Bird In Cage

An intense visual experience; a dance phrase repeats three times in a skylit room with variations on shot composition, film editing, and frame rate.

Bird in Cage screened at NFFTY 2016 in the Experimental Visions category. It also played at the American Dance Festival, 40 North Dance Film Festival, and the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema.

Bird in Cage | Dance from Martin Barshai on Vimeo.

About the Director:


After college (NYU) and a year in hell-hole Los Angeles, Martin Barshai moved to Long Beach. He makes videos of things that inspire him like great stories or skilled dancers. He once did a low-paid freelance video for Vogue Magazine. He thought making that video would bring him a lot more work than it has. His film BIRD IN CAGE has screened all over the USA: Seattle, Durham, New York City, Boulder, and San Diego. A shoestring budget 5 Episode web series called NARANJA was also crafted over the course of his first year in L.A. He likes showing the final episode to his friends. Martin’s DIY work ethic and ability to convince old college friends to make movies with him is a guarantee he will one day direct multi-million dollar projects. For now, he is focused on developing a style unlike anything that’s come before it. Toodaloo!

A brief interview with Martin:

Why did you decide to make this film?

There was an enormous urgency to escape New York City while I was living there. It’s an interesting city that sucks you in and tries to keep you there and sometimes you feel like you just want to break out. So the idea I was trying to express was this longing for freedom– from the monotonous repetition of living in NYC, the high stress and fast pace. I wanted to make a video that had more edits per second than anything I’ve seen before. I also love Phil Glass.

What was your favorite part about making it?

The editing process. It was supposed to be a slow paced video cut to “Music for Airports” by Brian Eno. Leslie, the dancer, actually choreographed the piece to that song. In the editing room (which was just my old college desk in my apartment), I realized that I could take that choreography and make it something completely different because it had such slow and methodical movement.

What are you working on now?

I’ve co-written and directed what I hope will be a viral video framed as a product unpacking Vlog titled “Snapchat Spectacles Winter Haul 2016 — Oops I broke them! ;)” If you’ve seen it, I guess it worked. If not, then it exists among the realm of the majority– wandering in the abyss of obscurity.

Find Martin Online:


Instagram: @mbarshai


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