Bird in the Desert (Video Critique)

Written by Lucas “Lukey Lenz” Ballard 

Have you ever watched an art film? Many can seem to reflect on how we feel day to day. Whereas Hollywood paints a picture that is dramatized, independent filmmakers consistently invoke feelings that are interpreted through the words and camera angles. Lady Bird, La Dolce Vita and Lo Sono L’amore are some of my favorite indie/art films because they do not have a clear cut ending or a happily ever after. These titles merely give the audience an image and allow them to experience it, rather than give them guidelines on how to feel. 

Emerging from the arid sand of the side of the road, Lia D’sau’s Bird sets the tone early. As she makes strides to get to a bicycle lying in the middle of the road, birds tweet, teasing what the entire song is about. It’s 5am. Lia lifts her bike and begins to walk, the camera slowly panning up. Her story continues as she begins to ride the bike down an asphalt road, lost somewhere in a mountainous desert. Her eyes are straying, consistently drawing in the natural setting. The olive green tone of her sweater, the muddy brown of her boots, and even the wash of her denim compliment her surroundings. The overarching color scheme of this video is hazy with its foggy overlay and position, hidden from the sun. 

The parallels that can be drawn from her initial walk with her bike are apparent. The bicycle in itself, along with the worn handles, represent her grounded condition. Obviously, D'sau is a person and cannot literally fly, but she knits her mentality inside the lyrics, seeing flight as a freed state of mind. She had a good day but unfortunately her feelings were compromised causing her mental phoenix to be injured. Another thoughtful detail is the sheer size of the area surrounding her down this road, showing all the space a bird would have to gracefully dance in the sky. 

The camera grows more and more distant from D’sau and reveals a large mountain range. Suddenly, she stops- a final resounding “fly” is vocalized and the rising sun peers over the mountain. 

Check out Lia D’sau’s Bird on all platforms and be sure to watch her video on youtube, directed by Gal Twig below!

Leave a comment