East End Film Festival 2015 to host premiere of ‘Here Lies’
“All sorrows can be borne if we can put them into a story or tell a story about them. Nearly all troubles result from being unable to do either” – Karen Blixen
“All painting is an accident. But it is also not an accident, because one must select what part of the accident one chooses to preserve” – Francis Bacon
According to director Duncan Ward these quotes are true to the concept and story of “Here Lies”
An inventive, unique new film about the art of filmmaking and the struggles involved, Here Lies is the meta-fictional return to the big screen of British director Duncan Ward (Boogie Woogie) setting out to make a biopic of the controversial artist Ernst Hellmann (Daniel O’Meara), notorious for misogyny, hell-raising and suffering a mysterious demise. All the while, Ward is being shadowed by students documenting the making of the film. As life and art begin to mirror each other in mysterious ways, both begin to unravel.
The film’s central theme is Hellmann’s lifelong search for the perfect muse, having lost his first, great love at the start of his fame. Ward’s film reconstructs scenes from Hellmann’s life with actors, as well as using interviews with real people connected with the late artist. At the same time, the film shows a group of film students, making a documentary that follows a film crew, which is making a film about an artist, each strand carefully woven to give insight into all three layers. Ward took on actual film students and up-and-coming acting talent to fulfil major roles.
As rehearsals and filming get under way, Ward becomes increasingly entrenched in problems on and off set, tensions mount and the film, and his life, start to unravel. The first part shows the Director rehearsing and filming a difficult scene between the Artist and the Muse, his model and lover. There are continual interruptions to the filming, in the form of interviews and straight to camera commentary and it becomes clear that the lead actress is unhappy in her role and the production.
A critic said of the film: “If you are the kind of person looking for a 100 mile an hour, in-your-face, laugh a minute movie then this film might not appeal, but, and there is a but, if you are after a more discerning film that has style, class, culture, and a cleverness, then this gem of a film is probably one of the best movies you will enjoy this year.”
Shot mainly in a London studio, and on location in Venice, HERE LIES won the top prize at ECU independent film Award: Best European independent film and the Best feature drama award at Worldfest Houston Remi Awards in April this year. Here Lies is written, produced and directed by Duncan Ward for his company Eyeplugin Productions, and features Daniel O’Meara, Christian McKay, Maria Papas and Tallulah Harlech. Award-winning cinematographer John Mathieson (Gladiator) was on set for the first week of filming to train up the young guns and appears in the movie. After which he left protégé Alain Philippe Cross to shoot the rest of the film.
Duncan Ward comments: “Here Lies echoes the artist Brian Eno’s maxim – go to an extreme place then retreat to a more useful position – Here Lies is both a conceptual meta film and equally a narrative fiction film. I raise a glass to many auteur filmmakers, who populated our screens from the late fifties to late seventies with striking, ingeniously made, risk intense works.”