The last film in our series is Glass Parade by Insa Langhorst, a 14-minute video about Taybeh, the only brewery in Palestine, with a soundtrack by the Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra.
Glass Parade is a “spontaneous” piece of work in almost all its aspects. It is a reaction to the environment it is set in and experiments with the impact of sound over visuals. Through the combination of visuals and non-diegetic sound it aims to transcend the literal meaning of the visuals, and allows different denotations to be created.
The video is set in Taybeh, the only brewery in Palestine. Taybeh, named after the Christian Palestinian village it is located in, is a family business, which was established in 1994 after the Oslo Peace agreements. The founders David and Nadim Khoury had lived in the USA until then and returned in the hope that the agreements would enable Palestinians to live and work more freely.
The third film in our series is by Huw Wahl, and examines the use of photography in the Israel/Palestine conflict, it’s called Negotiating Representation in Israel and Palestine:
The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the most infamous in the world, continually visited by foreign journalists wishing to gain a new angle on the situation there. But what of the photographers living and working in the region; how do they negotiate the issues of victimhood, narrative, representation and the problematic nature of image-making in an area that supplies the world with thousands of photographs and videos every day?
The next film in our series examining the uses of sound and music in film is Vacancy by Paddy Baxter:
Vacancy is a 2 minute horror documentary made last summer as a collaboration with Manchester experimental music collective Tubers Music. The emphasis on assigning a specific genre is relevant both to the reason why this short experimental film was made and to the effect that this music collaboration had on the way we view the images in this piece as an audience.
Vacancy came out of a photo article on the recent phenomenon of ghost developments in Ireland [see article here: https://castlesbuiltinsand.wordpress.com/ghosts-and-the-machine/] that Huw Wahl and I carried out early last year- the title refers to the current 21% vacancy rate among housing and commercial developments in the Republic of Ireland. The film explores through photos, video and music one of the stranger of these failed housing developments- namely Carrigglas Manor in County Longford- once the site of a beautiful stately aristocratic Manor and grounds, now a place of desolation and a scorched landscape.
As a filmmaker I had the choice to document this space is a neutral or objective manner. However, there is no way to express the sheer awe, dismay, despair, unease and bewilderment that one feels when in such a place as Carrigglas through photos and video alone. Once inside the walls of this gated, abandoned development you feel exposed in a very odd manner, a sense of the sublime and of impending danger immediately overcome you. It is the sense one gets when you watch a particularly effective horror film. This is the feeling that I wanted the film to induce.
Over the coming 4 weeks, Castles Built in Sand will present a series of short experimental films that seek to explore the relationship between sound, music, video and photography. These films vary in length (from 2 to 20 mins) and cover a range of subject matters from the use of music to examine and define space, place and the journey, to issues around the image and representation in photography. It is our hope that these short films will provoke the viewer to think about the various uses of sound in film, about how the use of music in film affects how we perceive the images presented to us, and how, in terms of representation, the image can become a loaded and problematic construction. Each film will be accompanied by a short text outlining the central concerns of the filmmaker. Up first is Dark Water by Katy and Simon Connor.
Film By Katy Connor
Music by Simon Connor
Dark Water is an audio visual collaboration between myself as a composer and my sister Katy Connor, film maker and video artist . The film was first screened at Dartington College of Arts in 2008 as a video installation, and its original form included no sound. Whilst completing my MA in Composition I asked Katy if I could compose a soundtrack for the piece. I had always been fascinated by its mesmeric quality and saw a real opportunity to explore some of the ideas introduced in the film in terms of the audio accompaniment.
When I am working on a project I often feel like I do when entering a shopping mall, or when I walk around foreign cities or even just stand in a supermarket – I feel overwhelmed by the amount of choice offering itself to me, I am inundated with impressions. I don´t know what to take in or what to ignore. Similarly, when filming, I ask myself where to start, what to focus on. When have I filmed enough, and whilst editing, what do I need to leave out even though I might consider it essential? These are all relevant issues, and there is no easy solution. In the end it comes down to subjective selection processes that enable us to make decisions, but there will never be any certainty you made the right choice. Yet often I feel that by focusing on one preliminary question, a lot of these dilemmas could be simplified. What makes us grasp an issue to a fuller extent is the choice of our research tools and the familiarity with our subject. Just like writing a shopping list before doing groceries, asking ourselves before we start work on a project if it makes sense to use film, or if a mix of mediums or the choice of another medium suits the topic better, helps getting a better feel for the research. This again helps us decide when to start, when to stop, what to include or what to leave out.
Thanks to everyone who attended the fundraiser or Donated to our cause, your support is very, very much appreciated.
The night was a success with a good combination of soothing, disturbing, and space party music; alongside animations, scary films about mad priests and photo essays.
CBiS Fundraiser from Huw Wahl on Vimeo.