American interdisciplinary artist Evie Metz' film Wave is like no other. With no dialogue, we are guided by two characters through a surreal experience, centred around a pregnant woman and her total surrender to the liquid forces that be. Experiencing shifting degrees of pain and pleasure. Visceral and raw, Wave explores the dark and perverse aspects of womanhood involving birth and eroticism. Things take a raunchy twist as she happens upon melting figures in the act of love.
Evie Metz 'Wave originated in a handful of images that stuck with us from visiting a friend's house who lived on the water. Waves could be seen from every window and in the back there was a long dock with a boat tied to it. The haunted and isolating quality of the environment would inform the film in its earliest stages. As the story developed, the water setting became a symbol of the womb space, and carries the main character through a series of intimate explorations that follow.
The film explores female sexuality, single motherhood, and childbirth in an effort to overcome shame and otherness commonly associated with these subjects. Topics such as these motivate my use of stop-frame animation as a medium. Puppets have been innately connected to and utilized throughout human history, yet can feel materially distant and seemingly separate. This uncanny tension provides a powerful platform to directly engage, question, and empower concerns of existence. Through enacting and engaging with this I hope my puppet films demystify this for myself and for others. Wave proudly shares on the screen curious moments of self-love, body appreciation, and a woman's mystical and spiritual strength.
Many of the sounds were recorded underwater using a specialized microphone called a hydrophone. This unique tool allowed us to experiment with recording inside a river, a bathtub, and even the inside of our mouths. The sounds heard at the end, when the birth is occurring, were made by screaming and trying to vocally communicate underwater. Our landlord at the time owned a variety of instruments she had collected from her travels across Asia, South America, and Africa and she let us record them. The unique character of those instruments contribute greatly to the atmosphere of the film. The sound process was very extensive, with what seemed like endless recording and micro-editing, but was all done so as to invent a soundscape which felt like an inner-body, a primordial force moving as intuitively as the nature of the unfolding events.
Towards the end of shooting, a clear parallel revealed itself between Wave’s subject matter and the physical process of animating. It began, like the first shot, in stillness and simplicity, and like the character I myself went on a journey that didn’t always make sense to me at the time. My use of material and puppet construction is rough and raw, as can be my style of animating. I choose to leave imperfections apparent in the work as I find this to be more closely connected to real life. I prefer to animate in order of events to experience the scenes through the characters as they’re coming to life, one frame at a time. By the final scene, animating the woman's birth felt like my own creative-birth finishing the film.'