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Little Star

Clemente Calvo


In this piece Calvo transforms a microtale that he himself wrote into a beautiful visual narrative. The author’s full poetic force can be appreciated in this extremely personal work.

The peculiar workmanship of the artist is in this piece focused on a small story that takes us to a mythical space-time, which is only comprehensible within the aesthetic coordinates of the author. In this work he pays homage to the Manhattan tribe, a native American tribe that lived in New York before the land on which the city now stands was colonized by the Dutch. With the members of the tribe, Calvo recreates a possible mythical past of the city: At the shaman’s death, a star would fall with his soul to the sea. Whoever found it, would receive magic gifts.

When we confront this piece, we realize very quickly that the narrative is hardly the most important element for understanding the work. In spite of playing with a minimal set and characters that are made out of puppets, the narrative is slowly turned into part of the visual game, which itself is enriched by the delicacy and attention to detail so characteristic of Calvo’s work. Two elements that we have already seen in other works by the artist, the suspension of time and the questioning of the causes/effect, are especially important in this piece.

If the time of the fairytale is by definition a circular and mythical time, a time beyond chronology, in this video the artist manages to blend the present with this remote past. He again reminds us that the past is just around the corner, waiting to emerge, be it in the shape of a rock, of memories, or of a star that has fallen to the sea and is waiting to be found.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Little Star
  • Direction: Clemente Calvo
  • Production: Clemente Calvo y la New York Film Academy. 1994.
  • Duration: 00:04:00
  • Languages: English
  • Original format: 16 mm
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Creative Commons