Directed By Tweedie


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Directed By Tweedie
"Affectionate, engaging, and a great indicator of talent."

"Why have you got a camera there when you've got a camera here?" asks Tweedie of Duncan, which is fair enough. Duncan is Cowles, filmmaker, mumbling voice behind camera, Tweedie is James T Fleming, whose father James was Jimmy, so James is Tweedie, to distinguish them, James whose daughter is Duncan's mother, but it's not about the simple perspective.

Duncan is trying to explain what it is he does, and since his medium is film the mechanism of instruction is film. He enlists a variety of techniques and bits of equipment, from a jumper-tangling radio mike to a grandparental GoPro in service of, well, perspective, viewpoint, perception. It seems simple enough - the easiest way to understand making films is to make films, and so here we have a film that is its own 'making of', but not solely so, far from it.

There's a moment, somewhere between impeccable grandmotherly sarcasm and a dashboard camera and a 'monopod' built out of those dust-jacketed hard-back books about birds and gardens and maybe cricket or microwave cookery that people your parents are related to always seem to have in the bookcase bit of sideboards, a moment where we're watching people watching themselves, and each of those watchings is at angles that means there are other watchings, other seeings.

At one point, the film laps itself - "That's as far as I've got at the moment," says Duncan, and even without dating sequences by the covers of The Radio Times it's clear that we've been caught up to where we're up to by the time we get there, which sounds a little circular but that's part of the symmetry of it all. It's not the only move away from convention, there's a moment where one of Duncan's cameras is white-balanced with a telephone bill, which sounds like a potential conflict between the domestic and the filmic and is, but it's in part the point - deftly constructed, playful, cheerful, charming, Directed By Tweedie is affectionate, engaging, and a great indicator of talent.

Reviewed on: 16 Mar 2015
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The filmmaker's grandfather learns about films by making one.

Director: Duncan Cowles

Year: 2014

Runtime: 16 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2014
GSFF 2015

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