The Wanderer (Betty Drunk) by Laure Prouvost is a newly commissioned film and installation forming part of her ambitious feature-length film project The Wanderer. Comprising six narrative sequences, The Wanderer is based on script by artist Rory Macbeth who, without any knowledge of German, translated a Franz Kafka novella into English. The film follows a number of characters who undergo a series of increasingly bizarre and mysterious experiences, navigating various situations in which reality becomes increasingly uncertain.
Working for the first time with a full crew and a cast of actors, Prouvost used Macbeth’s text as a loose framework rather than a definitive script, opening up the narrative to the various shifts and slippages of language and direction introduced by filmmaking process. Where the first sequence of The Wanderer focuses on the notion of time, this second sequence focuses on the character Betty who, in a state of intoxication, delivers a rambling monologue directed alternately at peripheral characters within the film and us, the audience.
The Wanderer (Betty Drunk) Prouvost uses the state of drunkness as a way in which to destabilise the divide between the interior spaces of the mind and spaces of public projection, deliberately flaunting the social codes that moderate our speech and action in public. Betty’s acknowledgement of the audience, her manipulation of the camera’s movement and the deliberate de-syncing of image and sound throughout the sequence are employed as structuralist devices that draw attention to elements of its own construction. The film will be projected within a specially designed installation dominated by a tilted project screen, which will further emphasise a sense of disorientation.