Contemporary Reactions: Free Speaking
Here at UMOCA, we are very excited about the film, The Unspeakable Freedom Device by artist Jennet Thomas now showing in the Codec gallery. Ben Smith, a Virginia native now living in Farmington, Utah, is also elated about the piece. Smith is a student at Brigham Young University studying for a Public Health degree. Some of his hobbies include the creation and editing of film, something he often does with his older brother. “I really liked how the film felt like I was transported into another world,” Smith commented, “I thought the video game-like music really added to that feeling and helped me imagine that I was in a different place.”
Thomas’s piece is indeed otherworldly. The Unspeakable Freedom Device, details the journey of two women who are traveling to the same place, though they have different plans – one is searching for validation and the other for rebellion. The film explores British political thought patterns as well as opinions of the authenticity of political leaders. In Thomas’s world the people have been robbed of their basic freedoms, including freedom of speech and privacy. “It makes me think differently about different types of control; different people selling things or having political power. It makes me think about what they are saying and how honest they are actually being with what they are doing,” Smith said, expressing ideas about sincerity as seen in the film.
The Unspeakable Freedom Device is a work of satire meant to show exaggerated conditions in a way that is both humorous and ridiculous. Some of these conditions include grammatical imperfections, eccentric costumes, and the protagonist, Mary’s peculiar and erratic behavior. “I thought the costumes were pretty funny. I liked how bright the colors are because I think it makes a strong impact. They look like aliens,” Smith noted as he watched one character in a red suit fabricated of rubber gloves come onto the screen. Overall, The Unspeakable Freedom Device is an amusing and powerfully thought provoking piece that helps challenge our perception of personal liberty and the trust we place in our political leaders.
The film with be showing until July 30th with a special discussion by the artist herself on Wednesday, June 22 from 7-8pm explaining her inspiration, ideas regarding the film, and her career as a filmmaking artist. To learn more about the event visit the page.