Punto de Vista 2022 Winners
Projection format: 35mm and 16mm transfer DCP
Direction: Declan Clarke
Cinematographer: Andreas Bunte, Jaro Waldeck, Declan Clarke
Editor: Declan Clarke
Sound: Adam Asnan, Jamie Lemoine
Production: Declan Clarke
Selected filmography: Saturn and Beyond (2021), The Hopeless End of a Great Dream (2016), Wreckage in May (2015), The Most Cruel of All Goddesses (2015), Group Portrait with Explosives (2014), We Are Not Like Them (2013), Cologne Overnight (2010).
FID Marseille, St. Petersburg International Science Film Festival
We learn many things in Saturn and Beyond. Everything begins like a treatise on a host of topics, at first disparate and then gradually interrelated. A refined presenter, none other than the filmmaker himself, instructs us on electricity, on the wonder that is gutta-percha, on the decisive role of Ireland in the development of wired and wireless telegraphy, on the desire rooted in the species to communicate over distance, about Morse and Marconi, about the first transoceanic flights, about Saturn and its rings, about the underground seas on one of its moons, about the electrical signals that run through the brain and, finally, about the relentless advance of Alzheimer's disease in the world. All these themes link up in a logical manner through increasingly broad and intertwined correspondences, like in scientific method or cinematographic montage. And right then they begin to wane, to compose a more fragile figure: Alzheimer's disease is also that of the filmmaker's father, Paddy Clarke, an electrician by profession. Relics from Marconi's day, the very ones he ingenuously gathered for Ireland’s first-ever albeit short-lived museum of broadcasting. The signals that Morse's telegraph managed to send across the ocean from the westernmost tip of the island, electrical signals like the ones which were already failing to run through the museum director's brain. The life which astronomers now look for with space probes in the water buried beneath the surface of one of Saturn’s moons, the life imperceptibly fading away in him. The planet's rings, which one astronomer describes as the “the natural end state of the collapse of a rotating cloud of debris”, not so different from the father's wedding ring, which the son keeps in a cardboard box after his death. It is a characteristic of human beings to be everything to themselves and almost nothing to the whole. We call that brooding feeling of irrelevance melancholy.