Fog/Dismay | Experimental

Amy Cutler

Reino Unido – 2017



FOG/DISMAY (2017) is set in the black waters of tree-filled wetlands – a half-world of sepulchral woods where childhood memories intermingle of the Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water (of the 1973 public information film) and The Neverending Story’s slough of despond (‘fight against the sadness, Artax!’). The film draws on a history of abject/visceral geography in anti-exploration cinema (such as Nancy Holt’s roving Bolex camera in Swamp, 1969), as well as the enduring Romantic Gothic tropes of this seeping environment – Rod Giblett’s account of the language of mire (‘dismal’, ‘dreary’, ‘desolate’, ‘gloomy’), for instance, or the ‘black and lurid tarn’ of The Fall of the House of Usher, where one shudders to see reflected ‘the remodelled and inverted images of the grey sedge, and the ghastly tree stems’. The vocals and music, composed by Alison Cotton and Mark Nicholas (aka The Left Outsides), are woozily narcotic and bewitching, full of weeping willows and trapped reflections. The film follows these shimmers across treacherous ground – into a stagnant noir, or sinking sensation…

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