A short film about communication, grief and misplaced guilt.
I wrote An Estrangement in Three Parts back in September 2015, drawing inspiration from personal experiences and the experiences of individuals close to me.
I wanted to write something that would encourage people to interrogate the way they interact with others.
So, in July, I teamed up with my good friend Joe Childs and together we made the film. It was such a pleasure to work with Joe again!
We decided that we wanted to supplement the narrative that I had written by coupling it with some thought provoking imagery.
Instead of filming a performance of the narrative, we eventually decided to gather footage from three settings and create a film that would enable the language of the narrative and the imagination of the listener to populate the three spaces that we had captured on film.
A huge thanks must go out to the people who helped make this project happen, particularly to certain members of my family (you know who you are) and to the 7oz Coffee Roastery team!
I hope you enjoy the film and look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Finally, If you would like to read the full text as well as watching the video, here it is:
An Estrangement in Three Parts
Part I: Justin
After repackaging the teeming words
And placing the paper face up on the table,
Justin picked his coffee up and brought it to his lips.
The paper’s muted title page leered out in tight-lipped horror
When he rose, dropped a muttered thanks and moved deliberately towards the door.
‘Miles won’t be up yet,’
Justin mentioned to himself.
Last night had been a great half-volley of an evening,
Sent soaring into senselessness by the sway and aching swing
Of a long week’s work and weak connection,
And as he walked,
The pavement slabs felt numb, he thought.
So did the screen his thumb pads kneaded
In their vain attempts to beat some sense into a text,
Armed only with a fractured sense of what they must,
So urgently, convey.
Unable to compute his thoughts
And clench them in a worded form, he stopped,
Returned his phone to pocketed depths
And left it locked and silent.
Part II: Sarah
Sarah summoned up the strength
To lug her body out of bed
And perched upon the mattress edge,
The bed sheets strewn around her.
A glance towards her mobile told her nothing of true note;
No call from Justin popped into the bruised AM
To lighten up her load a tad or loosen up the knots.
With burden in her nudges
And distance in her thoughts,
She rose, pulled her towel from where it hung
And ground towards the bathroom.
When dressed, she saw that she had left
Just time enough to call their son, Miles,
Whose presence she felt strongly in the
Gaps between her thoughts.
‘He must not be awake.’
Part III: Emma
I’m looking down at Miles now.
He’s asleep to my affection.
Were he awake I’d never gaze like this;
The weight would be too much.
I cannot fathom what might now be flashing through his mind.
Does he recall a day spent with his parents –
A picnic in the Clashton gardens, a flash from times gone by?
Or does he see flashes of a far more recent time?
No meadows, just a scattering of drifting friends
With too much on their plates and rather overeager eyes.
No. He doesn’t see a thing.
When next I see our mutual friends
And Miles’ family,
Some words will doubtlessly be shared;
Some reminiscing, some remembrance.
After a time we will find ease in jokes and phrases, mottos, gimics;
The things we lean upon so we can scaffold our connections.
Only when I’m tired enough to let that scaffold fall,
And have, by chance, one true companion there at hand,
Will I locate the drops of thought that sit, heavier than most,
And let them grow to fill my head, my eyes, my words.
Who knows when such a time will come?
I only hope it’s not too far from now
And that such a friend will be there when they’re needed.
We were not.