Pathway: My Default Pathway by Robbie Laing

Extreme close up of Orlando looking at camera.

Overall, Sally Potter's use of iconography, editing, and performance to evoke a temporal surrealism allows for her to traverse the theme of women's rights in the book that is crystallised in this image. The dissatisfaction that was talked about in the last asset is clearly seen in this image, but with a slight smile, an uncertainty.

Medium shot of Orlando on motorbike and daughter in sidecar travelling through London

In the final portion of the film, Orlando is transported through the modern eras and it's wars to 1990's Britain, which seems all the more odd as a result of the use of iconography that was built a few years prior to the production of the film. This iconography is all the more stark for the composition, which situates our protagonist, Orlando, beside it. Potter, obviously, intentionally utilised the iconography to, again, irk the viewer to shock them into accepting that Orlando is immortal and has somehow survived until this point, as if she could still be walking around the streets of London in 1993 at the time of the film's release. This again allows the viewer to experience the incredible nature of the story, but what is missing is Orlando's dissatisfaction. This could make the experience of the visuals even more shocking. I believe that this is a result of Orlando traversing various periods of history and resting at the most contemporary, because it is the most accepting of women's rights. I also believe this is why Woolf brought her character all the way to her respective era of writing in the early 20th century, even though it was not a great time for equality, it was the best in the progression to equality. A similar idea is expressed in the film. Overall, Potter utilises the iconography contemporary to the film to continue the idea of temporal surrealism, which expressed the long journey that women have taken to become equal and almost achieve equality.

First shot of Orlando wearing Victorian costume moving through the maze

Another use of temporal surrealism comes when Orlando, now a lady and a mistreated one at that, is running through a maze after being insulted while simultaneously being asked for her hand in marriage by the same man. This shot at 1:07:04 is the exact shot at which Orlando changes her dress suddenly from shot to shot in the act of running through the maze, which is shot in continuity. This seamless edit is what was formerly described as being what irks the viewer, despite the subtlety of the action. The editing allows for the smooth transition into another era, which is, again, defined by hurt and pain or more specifically from an insult. The impact of this editing technique is defined in it's profound implications that are so easily caused. This is how the temporal surrealism manifests itself. It is the juxtaposition of the seamless edit with the profound implications of the narrative that creates the uneasiness in the viewer, so that they understand the emotional impact for the character. Thus, Potter utilises continuity editing in order to seamlessly make the transition from one world to the next in order to make explicit the profundities and emotions surrounding Orlando's character.

high angle shot of Orlando weeping while Sasha looks at him.

In order to accurately express her vision of Virginia Woolf's novel, "Orlando", Sally Potter utilises performance in this still from the film at 22:09 in order to accurately express Orlando's inner conflict that creates the basis of of the temporal shifts and, thus, the temporal surrealism. The shifts in time represent significant transitions in character, so much so that it makes the character metaphysically immortal and allows him/her to traverse significant periods of history for female empowerment. Despite the fact that this is not the transition, nor is it necessarily the exact cause of the transition through history, the melancholy portrayed here is particularly striking, and shows a sort of premonition in Orlando that this will all end in hurt. I believe it is at this moment that he knows the extent of his love will end up leaving him inconsolable. It is this inconsolability that leads him to his first transition to history, and also that determines the rest of his transitions. This expressivity is achieved in Tilda Swinton's performance, which evokes an intense longing, for what, it is unclear. It could possibly be her longing for enjoying what joy may be afforded her, but that which she knows is constantly tainted with the foul taste of death. Therefore, Potter utilises performance in order to foreshadow the transition of time through temporal surrealism, which acts to truly express the harshness of love and death for a confused young man.

Handwritten notes marked "2" in red ink on white A4 paper

This note confirms the importance of the conservation of the theme of temporal surrealism by Sally Potter as pertinent and essential to the narrative and it's meaning, which can be seen in how it transposed into the late 20th century around the time that the film was produced. This shares a similarity with the way that Woolf brought the narrative up to the time at which she was writing the novel.

Page 1 of early developmental handwritten notes and ideas by Sally Potter on Orlando, black pen on A4 lined paper in pad

In Sally Potter's 1993 film "Orlando", Potter retains the temporal surrealism from Virginia Woolf's work that is in keeping with the style of novel, so that the transitions of character and gender become more pronounced. By stretching out the seasons of the soul, Potter not only retains the essence of the novel, but also accents the visual changes and endows them with a greater power as she transposes the narrative onto and moulds it to the modern world. In this asset one can see that the concept of "immortality" crops up as a method of extending Orlando's story over "4 centuries". It is the seamlessness in which these transitions from century to century take place that is the most irking, powerful aspect of them. This is coupled with the use of the intricacies of performance, which present themselves in the form of Potter's direction that allows Swinton to accurately express the shocking transition into a different age through the use of monologue. Another aspect of the film uses in it's final phase is that of iconography. Therefore, Potter employs the techniques of editing and montage, iconography, and the performative nuances and externalisation of inner conflict through monologue in order to accurately express the severity of the character's transition through four centuries.