The Art in the Making of Art
“To describe Manual Cinema as just a shadow puppet show is to say that Pixar makes Cartoons.” The Chicago Tribune
Lula del Ray is a unique piece of theatre that blends the basic concepts of cinematography with shadow puppetry. The storyline follows a young girl who, despite being confined to a satellite field on the outskirts of town, pursues her dream of seeing the Baden Brothers play live in the city by running away from home and her mother.
To say that Lula del Ray is an innovative form of theatre is to say the least. What makes this production so creative and memorable is how the show reveals the process of its making. Unlike film, where the highlight of the production is the finished product, Manual Cinema demonstrates to the world that there is art in the making of art. In other words, the focus is not entirely on the “movie” that has been produced, but on the production of the movie in real time. Rather than hiding every actor, crew member, prop, projector, and musician, Manual Cinema highlights and celebrates the synchronization of everyone's distinctive job. While the screen shows a young, beautiful girl sitting on a chair looking out a window, the audience can also clearly see below that the scene is an actor with an enhanced silhouette, kneeling on the ground to create the filmic illusion. By pulling focus from the finished product, Manual Cinema demonstrates that there can be as much pleasure in seeing the making of art as there is in the art.