Andrew Kötting will be on hand for a Q&A this evening at the Curzon Renoir in London and he'll be taking his new film, This Our Still Life, to Manchester and Brighton over the coming days as well. The BFI has details. Kötting, notes Sukhdev Sandhu in a profile for the Guardian, "has carved out a singular career encompassing sound art, installation pieces, avant-garde theatre, short films, artists' books and full-length features whose cussedness and often unclassifiable nature has led him to be described as the heir to English dissidents such as Derek Jarman and Peter Greenaway."
Jason Wood for Little White Lies: "Evolving as a series of drawings — now collected in a beautiful book — This Our Still Life offers a beguiling and expansive portrait of 'Louyre,' the remote tumbledown Pyrenean hidey-hole that filmmaker Andrew Kötting shares with his partner Leila McMillan and their daughter Eden (the 'star' of the director's first feature, the seminal British road movie Gallivant). A family of artists for whom creativity flows like blood, life in this part-time rural idyll is elemental, rudimentary, fun and intimate. Filmed over a 20-year period on a Nizo Super 8 and a primitive Samsung digital camera with incidental music from either the radio or Eden's own CD collection (music composed by Scanner also features), the film explores notions of nostalgia, memory, isolation and love as it offers snatched insights into the minutiae of the Kötting family's everyday living."
Iain Sinclair for Sight & Sound: "Only Kötting could collide Brakhage's lyrical intensity, that probing at the edge of focus, with the stutter and stammer of Benny Hill's caricatured Englishness. The funny voices. The portentous and culturally freighted subtitles. Upper-case announcements of the passing seasons, like a parody of Disney or David Attenborough, fix the mood for the next convulsive movement. We are offered a desert-island survey of all the found objects in Kötting's mountain ark, the sacred and the surreal. Edible colors and images so ripe you can sniff the perfume of water beads on drooping leaf…. This is naked cinema, a thing of great value in a period of cultural stagnation and economic adventurism."
A bit more from Peter Bradshaw (Guardian, 2/5), Philip French (Observer) and Derek Malcolm (Evening Standard, 3/5).
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