2002 16mm film

Nocturne is a five-minute film shot entirely at night in the shadowy deserted streets of London’s East End and Docklands. In this echoic city past haunts present, animating concealed histories.

Composed of long static viewpoints, each shot slowly unfolds in time, suggesting that as if by looking long enough alone its secrets will be revealed. The use of long exposure and timelapse on 16mm film results in a magnitude of colour and time: the drab and empty streets are transformed as they appear in hyper-real colour, devoid of traffic and human activity.

Nocturne has a neurotic, electric quality as the only signs of life are lights turning on and off in buildings, the occasional ghost image of passing cars and the pulse of overhead trains. On these forgotten streets the sounds of night puncture the silence with more frantic, desperate outbursts and the silence in-between becomes an active element. The film soundtrack recreates this teeming silence full of the sounds we tend to filter out, sounds such as the faint rumble of cars in the distance, planes flying overhead, the footsteps of people passing by, occasional voices and the wind blowing rubbish along the street.

“Composed of a series of twilight images of empty streets, Nocturne is a mesmerising and tonally expressive work that similarly recalls the seminal tone poem Koyaanisquatsi, with the rigourous symmetry and urban desolation of Chantal Akerman’s News From Home. — New York Video Festival 2003 Notes.”

Nocturne, 16mm, 5 minutes, 2002
Prod/Dir: Emily Richardson
Camera: Emily Richardson
Sound Composer: Benedict Drew
Distributed by LUX Distribution.