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Performance Film | 2017

Part theatrical rehearsal, part fractured romcom, the film examines the tension between cliche and truth within popular culture.


A film by Adam Castle and Ed Twaddle

Producer: Adam Castle

Director of Photography: Mariella Clair Pacey

Cast: Adam Castle and Ed Twaddle


- Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2017


Repeating lines that we’ve heard a million times before, two characters re-stage songs and scripts from pop music and TV shows. The film sees how we absorb popular culture, and re-perform it through our daily interactions with each other.

Their words are thick with cliche gloss, but it is hard not to find affinity with their commercial truth. The work both celebrates and critiques popular culture, and its ability to affect our emotions.

Filmed in a community hall, in front of a stage, the two characters sit amongst props which suggest a domestic setting. The film is constructed from a series of scenes. Scene changes are indicated by the characters randomly moving the props around. The film opens as they sit ‘at home’ ironing and listening to a pop star performing karaoke on the radio. The following scenes see them rehearsing a scene from the sitcom Friends, singing a Sophie Ellis Bextor song in unison and recreating a scene from Sex and the City.

As the film progresses, it moves from the domestic to the abstract. We see the characters dance to music from a laptop before delivering an impassioned motivational speech in unison. In the finale, the two characters stare into each other’s eyes and move hypnotically back and forth within the space, whilst a compilation of a capella pop songs swell around them.

Moving from karaoke to a capella, through motifs of unison, mirroring, harmony and break-up, this film is a romance narrative which aims to move its audience emotionally, whilst simultaneously encouraging them to examine the authenticity of its content.

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