Self-Portrait with Red Car
Artist: Brian Bourke
Camera: Joe Comerford
Music: Roger Doyle
Sound Mix: Pat Hayes
Directed/Edited: Bob Quinn
(20 minutes, Colour, 16mm)
"Bob Quinns exploration of the theme, the degree to which sound controls our perception of reality , has both the zany humour and comment on the human condition that we associate with the best of those Dusan Vukovic and Eastern European animation films".
"It's a neat aesthetic joke, operating on several mocking levels. Like Resnais, Quinn is intrigued by the way in which sight operates only superficially in the realm of the immediate senses".
- Ciaran Carty, Sunday Independent
"The air is confidential and the atmosphere raw. Splendid bit of work".
- Donal Foley, Irish Times
"In order to counteract the idea that film is about pictures I repeat the following ad nauseam: if you take one picture and put 100 different sounds behind it, the picture will assume 100 different meanings. As a caption under a photo tells you what to see in a photo, the sound behind the picture tells you what to think about it.
Look at the face from which emits an Oxbridge accent and you are conditioned to see breeding, class, aristocratic lines. Look at precisely the same face from which comes the accent of a Kerry farmer and you will see the rugged physiognomy of a son of the soil (That's why people affect accents).
Our eyes deceive us.
Our ears tell our eyes what they are seeing.
Most soaperatic films happen in the music that's plastered all over them. They are directed by the sound of musack. So are Bord Fá¡lte films.
Our eyes are non-discriminatory. Concentration on the movie aspect of a film has limited its development to the role of fairytale. It has retarded its rational development. That's why most movies are mindless. A mindful film would be one in which the pictures are an afterthought, something to look at while you think.
That's partly what Self-Portrait with Red Car is about: the degree to which sound controls our perception of reality. The sub-plot of the film is the way in which we carry our past experience with us into new situations: our load of distress, our agonbite of inwit, the sounds of the past which echo in our heads, defining - and distorting - what we think we see. There are gaps in the soundtrack of this film for audience participation, to let them hear the echoes in their own heads.
An even more pretentious sub-plot can be suggested: that the only thing we cannot escape from is our own imaginings. The latter eventually kill us.
Brian Bourke's painting Self Portrait with Red Ear, in whiuch he mocked his own affinity with Van Gogh, was the inspiration for this film. He equally bravely is the human being in the film. His performance is brilliant, and very funny.
The above words constitute a caption intended to influence your reaction to this film".
Fáilte go Conamara
The newly restored Atlantean films
are now available on two DVDs in pristine 16:9 format.