The film documents the solitary existence of Jake, a man who lives in isolation in the middle of the forest in remote Scotland. It follows the character’s unconventional life, capturing moments of profound beauty. Jack is seen in all seasons, surviving frugally, passing the time with strange projects, living the radical dream he had as a younger man, a dream he spent two years working at sea to realize. –British Film Council
Ben Rivers (born in 1972) is a contemporary experimental film maker and artist based in London. His work has been shown in many film festivals and galleries throughout the world, and won numerous awards. His work ranges from themes about exploring unknown wilderness territories to candid and intimate portrayals of real-life subjects.
Ben Rivers’ practice as a filmmaker treads a line between documentary and fiction. Often following and filming people who have in some way separated themselves from society, the raw film footage provides Rivers with a starting point for creating oblique narratives imagining alternative existences in marginal worlds. Rivers uses near-antique cameras and hand develops the 16mm film, which shows all the evidence of the elements it has been exposed to – the materiality of this medium forming part of the narrative. More recently the film works have developed to incorporate installation.
He has been the recipient of a number of commissions and awards… read more
One watches a silent landscape come in and out of life, movement. One breathes, gathers wood, sleeps. We flicker, we die, we end.
Shot on 16mm film then transferred to 35mm for presentation, the film celebrates all the weaknesses of film stock while rarely displaying its strengths. The long takes of a man living alone and isolated (except for the camera and whatever crew, of course) are often intriguing, sometimes beautiful, and regularly challenging of the patience. Some will find it rewarding and worthwhile, others won't. I'm on the fence.
Featuring an interview with Ai Weiwei and more. Also: The Gold Rush and Last Year at Marienbad in New York.
Sack Barrow, Slow Action and Two Years at Sea are all screening in this year’s Views from the Avant-Garde program.