John Lindquist Directs a Tale of Two Models on the Amalfi Coast
“It’s a reflection on the time I’ve spent as a fashion photographer, noticing how models have to deal with ageing and loss of beauty,” says the British photographer and director John Lindquist, whose debut narrative short stars Belgian beauty Delfine Bafort alongside Texan model-of-the-moment, Ashley Smith: “Ashley’s got the lightness and the beauty, where Delfine brings something more deep, from innocent to experienced.” Spring Summer captures the troubled leads at crucial points in their respective careers, each exploring and reassessing their identities. Set in and around the luxurious Le Sirenuse Hotel, in the village of Positano on Italy’s Almalfi coast, the location is reflected in the film’s changing and dramatic moods. “I always wanted it to look natural,” says Lindquist. “When we got there and had to endure five days of thunderstorms, it seemed appropriate to just go with it. It was really beautiful shooting in five days of rain.” The Central St. Martins alumni has collaborated with cult English singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf, and for his last film created the raw, experimental short, Cry For Me—but today’s film is his first narrative project. “For a while you’re carefree and going with the flow but then you have to make a choice about the direction you want to take,” he explains. “And that was the starting point for the story: a small moment of realization.”
Kahlil Joseph's Film Meditates on the Origins of an All-Black Rodeo in Oklahoma
A dreamlike narrative binds cowboy and an angelic specter clad in white in director Kahlil Joseph's exploration of a little-known African-American rodeo subculture. Joseph, who is part of the Los Angeles-based What Matters Most film collective, visited the annual August rodeo in the sparsely populated Oklahoma town of Grayson (previously Wildcat), an event that attracts African-American bull riders, barrel racers and cowgirls from all over the Midwest and southern USA. He set out to celebrate the origins of the rodeo by paying respect to the spirit of Aunt Janet, a member of the family who founded the event, passed away last year and is embodied as the young girl in the film. “Black people are light years more advanced than the ideas and images that circulate would have you believe. The spaces we control and exist are my ground zero for filming, at least so far, and there are opportunities for me to tap into the energy,” says Joseph who has also made films for musicians including Shabazz Palaces and Seu Jorge. “So an all-black town with an all-black rodeo in the American heartland was a kind of vortex or portal through which I could actually show this.” Wildcat is scored by experimental musician Flying Lotus, who has previously collaborated with Joseph on a short to accompany his 2012 album Until the Quiet Comes, which is showing during Sundance London this weekend.
A Young Artist Slides Off the Grid in the First Installment of our New Film Series
Crisp mornings and solitary fireside evenings punctuate My Friend Kills Time, a contemplative short from emerging Norwegian filmmaker Jakob Rørvik that portrays a young man's self-imposed exile in rural Britain. The work’s star is Thomas Duggan, a friend of the director and a design graduate from Central St. Martins who has made sets for London theatre company Shunt, as well as his own products and installations such as chandeliers made from test tubes, sofas from hemp and trays of crystal-forming liquids that catch the light as they transform. In Rørvik’s film, however, he appears as a handsome man with high cheekbones and plush lips who attempts to go about a daily routine in an isolated cabin, whittling down his character to its core. Rørvik’s sensitive narrative films include Scratch, which won the Best Fiction award at the Aubagne International Film Festival 2010. My Friend Kills Time marks a step towards a looser and more documentary form of storytelling for the director—and ushers in NOWNESS' “Shorts on Sundays” series, dedicated to premiering innovative work from emerging filmmakers. As Duggan’s protagonist builds a house of cards and watches them collapse or drums his fingers on the table to pass the hours, the only interruption is the occasional ring of his mobile phone, reminding him of the outside world. “I wanted to bridge something naturalistic and spontaneous with something poetic,” explains Rørvik of his process, which involved working with Duggan to draw out a fictional character. “The idea of not being around people and the hustle and bustle of London frightened me. Questioning that fear was my starting point.”