Film Essay

The film I chose to write about for this essay was Traffic Light, produced in 2010, found here

The design of Traffic Light is incredibly simple, with each screen featuring three equal size videos across the middle third of the black screen, and no background music. These videos are still images until the mouse is hovering over them, in which the video begins to play (with the accompanying ambient sound). However as every frame is the same, the viewer often hears the sound of the next clip before they load, depending on how fast each of the clips load. Traffic Light features no title page, and simply ends with no final clip. Traffic Light is simple and straightforward, which is a change from many Korsakow films, which attempt to tell a story and use complicated layouts to do so. Traffic Light merely uses Korsakow as a program which helps to list the different ways in which people move around Melbourne, may that be by foot, tram or train.

Content and Pattern
Traffic Light shows different form of transport at different times of day. These forms of transport include trams, trains, and walking. The clips are shot from a variety of perspectives, and feature both shots where the camera is still, and where the camera moves around. Apart from the overarching theme of transport, most of the clips do not feature a particular storyline or recurring motif, however there are a few small collections of videos, which share a theme.
• Clips which feature a group of friends as they wait for and catch a train. These clips are obviously set up by the creators.
• Clips which feature people sleeping on public transport. These clips are clearly candid, as evidenced by the shaky camera work and fingers in the screen etc.
• Clips of people walking around RMIT, which are also clearly candid.
• Small close up clips of grass and dirt, in which it is revealed later in the clip that they are near tram stops.
These clips allow the viewer to consider the different ways in which they travel in their everyday lives. The heightened level of noticing, which has been discussed throughout the semester is explored through this Korsakow film. Transport, for many people is simply a way to get around, and the surroundings are not even registered as something worth noticing. Traffic Light provides a vehicle for allowing people to begin to notice their surrounding during their morning and afternoon commutes.

Traffic Light provides the viewer with a way of noticing the small moments of joy in public transport – whether that be the sun shining as you walk down the street, your friends making a joke as the train approaches, or people blissfully unaware they are fast asleep on a tram. It showcases both the joy and frustration of Melbourne’s public transport system, showing both train delays and empty carriages for just you and your friends.

The incredibly simple layout and content of Traffic Light is incredibly effective in communicating the authors intended message. Korsakow has provided them with a simple way of communicating ideas in an intriguing and powerful way.

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