We live in a time of cultural and technological upheaval, and traditional cinema was the art form of the 20th century. Distribution points are multiplying (TV, computer, phone) while viewing lengths run from binge-watched multi-hour TV episodes to 10-second Snapchats.
Gaming software and networks represent the most fertile and obvious center of development, since exploring and interacting with a fictional reality is the plot of most video games. Other, more narrative virtual-reality experiences, available for purchase or free in the online VR stores that serve as visual entry points once you put on the Rift, the Gear, or the Vive, feel remarkably fresh. They point the way forward toward … something.
As with Notes on Blindness, there’s no attempt to capture a photographic reality; rather, the artist Wesley Allsbrook has used the Quill VR illustration software, developed at Story Studio, to create a vivid impressionistic flow of color that evolves around, behind, and even beneath a viewer. Dear Angelica does move forward in linear fashion, but it doesn’t tell a story so much as unfold like a poignant train of thought, and you can sense the filmmakers taking baby steps toward a new visual and psychological grammar.