Oscillating between traditional documentary and experimental, subjective attempts to capture what it’s like to be impaired, Evans creates a moderately successful portrait of, what the film references as, the space between seeing and not.
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Despite its focus on as fluid and mysterious a subject as art, Vision Portraits addresses blindness in concrete, comprehensible terms.
Vision Portraits heart lies within these stories, but its power stems from its style. The cinematography by Kjerstin Rossi and Mark Tumas is often obscured, fuzzy, out of focus, or so close it is uncomfortable.
It’s a moving meditation about our unwavering need for creativity, and finding ways to express it.
The result is artistically uneven in structure but emotionally powerful throughout.
The extraordinary thing about this film by Rodney Evans is how well it conveys the complexity. Vision is precious, it reminds us frequently. At the same time we’re brought to understand that blindness, far from being the end of the world, constitutes another mode of living in it.
Brief, personal, insightful, and well-crafted, Vision Portraits is a giving look at the process of expanded creativity by four fascinating artists.
This is an inspiring film, a funny and informative feature whose subjects were creative kindred spirits I’d never seen onscreen before. I realized that I was being represented here, and my unreconciled shame morphed into a sense of liberation.
Evans has made a touchingly honest ode to the inner life of all artists.