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An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN

Henry Vlietstra

My short films revel in anticlimax. I think Hollywood cinema is generally too romanticized, and so I subvert that trend with mundane scenes. However, I juxtapose these natural scenes with monochromatic color palettes corrected to appear tinted and unnatural. My work is bare and muted. It does not pull in the viewer with quick movements and frantic scores. Shots in my films are long and still. They wait for the viewer to be bored. Before the jump-cut, my shots make sure the viewer has seen, looked at and considered each part of the picture. The composition of each frame is intentional, and so it is crucial that viewers have time to notice it. The narratives of my films, too, are simplistic. They do not have dialogue. The silence is chilling and allows the viewer to focus on what is on-screen. Additionally, the color palettes are mostly dull. There are no vibrant colors in my work. Vibrant colors feel too fantastical, where dull colors feel real. A shot with dull colors looks raw and genuine. I also like to play with surrealism to surprise the viewer. My primary influence is Yorgos Lanthimos for his color correction, dry writing, and bland but beautiful shots. I am also influenced by the Coen Brothers for their storytelling and sense of humor.

Drowsy, digital, 2019

Drowsy, digital, 2019

Keep Indoors, digital, 2020 (in progress)