Monday, April 20, 2009

IVP3 -- Rachel Pea

THE SOCIAL GAME--A Spectator Sport

I filmed on a Saturday night at Caffé Driade, a coffee shop on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. I’ve always been fascinated by coffee shops—the way unrelated individuals occupy the same social space and the interactions that result—and Driade is particularly fascinating to me because of the eclectic clientele it seems to draw. I was looking to capture on film the way people interact in this public space. Do you act differently if you know you are being watched? The film reveals the dynamic in which people are both watching and being watched. I decided to make a silent film to heighten the viewer’s attention to the smallest of visual details in these social interactions. From the girl biting her nails, sitting alone at a table to the barista staring at a woman as she walks past, I think the film reveals the subtleties of the game of human interaction. The reoccurring motif is the framed sequences of the barista who—in between putting away dishes and serving customers—with a furrowed brow, stares right into the camera with an inquisitive eye. This social game is a spectator sport, and I reaped the benefits of this observer’s status last Saturday night.

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