by Pauline Mallet
by Pauline Mallet
The film opens with a picture projected on a TV screen. We understand that from the outline of a woman quickly reflected on the black screen. What is projected is the time-worn and poor-quality video of a man. Low-angle shot of a man. This is our introduction to Callum, seen through Sophie’s eyes. And it is through these very eyes, those of a young girl watching her father, that Charlotte Wells shakes us to our very core with her brilliant first feature.
Interview with Charlotte Wells
"My parents were quite young when I was born and growing up my dad would often be mistaken for my brother. It always seemed a fun relationship to explore on film and when I was flipping through old holiday albums toward the end of film school, the idea began to take hold. I wanted to portray a relationship that wasn’t excessively fraught. Sophie and Calum have some ups and downs over the course of the trip, but their relationship itself isn’t a huge source of conflict. I wanted Calum to be a good father which felt in a lot of ways working against the absent father type. Calum is struggling in some facets of his life, but being a parent isn’t one of them. As I get older, I spend more time reflecting on how my parents balanced their own lives and identities, particularly throughout their 20s and early 30s, with having a child. Often for kids, parents are just parents and their inner lives are completely unknown or even unconsidered. Looking back, things they did or said carry completely different import and so I was interested in this idea of reevaluating moments or conversations from the past through a lens evolved by time. There’s a single video that exists of me from around Sophie’s age and it’s a clip of miniDV footage that is totally banal: my dad, his friend, and I sitting around a table playing a game, our heads cut off at the top of frame. I think for a certain generation, DV footage creates immediate feelings of nostalgia, but the actual footage, at least the footage I have, isn’t very interesting."