Brief summary -
West of Dalabrog refers to the relationship between place, landscape, memory and subjective experience. It focuses on the return to a place of personal importance – a long stretch of white sand to the west of the town of Dalabrog, South Uist, which I first visited in 2001. The return represents a shift in perception and reflects how time can bear great change on a place, landscape and more crucially memory.
The camera movement used in the film’s opening six shots seeks to reveal a present/past location and introduces the hapicity of the filmpoem, which requires the viewer to orientate themselves by teasing out meaning using their senses; listening, remembering through smell and touch, and looking in greater depth using their own subjective experiences to find commonalities with the audiovisual experience.
The experience of the return is represented through using close-up’s and blurred images juxtaposed with crystal clear visuals mirroring snapshots of memories. This reflexivity is supported by the abrupt cessation of piano music to silence to imply a caesura - an audiovisual rhythm, which becomes the entry point into the poem, while the heartbeat reveals a presence; an existence within the present moment. And as the heartbeat fades out and is engulfed by the rumbling sound of the wind, the extreme close up shot of the eye coming into focus takes us directly into a past experience aided by the spoken word. The abrupt exit from the film mirrors a reawakening of existence and restoration of perception.