This Our Still Life

"OK"

This Our Still Life Review


Kotting follows up his short Hoi-Polloi (1990) and his first feature Gallivant (1996) by returning to Louyre, his family home in the Pyrenees. There are some amazing images here but, like his other films, it's a challenge to watch.

Andrew lives in an isolated house with his wife Leila and their daughter Eden, who has Joubert syndrome, a rare neurological condition. Now 22, Eden is a lively young woman with a vivid sense of humour, although only her parents can understand her speech (which is subtitled in the film). The film is a collage of their life together, including visits from friends and family members through four distinct seasons. All of this subtly explores society's narrow ideas of beauty and normality.

The title comes from drawings Andrew and Eden make of random objects, which echoes the film's structure. There's no obvious link from shot to shot, as scenes abruptly cut into each other to create a meandering, freeform exploration. The result is both earthy and intriguingly ghostly. It's also very difficult to watch, because it has no sense of pace or narrative. Even the audio track is a kaleidoscopic collection of voices, live sound and snippets from movies and TV programmes.

There are also clips from Kotting's earlier films and home movies, while Eden's exuberant charm shines through every scene she's in, whether she's teasing her father or singing along with something from her eclectic CD collection. But the filmmaking style is so mannered that we end up scratching our heads rather than understanding what Kotting is trying say.

Showing with This Our Still Life, this short was shot in the same place 20 years earlier, showing an infant Eden in a variety of settings with family and friends. The Kottings moved from London to Louyre in the Pyrenees the year before, and the film has a strong sense of the natural world, as if they are just discovering the earthy rhythms after leaving the big city behind. But this is an experimental film, packed with oddly unsettling images that highlight dangers in this new environment. The heavily edited mix of Super 8 and video footage in black and white and colour is intriguing, and there's also a sense of playful youthful energy, but it ultimately feels far too haphazard to engage our interest.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 58 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 8th September 2011

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 4.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Andrew Kotting

Producer: Andrew Kotting

Starring: Leila McMillan as Herself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.