Tattoo

(2001) 9 minutes,  16mm to SD video

Synopsis:

Trees and wildlife look-on as the countryside is invaded by a lost regiment of soldiers engaged in a repetitive display.

The ritual of military drill is by turns absurd and sinister. The soldiers of the Light Division perform a choreography that has been perfected and aestheticized in order to serve a function: to be effective. That is, the dual function of transforming many bodies into a single body, and of mesmerizing onlookers with their ‘stunning’ unity.

Music for military band composed by Graeme Miller

The film extracts a dimension that is poetic, formal and choreographic from a material as apparently antithetical to ‘dance’ as is military drill.   Sober and restrained, its formal economy is underlined by the use of black and white, by humour, and the treatment of image and sound. (…) Jury statement, 11ème Grand Prix International Vidéo Danse, Saint-Etienne, 2002.

Miranda Pennell’s beautiful short Tattoofeatures soldiers marching in unison.   Filming on a wide open expanse of land and evincing a brilliant use of light and shadow, Pennell perfectly captures the severe conformity and geometric precision of the regiment.
Glenn Sumi, NOW, ‘Movin’ On Up’ festival preview ‘Moving Pictures’ October 2002, Toronto

 Tattoo (UK) is a gem of military movement and body language, wittily filmed and edited.
Jill Sykes, “Diversity of dance on the big screen” Reeldance festival at Sydney Opera House Studio, August 2002