Country: UK
Duration: 10 mins
|10 Seconds
Sound: Stereo
Ratio: 16:9
Available Format/s: HD Digital file / DCP
Original Format: 16mm Film


All the sections of the film originated as three minute films intended to be screened separately. Dam, and Untitled 1988 Broadgate were both screened in Toronto as part of Rose Lowder’s thematic screening at the International Experimental Film Congress in 1989. I continued to make some single shot films using a Beaulieu with an electric motor which allowed the entire 100 feet to be exposed without interruption. Broadgate 1988 (cranes at night) was shot on a clockwork Bolex and therefore consists of several shots. The Laughing Clown footage was screened as a one minute version entitled HAH on BBC2’s Late Show but the broadcasters apparently considered that it stretched tolerance too far and reduced it by 10 seconds. HAH written in capital letters is a visual and aural palindrome.

The dams are in Rhayader, Wales where we used to travel with Maurice Seddon. The cranes, decorated with Christmas lights, were in Broadgate, London. The dilapidated roller coaster (since condemned and pulled down) was in Weymouth, Dorset, as was the distressed clown, also now extinct. The bouncy castle was on a beach in Aberystwyth. The foghorn is on Portland Bill.

The film has been screened as 16mm Kodachrome reels with live accompaniment on cassette recorder through a very large wooden horn which produced a distinctive timbre particularly suited to the sound of the foghorn.

The original twin screen extended version; Untitled (1990) was described in Nicky Hamlyn’s Film Art Phenomena (BFI 2003) pp 178-180: Sound/image permutations, with stills from the film and a reproduction of the screening diagram.

The present digital version has been edited down to 2 minute sections (+ 2 x 1minute at each end) total 10 minutes, with sound design by Daniel Wilson employing the original sounds recorded by myself.

Edited by Patrycja Loranc.

More works by William English

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