As part of the exhibition An Unkindness of Ravens at the Auckland Film Archive | 2012
Released serially at Viewfinder
Act 1: August 29
Act 2: September 5
Act 3: September 12
Act 4: September 19
his death, when clearing out his house, Mum found Uncle Roger's furled
script from a 1960 school production of 'Toad of Toad Hall' (a
dramatization of 'Wind in the Willows') in which he starred as Toad.
Illicitly unreturned and then kept by him for fifty-one years, this
script is a record of breath expended, words spoken, lines acted.
As the slide projector carousels are propelled through their cumbersome pirouettes at the Auckland Film Archive revealing each fragile page of this script, the lines, notes and drawings of its now-absent actor are examined at Viewfinder
Sitting poised ahead of speech, a script is a plan and a directive to action. [TOAD] takes each of Toad's lines and stage directions, and configures them into a text-based film work. The time of each of Toad's lines and the concomitant erasures when Toad is not directed to act keeps loosely within the time-structure of the original play, the film running the approximate length of 'Toad of Toad Hall'.
Devoid of context, the lines hang somewhat emptily in the air (as well as within the physical space of the screen) when juxtaposed against the normally rich world created through acting. But small markers of the people who most intimately handled the script creep through: the film is peppered with tracings of schoolboy drawings and notes as they were found in the script, along with the few mistakes by the typist.
In a nod to the temporality of acting, [TOAD] was released serially, act-by-act in weekly installments over a four-week period.
Text-based film, 1:33:35 and book containing the film's 287 drawings (2012)