Filmed in Spain, London, and Sweden with an old Bolex silent camera, this film was originally part of a longer film – that was split into a diptych, the other one being HOMMAGE Á MÉLIÈRS (not restored/available). They work as independent films.
I was lucky enough to work in several films with Chris Årfelt (1950 – 2016) a very gifted and lively woman with an intuitive understanding of film and the camera. To a large extent she handled the world of strange dolls that appear in the film, most of which were found on our strolls along the quiet beaches in Spain (this was 1970). Sometimes they had seaweed growing out of them.
We had a lot of fun making the film, it was also hard work. The restraint of having very little money paired with the high cost of 16mm film stock was a combination which made you both plan takes carefully but also take sudden leaps just for the hell of it. Being 17 at the time I had had no instruction in filmmaking (beyond the films I had seen) and doubt that I had even heard of other ways of editing than a pair of scissors and film cement. Therefore, the editing was basically done in the camera.
Our interest lay in exploring the moving image, trusting it, and hoping that the visual poetry would carry through on its own.I might not have put it this way then – it´s hard to know exactly what you were thinking 51 years later.
When making the film I got access to 2 high quality stereo tape recorders which opened up new possibilities in composing the soundtrack. At the time – there was no way of getting a stereo track onto 16mm film, so now on this restored digital version it´s the first time you can hear what the sound was supposed to sound like.
During these years, late 60s and early 70s, there were places you could see and show underground film, sometimes seedy old cinemas that held festivals and other places that would combine live performance and showing of films. Long evenings! And fun! At least in London, NY, and San Francisco I found these places and felt a part of that movement.
Looking at the film today, I see it is psychedelic camp – which it was right from the start – with a dark undertone, a composition with a poetry that I still find interesting.
Håkan Dahlström June 2021