First things first: Texas: An Assortment of Beauty, directed by Lyft Aerial, is beautiful. According to Lyft Aerial, the crew spent six months traveling the state, shooting the film. This is especially impressive considering the film is only two and a half minutes long. That’s a lot of time for a few minutes of film, and it shows that the filmmakers were meticulous; this is a trait you almost always want in filmmakers.
I’ve never been to Texas. The things I know about Texas, I’ve learned from books, movies, television, and country music. None of those things have shown me Texas like this film. I guess I knew, but still didn’t know, that Texas has such an amalgamation of landscapes and colors. For example, the opening shot swoops above a farmer’s meadow with a flat land of green and bright purple, brown and black cows munching away on the foliage. But it’s the purple. It’s the right opening shot because that purple jumps off the screen, almost like it’s not real; almost like it’s special effects. It actually took me two glances to realize that the purple was part of the natural flora.
The camera swoops everywhere. It’s always moving, revealing these scenes. Texas has surprising views, that range from an oasis of green in a desert to thickly brushed waterfalls. The colors are astounding. I mentioned the purple, but there’s also the green and the orange and the blue and the white … they all leap off the screen. The swooping is nice for the short length of the film, but I think I wouldn’t like it for much longer; I would probably get a little motion sickness.
The score is a bouncing, high-pitched piano that matches the swooping nicely. Then there’s the Texas-accented voice over, which waxes poetic about the inherent paradoxes, mystiques, passions, and states of mind of Texas. The version of the film was an early screener, and it had no text, not even opening or closing credits. I didn’t realize how much I would miss these, and I wonder what the filmmakers will add. I say this because the voice over sounds familiar, but I can’t place it. I want to know who’s talking. It would also be nice to know where some of these places are. So my main criticism of the film is that I don’t know much about the film. It acts almost like a commercial, but I think the words would not meld well with mainstream America, so maybe it’s not a commercial. If it’s distributed online, such as on YouTube, then some of the locations can be revealed in the film’s description; maybe it would even have links.
In the grand scheme of things though, these are small, relatively unimportant “issues.” I say this because I can look at this film and listen to this film and, for two and a half minutes, I’m blown away by the beauty and grace within. That’s hard to accomplish. That’s art.