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Installation: Missing in Action

By Valerie Milano

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 5/11/24 – The beautifully crafted short film, Sojourn to Shangri-la, takes viewers on a captivating journey in search of a lost art installation from a film set. Director and visionary Yihan Lin skillfully employs cinematic elements such as distinct sound design and the use of black and white film to narrate a poignant tale about the fading bond between nature and humanity.”

Amongst extraordinarily unique elements, audiences will experience incredible scoring and sound elements in Sojourn to Shangri-La. Yihan reflects on the intricacies of sound design, “I worked very closely with my sound designer, and we hoped to use sound to create a surreal space that was also a part of the physical world. The sound aspect of the film is a very important tool to transfer the audience into this new world. We used natural and realistic sounds from the set as well as electric-style sounds from post-production” 

One other unique element of the inauspicious project is the stunning use of black and white film. Lin describes, “When I wanted to tell this story, I was deeply influenced by ancient Chinese travel logs. I wanted a vibe that felt like the audience was looking at ancient materials from their ancestors; that’s the reason why I chose to shoot in black and white. Another direct reason is after we finalized the location, we did some test shooting and we found that if we shot in color the film would look like a typical tourism commercial; because we shot in black and white we bypassed this.”

Click below to see our exclusive interview:

Director Yihan Lin reflects on her openness to diverse interpretations, expressing personal perspective while acknowledging the varied insights audiences have gleaned. She articulates her intent to depict the decline of human order juxtaposed with the enduring force of nature, emphasizing the dynamic power struggle between the two realms: “I’m open to any interpretation of the film, but for me, I hope to show the collapse of human order compared with eternal, natural nature. I wanted to exhibit power dynamics shifting between nature and humanity. Audiences have understood the film to be about the failure of communication between people which I have been open to as well.”

Through the meticulous integration of sound design and the evocative choice of black and white film, Yihan Lin invites audiences into a realm where the senses are heightened, blurring the lines between reality and imagination. Her openness to diverse interpretations underscores the film’s universal appeal, while her underlying thematic exploration of the delicate balance between humanity and nature resonates deeply with viewers. As the echoes of its haunting soundtrack linger and the imagery of its monochromatic landscapes fade, Sojourn to Shangri-la leaves an indelible impression, inviting reflection on the fragility of human existence in the face of timeless natural forces.