In Passing is a beautiful visual journey created by Cody Rheault that focuses on the fine details of traveling between two countries. Shots of Beirut, Lebanon and Nalchik, Russia places the audience in a state of peace and projects the idea that there is time to enjoy every little detail in the world. The emphasis on details in this film is actually what makes it such an interesting work. It captures the moments in passing of being on an adventure rather than simply focusing on the two places as destinations to travel to. This mobile piece encourages the audience to savor the intricacies of traveling in order to feel the greatest sensation of discovery.
Some of the first shots in the film are of forms of transportation like the movement through the tracks, the escalator ride, and the airplane flying in the sky. Those brief scenes are there to establish that the film is about the journey, not the destination. This mobility is expressing the allure of travel, which is to actually move and to discover things while on the way to a place.
The first shots of Beirut, Lebanon have a pristine quality to them. One of my favorite images was of the statue with the stunning architecture in the background as well as the clear, light blue sky. It just gave off the feeling of there being great history in this place, but that the way it’s viewed is different and specific to each person that comes across it. It sends the message that the day is ripe with possibility for a good adventure and that all we need to do is use our individual perspectives to guide us through it. That is when the best discoveries are made.
Another breathtaking shot was of the stained glass. Just from a structural standpoint of filmmaking, it’s a very inviting and interesting image. The way the colors stand out against the dark stone of the walls is stunning. The camera is doing a close-up shot of it and the angle is set up so that the stained glass seems to be towering over the audience. It made me think of cathedrals, particularly from a trip to Italy I went on, and how there is a lot of art captivated into those types of architecture. Walking into a cathedral is overwhelming because there is so much going on and there is such presence in the details of the art and how it’s telling a story. This shot reminded me of some of the cathedrals I’ve seen, but it also brought up the idea that the places we visit can be as loud and expressive as an actual person. Every place is saying something different and all we have to do sometimes is listen and observe all its details.
One of my favorite shots of Nalchik, Russia was of the valley with the sunlight showering over it. It’s just a gorgeous scene of tranquility and reflection. There’s just a few cars passing through it as well. So, it’s not a very chaotic, bustling scene like the earlier shot of the traffic on the road. It’s like we were on this journey of seeing fine details of architecture and then we get this open space of nature. It’s liberating and it’s also a reminder to not go too fast while on a journey. It’s this subtle pause that shows us why it’s important to just stop every once and a while and breathe in the scene. Actually, all the scenes of nature that follow afterward do the same and it creates this vibe of endless possibility. It’s interesting that this feeling of vast potential comes out of something as simple as trees and grass. It made me realize that sometimes all we need to do to clear our heads is to escape the containment of our mundane settings and just get some fresh air. Seeing nature’s vastness and feeling it glide over us helps us remember our own potential within.
The last shot of the cars moving on the road reinforces the idea of enjoying the journey rather than just focusing on the destination. It’s a small tip, but one that I personally need to follow more, especially since we live in a world that is always in a rush. The greatest element of travel and the reason I still travel as much as I can is that it makes us feel like we’ve lived a million lives. Every place is different and offers a special experience for us to enjoy and we only enjoy it at full capacity if we take proper grasp of all the fine details in passing.