Gates of Rome explores the power and limits of political gesture in the fractured times we live in.
The film casts young, metropolitan hands to act out a range of gestures derived from mainstream politicians and counter-cultural political movements to explore the power and the limits of these gestures today.
The film is set within an ambiguous display-space that resembles a multitude of exclusive utopias: a nightclub, a VIP backstage area at a music festival, an art gallery, a concept fashion flagship or an advertising agency interior.
On a monitor within the space, centrally-positioned altar-like on solid metal truss stand, the continuous and repetitive gesticulation of our protagonists plays to the beat of a relentless techno soundtrack inflected with samples of nostalgic club-classics. Their actions are framed by an interior stream of thought and branded recollections that evoke the fraught semblance of togetherness in nightclub spaces and reveal the uncommitted interchangeability of their gestures.
© Gates of Rome (2016)
A Film By: Henry Babbage & Louis-Jack
DOP: Sam McElwee
Music: Elliott Horton-Stephens
Co-Editor: Gery Georgieva
Hand Models: Kwaku Mills-Bampoe, Martin Marusinski, Farhaan Mumtaz, Amy Pennington, Ming Lin
Makeup: Poppy France
Made with the support of Open School East and The Eaton Fund