A 16mm film, made in 1982, explores a dream situation of being exposed in a brightly lit room that may be a hospital. A table lamp dictates the story through headphones. The title refers to both the lamp and the nature of film itself which "fixes" light with a chemical process. In the original dream, a character was trapped in a bright room that seemed presided over by a doctor who was also an orchestra conductor, conducting with a magic wand the unseen forces in the dark outside the window. The character, who may be a patient in a hospital takes over the role of conductor but doesn't know the music or what he is doing. The original script featured grotesque musical instruments in the dark but due to scheduling and budget, that idea was dropped. Instead we see that a masked voyeur entity in the dark is modeling the face of the protagonist out of clay and a rain baptizes it. The desire to be outside the bright room is thus realized with this sculptural facsimile. The photos of body parts on the walls suggest a fragmentation of body image (through the view of western medicine), or lack of coordination. The character is also seen to be vomiting up bees – a sign of the illness being treated for. I imagined a bee hive inside him and the bees as realizations that sting and are indigestible.
There is an obvious sexual image of a tree being planted in the nurse's mouth. Annie Coulter was so kind to have her face covered by dirt (with one eye exposed). In the background, a large photograph of a fully grown tree is being consumed by fire, producing something resembling a shed snake skin. The doctor and nurse become entwined snakes that are uncovered (which is a reference to "The Caduceus" where a staff is entwined by 2 serpents – often used as a symbol of medicine). I should've had Annie blink so that the viewer would notice the eye as many don't catch that.. In any event, the tree burns and returns the protagonist to the bright hospital room. He is "trapped" in light. He has become the conscious mind – a glowing moth in an infinite space, longing to be hidden in the dark (represented by the feminine nightgown that catches the character and transports him to the room)
The metaphor I used at the time for rational consciousness was of a moth that itself was glowing and flying from place to place – both drawn to it's own light yet also trying to extinguish its presence.
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