From an unusual poit-of-view, a man enacts the devastating effects of mental illness.
We follow Philip’s meanders around Hackney, East London from an high point in the sky. As he keeps on walking, we discover where he’s headed. It’s his daughter’s birthday, and Philip wants to bring her a gift, but he’s at odds with his ex wife and on his way to the party he shows signs of distress. This is a story about madness, about the devastating effects of mental illness: not a new topic per se, but the visual structure of the short is it’s a strong point. In this case more than ever ‘form is actually substance’ and brings an original point of view – not only visual – to the film’s theme. Billy Lumpy makes us “elevated spectators” of the story, acting a bit as Philip’s conscience but also as a God who only observes the action of the mortal who inevitably walks into his destiny. In these kinds of stories the camera usually lingers, even morbidly, on the body, gestures, faces and expressions of the protagonist. This allows the viewer to have a greater identification with his emotions, with his pain and his conflict. But rules are made to be violated, and here the idea is to detach from the protagonist with the counterintuitive intention to make all the actions more shocking and eventually to build an uncertain ending.
The equipment that has allowed God View’s peculiar point of view was handcrafted by the director, with the help of the DOP Brett Turnbull and rig-specialist Tony Hill. Basically it’s a camera attached to a 3 meters high stick that’s connected to a harness hidden under Philip’s shirt. The stick was later deleted in post-production. The result is excellent, but if you look carefully you can see the stick at one point – a director’s signature?
Made in 2011, God View was screened at different festivals around the world, and was even broadcast on tv in France, Spain, Switzerland and throughout Africa. Lumby has just finished shooting a new short film commissioned by Dazed and Confused, SAMUEL – 613, about a 23 years old Hasidic jew struggling to live a normal life in modern Britain. You can watch it here.
You can follow Billy Lumpy’s new projects via his website billy.fm
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