Personal

THE SECRET

When I came across a bundle of old letters hidden in the loft of my mother’s house I had no idea they contained a secret my parents had taken to their graves.

My mother died of a sudden heart attack aged 73 and I had to clear out her house. In the loft in a battered suitcase I found the letters. They were handwritten and postmarked from Ireland in the early 1960’s. As I started to read them I realised that these were letters sent from my father to my mother. Out of one fell a photograph of a man, the first time in my life I’d seen the likeness of my father.

What I discovered weren’t a bundle of love letters. They were an expression of fear, ruined dreams, social ostracism and the thwarted affection of two Irish people in the late 1950’s and early 1960s. As I read and re-read the letters I began to piece together what had happened around the circumstances of my birth.

I decided to make a film based on the letters more as therapy for the grief of losing my mother than as conventional documentary film-making. This is the result. The Secret was selected to be shown at the International Documentary Film Festival in Rotterdam in 2019.


ABS AND CAFE CORSO

This is a film I made during the first lockdown of 2020. I couldn’t work and wanted a project to energise me and found one literally on my doorstep. Opposite where I live is a small cafe run by a French Algerian by the name of Abs. During the lockdown the cafe became a neighbourhood hub and I wanted to make a short film about Abs’ journey from France to running a cafe in London. At a time when immigrants had become demonised by Brexit I wanted to show a more positive immigrant story.

Cafe Corso – A Local Lifeline

POETRY FILMS

These were the first instalments in a series combining fragments of poetry with music and images. The first three featured the poems of John Donne, the metaphysical poet, and particularly his musings on the approach of death.

I Fear No More – John Donne
The World’s Last Night
Death , Thou Shalt Die

NORTHWEST WIND by VELVET PICTUREHOUSE

This is a film I made for indie folk band Velvet Picturehouse for their evocative song Northwest Wind. Memories of our road trip to the north west of England to film it still bring a smile to my face.

Northwest Wind

Here’s their page on bandcamp – https://velvetpicturehouse.bandcamp.com/

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