"A dreamy, instinctual piece in which a man recalls a strange week he had visiting an offcut of his family in Norfolk. Following the accentuation of misremembering, the narrator is unsure of whether small objects, mutterings or occurrences caused him to over-elaborate certain characteristics of the family. They appear as ornate caricatures amongst the memories of the man, unsure of why he is even recalling his visit. The film explores memorialised but skewed sound and vision, all reflecting the fragility of ones recollection. The heritage of Norfolk past and present is retrievable amongst the bleary visions, and subsequently the nature of family itself."
This project encapsulated me amongst the lockdown of the worlds most recent pandemic and amongst the pressure to ‘be productive’, which came from all angles during the early stages. In what could’ve been a forced exercise more devoted to procrastination, the exploration actually became natural to me. It was my immediate environment, my family and an abundance of time that allowed this project to become the most important part of my everyday life.
As such the film began as visual and textual experimentation; I found myself rummaging through drawers in the hope of finding old camera's and lenses to play with. It’s important to reveal the thought process of the filmmaker at different stages of production, and I can say at that point I was hopeless. Having not made a film for myself since finishing university a year ago, I felt I had lost touch of my artistic side among a year of selling myself to a smalltime audition in freelance videography. Here I was, scrambling to find the charger to a barely functioning family handicam from the early 2000’s, just so I could dream I was still in art school being told of filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage experimenting with textures and soundscapes. Yet through an uncertain attitude, I found myself with a conceivable pathway to something resembling cinema.
It was at this point that I began writing. Inspired by authors of the psycho geographic, W. G Sebald, John Berger and more recently Gareth E Rees. Psychogeography as an idea itself is described by Guy Debord as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals.” In light of this, I wrote of my surroundings, but hid myself behind the veil of the narrator. In the midst of a crisis and enforced isolation I became heavily attuned to my family, and this also fed into the eventual finished prose. The last element arguably involved being inspired by my unique Norfolk surroundings and in particular Norwich’s freewheeling artistic culture.
The result is a piece which explores the nature of family, subsequent surroundings and the fragility of ones own recollection. The film is important to me because it shaped my experience of the world. For months, it was me and the film. An entity beyond the digitalised prose required for filmmaking, and something I would relate more to filmmaking of the past when artists could isolate. To me the world of solo filmmaking today is dying. Late stage capitalism means one can no longer spend months diving into a project, instead they must scramble to pay rent and focus on only the necessities of life. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this again, but I have a temporarily diminished life to thank for it.