'Yort' is a vivid example of why experimental cinema can muster creations from an endless pool of talent, creative ideas, and unique combinations. The short film by master photographer Duane Michals is set deep into the subconscious mind of a harlequin and primarily shocks with its visual presentation style and color scheme.
'Yort' is, by all means, a silent film. We can find most characteristics of such a movie within the present project: the lack of voiced speech, a permanent musical accompaniment, and small bits of on-screen text which act as a placeholder for dialogue and narrative. However, as opposed to the traditional black and white visuals of silent films, 'Yort' proposes a unique color scheme – at times even oppressive toward the eye due to its bright nuances and unnatural composition, but always seeming to fall into a sort of harmonious balance.
Another technique which is utilized throughout the entire duration of 'Yort' is that of juxtaposition. By combining seemingly nonsensical imagery into the same frame, and differentiating the various layers through the use of color and drawing style, a dreamlike atmosphere is built. This resonates with the monotonous, yet oddly captivating music, and creates a very vivid experience.
Duane Michals’ project is certainly intriguing, and does what a successful experimental project should aim to do: capture the attention of its viewers and holds it, making us understand that we’re watching something unique – which is so rare these days.