Noh is a form of Japanese theatre born in the 14th century, characterized by the combination of music, dance and stage performance and recognized worldwide for its characteristic masks. It is from this theatrical form that the name of Patrick Smith‘s latest stop motion short film takes its inspiration, a work dedicated to cultures around the world and entitled “Beyond Noh“.
Passing through ancient painted faces, cartoon figures and protective gas and anti-Covid masks, “Beyond Noh” takes a journey through cultures and civilizations around the world and sequences 3745 masks at a mesmerizing pace.
“To me, masks are an interesting way to view humanity. It seems to me that every culture in the history of the world has participated in some form of mask making, whether it’s for performance, ritual, protest, or utility.”
To make this short film, Patrick Smith photographed millions of masks in archives, museums, galleries and collections and brought together cultures, periods, rituals, religions and customs from around the world.
Watch an extract of the short film here and subscribe to the YouTube channel to see the full version. Enjoy.