Soft Toffee


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Soft Toffee
"This is interesting work, and you should look forward to further output from those involved."

I once had the chance to speak to the Dominik Moll, director of The Monk, a stunning portrait of faith and fallability, and being the awkward bag of hair and faded clothing that I am attempted to make a 'joke' about film-making - to wit asking him with what I thought was obvious jest when in the process of constructing that film he had gone back to "sprinkle the themes through it". I mention that because during a directors Q&A at Glasgow's 2013 Short Film Festival Duncan Cowles said that he and Anita Norfolk were told to go back and make their documentary "more experimental".

So thanks to the tyrannical diktats of the Edinburgh College of Art it's an experimental documentary, about a memory of relationship. A recollection thereof, of that parting of ways - the way you can "pull at it and pull at it" until there's "nothing in between any more". There are betweens, however - of blank screens, of blank sounds. It is moments of half-remembering, of reconstruction - Nick Humphrey's sound work is a significant contribution, as is Callum Barton's music.

To delve further into genesis, Cowles has said that they wanted to look at mediated remembering, to find people who had memories recorded as phone clips - there's a "based on" credit on that basis - this is real reminiscence, of a journey in a, well, in a different car, in a different place. Inevitably, perhaps even perfectly, that video clip was lost.

There's not much to it, in truth - presented among more conventional short film fare it's a little jarring, but in the usual Russian roulette of experimental programming there'd be a danger of it being lost in the aftermath of a less pleasant hypothesis.

This is a reconstruction then, of a memory - it's possible we could get more metatextual about it, as it's being reviewed from scribbled notes and an already foxed GSFF programme, but we'll avoid it thus - this is interesting work, and you should look forward to further output from those involved.

Reviewed on: 09 Feb 2013
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A short documentary about a woman looking back at love.

Director: Duncan Cowles, Anita Norfolk

Starring: Olivia Errey, Lewis Wardrop

Year: 2011

Runtime: 4 minutes

Country: UK


Glasgow 2013

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