No Place Like Home


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

No Place Like Home
"The film... shows talent and ingenuity."

In a small community that might be named Glen Allegory (though not, one suspects, pronounced as such) there is a woman and a house and a child from a neighbouring property. The woman is trying to fix a water wheel which provides power, a difficult task enough without being represented in stop-motion complexity, all brass gear and wooden frame by frame by frame. The child does not help, her snap-jawed badger hat, its floral toothed wheels a nod to the same childishness that produces questions like "have you ever seen a bee sleeping?"

There are things to be done - things to be hidden from. A drill approaches, searching for some unknown treasure beneath the land. The houses are in the way, unnecessary to its quest. It is heralded by the usual horde - letters progressively more strident, its penultimate emissary a missive marked FINAL NOTICE. After that, after the laden vehicles, the abandoned glen, after that only arson, apocalypse.

Copy picture

Though not quite - there is an escape, a return to a certain kind of normality, in a new, more concrete context. Home is where the heart is, and all that, and its hard to travel without that. Which is, perhaps, your reviewer's problem - that is to say heartlessness - because charming and well-constructed as this is I did not like it. The film itself shows talent and ingenuity, stop-motion is a gruelling medium for creators, but the film's charms, though evident, did not grab me. I mention it though that failing is not the film's. It may have been context - at GSFF16 it sat among films that dealt with losses more personal than material, though to describe 'home' as mere material is to seem both hermit and crabbit. Materiality is the inevitable consequence of stop-motion, it is inherent to the in- that is animate, and as programme-mate Stems discussed there is a sadness in the medium. Despite my failure to connect, I should be clear - it is worth seeing, it is good work, but in my heart it did not find a home.

Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2016
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Under threat of imminent eviction from her countryside home, a self-reliant woman struggles to preserve her way of life.

Director: Cat Bruce

Writer: Cat Bruce

Starring: Janette Foggo, Erin Bruce

Year: 2015

Runtime: 13 minutes

Country: UK


GSFF 2016
EIFF 2016

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