I love virtual reality! Wow, what an experience. The Turning Forest is a short (10 minute) animation and the virtual reality goggles insert you right into the middle of it. MIFF has a series of VR experiences this year and for this one, I was ushered into a curtained off space and seated on a stool that swivels 360 degrees. With goggles and headphones on, the blackness suddenly falls away and I am in an iridescent forest with orange trees towering above me.
Children play – I cannot see them but can follow the sound of their voices and the shifting leaves on the forest floor as they run. Then a dragon emerges and walks right up to me and I stare into his eye. His mouth opens and his teeth play music; I realise I can stretch out my hands and, where they touch, a tooth makes a sound. Then I ride on his back, lifted up out of the forest and over the ocean. I can slowly turn and see all sides, look up to the sky and down to the ground. We reach a winter forest where stalagmites and stalactites play music when I look at the them. Night falls and then it is over. Sublime.