The Canary is my graduation film from Edinburgh College of Art, 2009. It's a strange, lyrical tale about the young deaf girl Lisa, who lives in the woods with her mother. One day, a man unexpectedly shows up, and something in Lisa awakens.
My vision was driven by a strong sense of mood. I wanted to make a film that would mimic the feeling of finding an old polaroid in a strangers drawer; at the same time intimate and enigmatically distanced. The narrative was to remain somewhat open, and I wrote the script solely in flow-writing/ automatic writing. I wanted to see if I, through such a working method, could push my own limits for how subconscious a story could be told.
At the time of making The Canary, I was very interested in impressionism, as a way of looking at the world.
I wanted to see if I could capture that kind of tactility, through sound and image, and make a highly subjective language. The film is shot on super 8mm, and later filmed from the screen on regular video. My editor and I incorporated the visual noise - both the analog grain and the digital pixel-errors, as part of the films language.
It created a mood that trembled with suppressed energy and a lyrical rawness.
The lead-role Lisa is played by Pernille Steenberg Nellemann, who is also deaf in real life. The incredible music is made by Katinka Fogh Vindelev, who works as a professional singer in classical opera, and performs with the danish orchestra Efterklang. The brief I gave her, was to "use her voice as an instrument, and be inspired by the sounds of woodlands".