The Kansas you’ll find in Kevin Everson’s “Pictures From Dorothy” is not one where you’ll find Munchkins pouring out lyrical greetings. Nor is the “Dorothy” of this film, wishing to go “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. The “Dorothy” that Everson focuses on, is a little girl with a camera in the real Kansas, looking through the viewfinder of her camera, watching for something to photograph.
In the first part, Everson photographs a man walking through branches and brush. His camerawork and editing prove to be a distraction as he superimposes another shot of the man on top of the one already being shown. This is unnecessarily confusing and seems more like a show-off, more than anything.
However, his real talent lies in just letting the camera sit, having us front and center for some intriguing activities. In one, another guy is working on a house and as he walks out of frame to go into the house (or shack, perhaps), the camera does not move. It has no reason to follow him as it’s much more fascinating to wonder what exactly he’s doing, until we see a piece of aluminum siding being knocked down.
The best portion of “Pictures From Dorothy” takes place before and during a city council meeting, first as a woman walks past the chairs reserved for councilmen and women, and puts a sheet of paper down at each place, most likely the agenda for the meeting. At the same meeting, the woman who has done that is also the person who takes down the minutes of the meeting and probably takes copious notes as to what was said, except she’s talking to a man and discussing stapled sheets of paper that he’s holding. You really end up wanting to know so badly not only what they’re discussing, but also what she’s writing. As a matter of fact, it ended up that having Everson follow that story a little more deeply would have been more satisfying.
Even so, Everson’s observations of life prove just as interesting, exciting, and frustrating as it is to actually live. More of his work would be welcome.