(2004) 11 minutes, 16mm transferred to video.
A bloke walks into a pub…
Six actors punch, kick and wrestle their way through the Wild West of an East London drinking establishment. The ritual of the Western bar-brawl, is re-located to a London working mens’ club. The violence appears to have no consequences, the actors’ bodies being as rubbery and invulnerable as those in the TV Westerns that inspired the film.
The camera concentrates simultaneously on the deep space, mid space and the very closest fields, to reveal varying degrees of stillness and movement. The choreographic quality of the fight-scenes is remarkable, with their breath-taking realisation providing an absolute contrast to the mundane ambience of the pub-scene in which they unfold. At once surreal and real, this work is rich in contradictions: it is a parody of mainstream film-making, in particular that of action movies; it also paints a picture, with dead-pan humour, of a social reality particular to the tradition of the English pub.
Jury statement, 11th Biennale Image en Movement, Geneva, Raymond BELLOUR (F), Jorge LA FERLA (Arg.), Ivica PINJUH (BZH), Katya GARCIA ANTON (CH) & Ika SIENKIEWICZ-NOWACKA (PL).