Magazine article Screen International

Show Pieces

Magazine article Screen International

Show Pieces

Article excerpt

Dir: Mitch Jenkins. UK. 2014. 71mins

An ongoing collaboration between the photographer Mitch Jenkins (who directs) and the comics writer Alan Moore (who scripts), this collection of three crowd-funded shorts was screened at London's FrightFest as a brief feature. It seems to be just the beginning of a longer work that will explore 'Nighthampton', a realm that exists 'when Northampton goes to sleep'.

An intensely personal project, supported (not least financially) by Moore's loyal fan following, this treats each short like an issue of an ongoing comic book series.

Nighthampton also overlaps with the afterlife and is home to a distinctively British spin on the red-curtained night-spots in another dimension which recur in the work of David Lynch. Characters carry over from film to film, though modes of narrative vary, elements are set up and left dangling (presumably to be revisited in later installments) and there's more atmosphere than event.

'Act of Faith', the first segment, offers the nearest thing to a conventional narrative. Journalist Faith (Siobhan Hewlett) prowls around her flat, elaborately dressing and making herself up while arranging for a fetishist encounter involving the fantasy of being rescued from an auto-erotic accident by a paramedic. An adult conte cruel in the mode of Roald Dahl, this anecdote hints that Faith's work - exposing a recently-deceased hypocrite - will play a bigger part in a later tale, but concentrates on her situation, which is presented in minute, uncomfortable detail.

'Jimmy's End' and 'His Heavy Heart' fit together more neatly, with melancholy pub-crawler James (Darrell D'Silva) somehow drifting into an outmoded boozer where Faith is among the near-catatonic patrons. James is buttonholed by Matchbright (Robert Goodman), one-half of a sundered double act with Metterton (Moore) whose disturbing catch-phrase is 'doctor, we're losing him'. …

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