My film work this year has so far been plagued with problems. Because of working on a project for most of last winter that fell through – a time when I would have been preparing for a film for early 2017 – I’ve been rather stuck with projects. Hope In The Dark is (not counting my fake High-Rise trailer) my first short this year. The first thing to say is that it should have been longer with the developer unable to develop the second reel of footage in time due to it being a rare form of super-8 stock. The second thing to say is that all potential collaborations for the project were quashed by the blanket iron wall put up by people’s agents. Though I’m acutely aware of the necessity of successful people needing an agent to fend off such projects, it’s a crying shame that such a project has basically had to have been made without the relevant permissions. However, I’m sure Rebecca Solnit, whose work inspired the film, won’t object to such guerrilla filmmaking tactics.
Hope In The Dark is a collage of the super-8 footage I shot at the Women’s March earlier this year. The film is put together with some readings of Hope In The Dark by Solnit; an important and vital book in these turbulent times. I wanted to capture the walk because it chimed with something that Solnit had caught onto in her earlier book, Wanderlust; that walking is a political act of dissension, especially when seen through the prism of gender. This idea of walking as dissension has generally been of interest for some time and is present in the work of many artists that I love, especially in the films of Alan Clarke. In works by him and many other artists, walking becomes a practice that breeds ideas and, through ideas, some form of subversive dissent. The Women’s March was a beautiful example of this and more writing on this can be found in my earlier write-up of the walk.
Hope In The Dark is intended to be as optimistic as Solnit’s writing, finding the necessity for darkness in order to be able to see the light. It is perhaps the only angle in which to see our present political situation that retains some useful sense of hope and optimism; not a vague sense of ignoring the problems that the world currently faces but using the frustration caused by such problems to actually begin to voice any sort of resistance against oppressors, casual and overt.