ACORN

An elderly man ponders on the marvel of age, observing the cycle of life in nature as he comes to terms with the advancement of his own time.

  • Emilia Diaz Delgado
    Director
  • Emilia Diaz Delgado
    Writer
  • Huntly Gordon
    Key Cast
    "Man"
  • Athena Cheris
    Key Cast
    "Woman"
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 9, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    No Dialogue
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Ruth Asawa School Of The Arts
  • National Film Festival for Talented Youth
    Seattle, Washington
    United States
    April 29, 2023
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Emilia Diaz Delgado

Emilia Diaz Delgado is a filmmaker and musician based in San Francisco, CA. She studies film at SF Art & Film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I wanted to make a simple film that showed an elderly person pondering on their age, and I thought having them observe age reflected in nature would be a great opportunity for both visual concepts and photographic quality. I ended up choosing an acorn, because there are so many opportunities to turn a plant into a visual concept.

I also decided to use the Kuleshov effect throughout the film. The Kuleshov effect is a phenomenon of sorts in which a character’s reaction to an object is defined by the object rather than the actor’s expression. For example, if you pair a shot of a character looking at an unseen object with a shot of a cupcake, the audience thinks the character is hungry. If you pair the exact same POV shot with a shot of a car crash, the audience now thinks the character is sorrowful. The Kuleshov effect is very powerful for use in experimental films, because an unexplained metaphor is heightened by the audience’s perception and shaped for each individual viewer by their life experience.

Here is my interpretation of the film as I made it, though I have heard different views. The film is intentionally vague, as I respect and love the life every eye can bring to it.

At the beginning of the film, the man grapples with the concept of age. He sees a seedling sprout on the ground. I used the Kuleshov effect here, because we don’t know if he is happy or sad. He drops a glass of water on the seedling. It is up to the viewer to decide why he did this - was he trying to water the plant? Or perhaps he dropped the water glass in a fit of anger, or even jealousy.
We then see the man scratching at his hands. Again, I used the Kuleshov effect. He may be wrought with self-hate, or perhaps he is facing the degenerating effects of age. When he looks at the ground (Kuleshov effect!) the seedling is no longer there. For me, this represents that the man is wasting himself away, setting up the end of the film.
Then, in a completion of his character arc, the man embraces age. He admires a stately oak tree with love and respect. He looks at the canopies of the forest and the foggy sky. The upward motion suggests a heavenly ascent.
To conclude the man’s story, I introduced a female character to lead him away from his ruminations. Her attire might suggest a hospice nurse, though she may be his granddaughter (I’ve heard different things - the angel of death is one.) The man walks away with her, and as he turns back, he glances at the acorn he holds in his hand (Kuleshov effect!) The cycle is completed. The return to the initial state of the plant suggests death and innocence.
The film ends at the log where the man was sitting. The seedling is no longer where it once was, as the man has taken the acorn, and sawdust scatters on the ground. As we back away, we see that it is coming from the man’s place on the log. He has ended his cycle and returned to nature, as has the acorn. The use of the log is also intentional, as it suggests that the tree he was looking at has fallen.