Bison Hill, Derek Ogbourne, 2022
‘The sun brings life, brings respiration, brings a measured breath of being me.’
Multi-award winning Bison Hill, where no bison roams anymore, now replaced by the primal embodiment of the protagonist, immerses the viewer in a series of enigmatic acts as a man carries a cart to the top of a hill, while the setting sun is being recorded.
A metaphysical thriller, Bison Hill treats us again to the all-pervading physicality, breathless, unrelenting struggle which distinguish most of Derek Ogbourne’s films. Nature, and the artifice of the film’s illusion of creation, as the protagonist caresses his created landscape with sensuality and tenderness, tending after it with his demigod hand from above; a piercing array of spikes, needles, pins, stakes of all sizes that puncture and demarcate with concerted effort and determination to drive forcefully into the sacred ground; the portrayal of the romantic, bucolic, Vaughan Williams, Powell and Pressburger picturesque version of the English countryside which contrasts to the protagonist’s endeavour, as well as the essential elements that bring life and form to a drawing (light, mass, and the act of measuring) which underpin this narrative suffused by ecstasy, labour, and mystery, are all threads that make for gripping viewing.
Duration: 1 hour, 8 minutes