People usually make eye contact with someone for one or more of these four reasons. 1) You just happen to be in my line of vision. 2) I’m checking you out. 3) I’m staring into space and incidentally my eyes are looking in your general direction. 4) I’m trying to remember why you look so familiar. The two women who make eye contact in Kerry Weldon’s short film “Transit” are checking out one another. Producer Ian Bricke summarizes the film as being about a New York moment that everyone’s experienced at some point: locking eyes with a stranger on a subway train and not doing anything a thing about it until it’s too late. While it is a very New York type of scenario, it must happen everywhere, all the time, and goes beyond settings of mass transit.
Weldon depicts the situation in her film beautifully. There’s no dialogue and for roughly five minutes, you’re watching nothing but two women in a subway car. They don’t share the same frame but once or twice. The camera cuts back and forth, from one woman’s gaze to the other’s. Along with the drum-heavy music that is expertly incorporated into the sounds of the subway’s swooshing and screeching, the attraction between the two women builds until it’s nearly unbearable to watch and you wish you could leap into the screen and make sure the women exchange more than sparking glances.