September 30, 2017

On Filming The Eyes of Van Gogh

The opening shots of The Eyes of Van Gogh are of the grounds of the asylum at St. Remy in May of 1889.  The head of the asylum, Dr. Peyron, escorts Vincent through the park.

Narrow eye-level view as the camera moves slowly along the path through the park, skirting from left to right.  Through Vincent's eyes we see numerous thick trees, open areas and benches scattered throughout the park, but much of the vegetation is dense and overgrown.  Upkeep is obviously not a main concern. 
There is a fog in the air that lends a haunting, dreamlike quality to the scene.  Things that we see seem to appear suddenly and unexpectedly.  As the camera continues through the park we see brief glimpses of isolated patients.

Although their afflictions are different, their commonality dominates.  All the patients appear to be stranded in space.  Any prior understanding or clarity is frozen inside them.  The policy of the Asylum being what it is, they have absolutely no distractions, nothing to do and nowhere to go.  They have no direction, no focus, no purpose.  But being human there is a reflexive search for them.  They don't live, they exist: eating, sleeping and digesting. The result is an atmosphere inundated with silence; a screaming silence.  It is truly the home for the accursed.

One stands in the bushes looking around fearfully, suspecting everyone of spying on him.  He searches ceaselessly for the evil presence that is trying to destroy him.  One sits on a bench, shaking his head frantically in disapproval and carrying on a silent argument with an invisible person.  
One lies on the ground, his body tight, withdrawn, trembling with fear. One stands near a tree and scans the Park, his eyes glowing and a vicious smile on his face.  One imagines he is being chastised by voices from on high.  He shakes his head, fretting nervously, pleading for the voices to leave him in peace: all to no avail.
One sits on the ground, motionless, his mouth hanging open, studying a tiny, invisible spot. 
One is on his knees, frantically pounding the ground. 

August 22, 2017

King Lear in US and UK Libraries

I am very pleased to learn that Hoopla Digital has ordered the 15 episode series version of my film of King Lear

Hoopla Digital is a North American streaming media service.  It allows users throughout the United States and the United Kingdom to borrow digital movies, music and eBooks with their library cards.

It should be available from libraries sometime in October 2017.

Kent (Peter Holdway) tries to console Lear (Alexander Barnett)