Green Ray

EPFC | February 26th, 2018

Guest Curator: Nellie Kluz

Like “Moonstruck,” this week’s film is concerned with celestial bodies – lunar, solar, tomayto, tomahto – and the way they act upon humans. “Green Ray” is a 2001 film by Tacita Dean about a rarely-sighted visual phenomenon – the last, slowest ray of the setting sun, which can be seen as a green line on the horizon under certain conditions. Similar to the powerful full moon in Moonstruck, people think of the green ray as “a harbinger of great change or fortune in their lives,” as Dean narrates for us, in her extremely crisp British accent.

This is a simple, and I think romantic film about faith and patience, the artist’s belief in celluloid film (this is a video version, sorry Tacita Dean!) and watching vigilantly to glimpse the unseen forces at work in the universe. Eric Rohmer’s 1986 film “Le Rayon Vert” also uses the green ray as a metaphor and plot point, tied in to a woman’s meandering and uncertain quest for romantic connection on her summer holidays. I recommend that film too – it stars Marie Rivière whose hair and world-weariness are French cognates to Cher’s in “Moonstruck.”