. I wanted the reader to bring their own meaning, their own syntax and rhythm to the piece and the best way to do that is to let them read it in their own voice, at their own pace.To me, Moonlight Bruises Girls is about the tender, the soft, the delicate, but I’m curious and excited about the interpretations and meaning other people will draw from it.'
Moonlight Bruises Girls was filmed during lockdown as an exercise in solo filmmaking.
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