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The Pulse

Animal? Alien? Or maybe machine? Blurring the lines between biological and mechanical, this experimental film frames the Montreal metro as an expansive organism, dissecting a familiar space into a fragmented surreality. Equally ethereal and gritty, it invites the viewer to question their connection to the transportation system, and fundamentally gain a new perspective of it.

The Pulse is an experimental short film which was an official selection of the Montreal Independent Film Festival in the experimental competition. The Canadian project is written and directed by Jane Bau. It is produced by Chelsea Sales.

Jane Bau, 20, is a filmmaker from Vancouver, British Columbia. After discovering her passion for storytelling in secondary school, she moved to Montreal to study at Concordia's Mel Hoppenheim school of Cinema, where she continues to develop her artistic practice. Her previous work has earned acclaim at The All American Highschool Film Festival, The Vancouver Short Film Festival, The Whistler Film Festival, and The Tenk Documentary Festival.

Director Statement

As a director, I aim to showcase new perspectives of everyday urban life, often favouring lo-fi rawness in both my form and content. I like emphasizing poetry, sound, and human tendencies throughout my work, which gives way to a blend of fiction, experimental, and documentary, and has led me to prefer filmmaking’s process over its result.

While I am drawn to the collaboration of fiction, enrolling in Mel Hoppenheim's Documentary section has taught me to prioritize intimacy and ethics over technology and artifice. I believe this principle can and should be applied across all genres. That said, I understand that mastering the filmmaking equipment is essential in conveying my visions with nuance. As such, I am developing my technical skills.

Both my long standing passion for poetry and newfound insights in documentary have taught me that there are endless ways of portraying a physical subject--the key is to spend enough time in quiet observation. Looking and listening can be more powerful than calling “action”. My most recent project highlights this philosophy and creative process. Heavily inspired by city symphonies, I frame the Montreal metro as a being of its own, and exploit the primal power of sound to lull the audience into a droning, ethereal trance. While most people see this place as a busy hub, and may not be conscious of how they feel within it, I see it as a sprawling, paradoxical organism. It is both maternal and mechanical. Brutal and beautiful. It pumps us, the blood, to all parts of the city, and simultaneously traps us in its concrete abyss. It is the pulse of Montreal. But this is only my view on the metro. As much as I want to share it, I don’t want it to confine the film.

Ultimately, I want my work to move people to discuss the things they are thinking but don't quite know how to say. I don't want to just feed them my perspectives, but encourage them to search for their own.


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