Tuesday, 27 September 2011

I am a camera

Back in March I related the tale of how the Brimstone Butterfly had been persuaded by my Filmmaker friend to shoot some footage for a short film he had been commissioned to make. It was destined for a Video Arts Festival in Amsterdam. As the film was so well received it encouraged my friend to submit a revised version to a number of other festivals around the world. To date it had been shown, or will be shown shortly, at all of the festivals listed below. 

A clip of me features prominently in the trailer for the Milan Festival. I am shown wearing one of my silk brocade corsets made to a traditional Victorian design. Given that wearing a new steel boned corset is akin to breaking in a leather shoe, I really suffered for my art.I was amused to see re-reading my original post chronicling the origins of the filming that I had been adamant that I would not be shown in a corset. But I was eventually persuaded to "corsets" (sic) worth it.

The Filmmaker re-edited the film according to the artistic demands of the different festivals. Consequently, I have no idea which version is shown where other than the original one, which inspired all the others. However, certain key images are included in all of them, such as the footage of me gazing enigmatically out across the wharf in Woolwich whilst the wind gently wafts the veil of my 1910 hat around my face. Likewise, all the films include footage of me in a corset and slipping out of my 19th century kimono, which I bought years ago from Liberty in London. The kimono is a highlight of my own take on the late 18th century best selling satire "Voyage autour de ma chambre" I suggested I wore the kimono in the film as it provided a strong visual link with some earlier footage taken in the Far East.

Somewhat to my alarm the Filmmaker is very keen on portraying the different textures of human flesh. That is all very well when showing a man’s rugged features but less flattering when a High Definition lens is filming unflinching close-ups of my own skin. Indeed there was one shot which I failed at first to  recognise as being the skin on my own face.

The Filmmaker had to get releases from various modern composers so their music could be used on the soundtrack. Unfortunately he was unable to get permission to use some of the haunting music he had used in the original film. The composer insisted that the film should not be shown commercially, which meant it could not be appear on a DvD collection of the event. Other composers have been found in his stead all of whom have signed waivers.

If my friend becomes a famous commercial director in years to come, I will always know that I played a small part in his success. Anyway, he had better become famous. I want this film to me showing at his retrospectives around the world for generations, thereby ensuing my own tiny fragment of immortality.  

London Spanish Film Festival
                 Shortlisted Finalist Selection

Rushes Soho Shorts Festival
                 TenderFlix Film Competition, Shortlisted Finalist Selection, Soho Curzon, London, UK

Festival Baumann
                 Finalist; Barcelona, Spain

Flash Forward Film Festival, Milan Italy
                 Shortlisted Finalist Screening

CologneOff 2011 International New Media Festival
                 Ongoing international Screenings, Shortlisted Finalist Selection

VisualContainer TV, Milan, Italy
                 Online Independent Artists Television

(A)FEFV Festival de Cine, Krk, Croatia
                 Art & Culture Laboratory [KUL]

CAZ Project Space Gallery, Penzance, UK
      Digital Peninsula Finalist Selection

Proyector2011 Festival Internacional de Videoarte, Madrid, Spain
                 Special Mention Finalist

IDISM Concepts Expose, Amsterdam, Netherlands
                 Commission based project - Electronic – Sound Arts Commission based project

Our film is also scheduled to appear in the 24th edition of the Festival Les Instants Vidéo in France in November. Not bad for a little film made in a hurry and on a shoe string back in March. 

As part of the London Spanish Film Festival my friend’s film, Tour(Scape) will be open the selection being shown on Tuesday 4th October 2011 at 6.15

The screenings will take place at

Rich Mix:

35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

020 7613 7498.

This is how the official programme describes his film:


UK/China | 2011 | col | 7 min

Dir. Cristóbal Catalán

with Hanson Irgen Gioro and Caro Riikonen

“A dark trip into memories of ourselves and 'others' in a world of shrinking geographies”.

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