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Film Spotlight:
Cómo filmar a las flores (How to Shoot Flowers), directed by Francesca Svampa

Program 3: April 23 at 1pm


Cómo filmar a las flores (How to shoot flowers), directed by Francesca Svampa, is composed of a series of mini-ramblings regarding her experiences with COVID-19 and self-discovery, filled with cozy imagery and personal inner dialog. As a result, we catch a deeper glimpse of her personal life as she invites us into her home purely through the visual medium. 


The mise-en-scene captures her as natural and tranquil as a flower. The film consists of raw, visually unmodified footage, with not much obvious done to affect lighting or set design. However, this demonstrated lack of alteration helps us feel more connected to Svampa and the story she tells. She fills the screen with movement or miscellaneous items around her house— feeling organized in a chaotic sort of way. 


The film’s introduction consists of Svampa sharing actual footage of her during COVID lockdowns, while most of the rest of the film has scenes filmed for dramatics and retelling. In “Part 1: Adapting to quarantine; my roots; my attitude,” another cut from the film occurs when she mentions the hardships of her grandmother, Nonna Iginia. As it goes with old films, this moment was a blast to the past with interesting commentary. These breaks from the story help to effectively and seamlessly remind the audience of the layers of reality it is based on.


 The entire film is backed by an essay written reflectively about both herself and the greater context of her life. She talks about it as if it is something that is literally showcasing mise-en-scene– the concept being always part of her body and surroundings. These things manifest themselves physically when she is editing, eating, traveling, or taking personal time for herself. In this particular scene, she does multiple takes of the same action: her editing the actual film we are watching– hence the idea that her life is made up of many mistakes and repetition. She dances alone in her room in a messy house to music while relatively underdressed, showing the audience her authenticity while also completing a part of herself we otherwise would not see– a part of herself that would need to be filmed if we were getting a true glimpse into her life.

- Kathryn Odum, BFA Film Production and BA English ‘27, Oklahoma City University

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