This Our Still Life
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Time Out says
Tue Nov 15 2011The experimental British filmmaker Andrew Kötting is an artist constantly finding new ways to expand his canvas, whether that’s via the more traditional feature (‘This Filthy Earth’, ‘Ivul’), multimedia projects involving films, performances, books and exhibitions (‘Deadad’, ‘Mapping Perception’) or cruising up a canal with Iain Sinclair. ‘This Our Still Life’ is a nod to Kötting’s first feature, ‘Gallivant’, in that it’s a documentary (of sorts – don’t expect story, voiceover and talking heads) and is fascinated by place and family. Since 1989, Kötting, his wife Leila and now 23-year-old daughter Eden, whose sight and communication are restricted by Joubert Syndrome and who was eight when she travelled around Britain with her dad and great-grandmother for ‘Gallivant’, have spent part of their lives in Louyre, their remote home in the Pyrenees.
‘This Our Still Life’ is Kötting’s attempt to make sense of their life and the footage he has shot in this bolthole on various cameras and formats over the years.The film moves through the four seasons, but mostly it’s a flickering and wilful impression of family life, characterised by found footage edited together with Kötting’s archive, indistinct voices found and recorded, stark captions recounting Kötting’s thoughts and a moody score by Scanner. There’s a sadness running through the film’s reflection on time passing and on periods of melancholy (‘wellbeing comes over me intermittently’) but there’s also joy at familial love and, above all, the bond between a father and daughter. Kötting explores the house and countryside as a theatre for his ‘still life’, but always returns to Eden, who, along with her father, is a keen painter (an offshoot of this film is a book of Eden’s drawings). There’s humour, too, as when Kötting lingers on a postcard from a place called Tossa.
Author: Dave Calhoun
Fri Nov 18, 2011