Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
16 mm double projection
Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight encapsulates the manner in which ancient mythology foreshadows and calls forth modern society. A frieze of Roman marble serves as the inspiration for a staged play; a choreographed sequence involving five actors.
The film stages the collision of ancient myth and modern dance through a split screen. One side of the screen slowly roves over a Roman frieze depicting the myth of Medea. Running parallel on the adjacent side of the screen, actors perform an avant-garde inspired dance, responding directly to the gestures and actions depicted in the aforementioned frieze. These simultaneous streams of film sharing the screen create a synchronicity between past and present, overlapping different temporalities and causing them to converge.
As they mingle, move and merge, the bodies of the actors become a conduit through which myth and history are viscerally articulated in the present. Current interpretations of the past and past projections of the future intermingle and reconfigure each other. Caught within one another’s mutually looping gravitational pull, they become inflected with the influence of the other. ‘Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight’ thus fractures the traditional linearity of history and film, allowing new connections and narratives to manifest. Here the collusion between the bound identities of film and fictionalised history reinforces the artificial space of cinema, amplifying the self-reflexive construction and disruptive chronology of structuralized filmmaking.
Jamie de Spirito
Directors of Photography