By David Finkelstein | December 23, 2003

“A Sky Piece” presents a poetic montage of images which never quite cohere into a story. A young man is hitchhiking on an empty stretch of highway, under a vast, open sky. He picks up a photo from the ground. The photo shows an image of the empty road he is on. A young woman holds up her hand against the skylight in her room. In the course of this short video, photos are stolen, a vinyl LP plays in a white gallery room, the woman confronts her own double, and other mysterious, evocative images accumulate. The film is set to an alt rock score by Mike Donahue, and the editing and image processing give it the texture of a music video.
This video is a surreal image poem, of the type which has been around at least since Maya Deren’s “Meshes of the Afternoon” (1943). If the multiple images of the woman in “A Sky Piece” recall “Meshes,” this video has none of the mythical resonance or poetic depth of Deren’s masterpiece. However, Cook and editor Kevin Alexander do know how to use tasteful editing and nicely calibrated color effects.
“A Sky Piece” succeeds, at times, in creating a mood of foreboding and nonspecific conflict.

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