Under a Pandemic Sky [Thomas Pickarski, USA, 2020]
Multiple shots of empty, wet streets; water pouring from drains and gutters; waves crashing against rocks, and trees towering into the endless firmament. Thus proceeds Thomas Pickarski’s art film, Under a Pandemic Sky, a video essay produced in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the more original efforts on offer to stem from the mire of Covid-reactive visual excursions, Pickarski’s film is a playful and welcoming invitation into his world away from global turmoil.
Weekend Daughter [William Haynes, UK, 2020]
A father is in charge of his daughter (Ada) for the weekend, and their (unspecified) time apart has clearly induced feelings of resentment, rendering their relationship uncommunicative and estranged. It is a fact of life for far too many modern families, with 42% of marriages in England and Wales ending in divorce (according to the most recent recorded statistics). His new life has taken precedence – a new partner and a young baby of their own. Ada finds solace in indoor game
Lavender [Andrew Ball-Shaw, UK, 2020]
Andrew Ball-Shaw’s Lavender opens with a purple-filtered, soft focus close-up of a couple holding hands and walking through a lavender field. This is matched with a voiceover listing the various permutations of the colour purple – violet, indigo, magenta – “often associated with wealth, power, royalty, creativity.” He continues, “but the colour purple, it doesn’t exist. There is no pure purple.” The sombre piano and violin score gently lilts above and below the image and voic
Fading [Anthony Vander, UK, 2020]
It’s big trouble in little Poplar as Steph, a teenage girl, finds herself sharply spurned by the friends and residents of her local community, after she viciously attacks her best friend, Cynthia, following an argument. “Wounds carried so deep, worsened by the cold streets that hold me captive,” she recites (in voiceover), alone and shivering through the dizzying rush of traffic in the East London suburb. This pervading sense of isolation is sustained throughout the course of