The Daily Iowan

Student Spotlight: Using film as form of protest

Tristen Ives enlightens IC folk on film as a form of protest. She is a UI student and is set to graduate in May 2019.

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Madison Lotenschtein, Arts Reporter

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Hands, a human system of manipulating our environment, are the most associated physical trait when art comes out to play. Painting, drawing, writing, and ceramics are located at the top of the list of “what art is” for the general population. However, for the artistically inclined Tristen Ives, art thrives on the screen.

The University of Iowa senior considers her films to be experimental. Some of her films are meant to form a silent protest against inward phenomena. Her film “Jelly,” touches on the word “childhood,” and uses appetite as a way to communicate childhood trauma. Moreover, Ives communicates how trauma crafts itself into what others consider to be detrimental for an adolescent. “Jelly” also exhibits memories that lack foundation.

“Childhood is not something you actively live in,” Ives said in her film. “Childhood is a memory.”

Her other film, “Gaze,” touches on the oppression and expressions of women in the film industry.

“It’s about the do’s, and don’ts, and be carefuls of Hollywood,” Ives said. “Women are still facing sexism by filmmakers, and sexist films continue to be praised by many.”

Before she switched her gaze to the screen, Ives leapt into the university with an expectation of spotlights and ballet slippers. When dance lost its appeal, she switched to an art major for a year. After taking a film class, she fell for the artistic platform. Given her new academic pursuits, Ives serves on the Bijou Film Board as the executive finance director and a projectionist at FilmScene.

As a senior, Ives plans to move to Seattle and work at an independent art house or theater and to keep experimenting with her unique film style.

“I have held this student identity for so long; I can’t imagine life without assignments,“ Ives said. “But I can feel change happening and feel that it’s a pivotal moment to put myself out there. When you’re out of school, you can’t use the excuse of, ‘Well, my art isn’t as good today because I had homework last night.’ ”

Upon graduation, she won’t have the excuse of school to fall back on anymore. Ives will have an adequate amount of time and resources to pursue her artistry to its fullest extent.

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