When the contributor who was working on a video based on Barbara Zecchi’s text withdrew from the collection late in the game, the text was left on its own. Since we felt strongly about keeping her text in the collection we decided to make our own video based on Zecchi’s screen memory. Following the collaborative premise of the project as a whole, we decided to invite the other contributors to assist us, suggesting their own audiovisual associations based on the text, and recording their own narration of it. The result, “Mirror, Mirror,” incorporates the voices and filmic and televisual references of five of us.
Having gathered all of these materials, the video came together surprisingly quickly. The two of us edited in turns, each on their own computer, sending the working drafts back and forth, and the flow of images and sounds took shape rather intuitively and seamlessly, with a female mirror gaze emerging as the main recurring trope.
It was only after the video was finished that we realized how much it had in common with another video essay made by Zecchi, “The Wrinkle of Film” (2020). Apart from their shared thematic preoccupations with cultural and filmic conventions of femininity and aging, as well as a few mutual visual motifs, we were surprised to find not one but two of our own filmic references in that video. Our late contribution to this issue thus serves as a response to both Zecchi’s text and her prior video.
Ariel Avissar is a PhD student and Tisch Film School Scholar at Tel Aviv University. His videographic collaborations include Once Upon a Screen (co-edited with Evelyn Kreutzer) and the “TV Dictionary.” He is an associate editor at [in]Transition and has also co-edited Sight & Sound’s “Best Video Essays” poll (2019-2021).
Evelyn Kreutzer is a postdoctoral researcher at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, where she leads the project “The Digital Video Essay,” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). She also serves as an associate editor at [in]Transition. Her written and videographic work has been published in journals like The Cine-Files, Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, NECSUS, Research in Film & History, and [in]Transition.