Man At The Window


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Imagine a man in a bubble. His only interest in life is to draw sparrows, as they hop about outside. A great bell peals and the birds fly away. The man in the bubble is sad. And then he's angry. He decides to leave the bubble and do something about it.

Heidi Bartlett's tale is as simple as a smile and yet she wraps it in complex activity, so that the stillness of the bubble is contrasted with contained chaos all around.

The location is a mental hospital. The bubble is imaginary. The man sits at the window, watching the birds, as if nothing is happening around him. But things are happening; nurses are interacting with patients; patients are being confrontational; humanity, disturbed or shuffling slow on medication, bustles; the atmosphere is torn between confusion and control.

Bartlett cleverly separates the ordinary from the introspective. In the man-in-the-window's world there is nothing but what he sees. He has no interest, nor conception, of what occurs elsewhere and yet is capable of undermining its tenuous sense of order.

Obsession narrows perception. Is this the ultimate point where selfishness closes the curtain and nothing else exists?

Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2003
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Mental patient has an obsession with watching birds.

Director: Heidi Bartlett

Year: 2003

Runtime: 9 minutes

Country: UK


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