A review of A Sort of Burial, which isn’t too bad, considering my misgivings about it. It has only been given a restricted festival run on the strength of my feelings about it. It was something different - a big learning curve on this movie. I think it’s important to share details of anything which doesn’t quite live up to expectations and use it as a fulcrum from which to attain higher goals. People only tend to see the successes – perceived or otherwise, but that, I guess, is largely because ‘people’ don’t tend to ‘air them in public’. I am grateful to anyone who watches the films I make, and especially to those who take further time to critique and review.
Filmmaking is a lot of hard work and endeavour (for me at least!) and, with that, a lot can go wrong. I find it a massive challenge and not every aspect is entirely enjoyable. I alluded to a lot of the negative experiences and issues encountered on the ‘Burial’ in my recent blog posts and, unfortunately, these were still evident and, in some ways, exacerbated on Switch, which followed. So, I’m not surprised by the comments in Sam’s review about the technical side of things, which are fair and reasoned. In retrospect, those two movies were filmed too close together. The performances in both movies were fantastic, though – that should be stated emphatically. And I take full responsibility for ‘problems’ in other areas, even though I didn’t make it easy on myself by taking on and overseeing so much.
I’m always happy with the script, as I work tirelessly to shape, hone and check it before working it as a full-fledged movie. Fortunately, there is usually ample time an opportunity to do this. However, the technical execution of my movies has been a problem for several reasons. Hopefully, these have now been fully realised and will be addressed in future productions. Problems will always exist when filmmaking, it’s inherent and I know that. However, with an honest, objective understanding of pitfalls already experienced, previous shortcomings should now be properly mitigated.
Hokum is our next movie and it’s a big one which will rely heavily - not only on the script, but also the technical aspects. Expert technical execution will be seriously important as the movie will hinge on its look and feel a great deal. If people don’t like it because they simply don’t care for it, then that’s great and I’m entirely comfortable with that. It is not a movie which will appeal to everyone. My movies are very ‘eclectic.’ That said, if it’s disliked because of any technical failings, then it’ll be a massive shame and unforgiveable. Pressure is on.
The one thing I have enjoyed so far on Hokum is getting back to creating ‘art’, even though I’ve had to ‘undo’ my ‘style’ in order to create what is required effectively. I always enjoy the writing, which to me, is always the easiest part and I think we have a great script and a unique story.
I guess a lot hinges on this production, really. It’s a big gamble, but then that’s essentially the movie’s conceit – gambling on fortune; failing, being tormented by things both real and imaginary; life, death and re-birth. I hadn’t realised how prescient it all is, but yet again, the movie is about prescience as well.
And so, although I’m frustrated, I continue with fresh enthusiasm and high hopes.