A shiny blue bird in a thorny thicket of dark silver, stone drops falling from a metal cloud, a ghost train loaded with mysterious treasure – Australian artist Helen Britton’s pieces seem to emerge from some forgotten Wunderkammer. And yet her art is modern, avant-garde jewelry, sculptures and drawings, admired and collected around the world.
The film follows her stalking through the German outback, seeking out abandoned workshops, forgotten artisans and manufacturing processes vanishing in time. Visiting the heavy industry sites of her Australian childhood in Newcastle NSW, stone carvers in Idar-Oberstein and glassblowers in Thuringia, we reach her Munich studio, where the artist amalgamates her capture, memories, and precious materials into timeless miniature sculptures.
Beyond a simple portrait, the film is a poetic, essayistic approach to a rarely documented creative genre and a subjective narration of a relationship between the protagonist, her work and the filmmaker. Filmed over a four-year period, it is a reflection on art, memories and storytelling, with insightful interviews with the artists friends and colleagues.
The soundtrack includes indie electronic pieces by German cult bands like The Notwist, Driftmachine, Radio Citizen, Sasebo and Mount Hush.
"While the components themselves are in the form of the cheapest trinket,
the sentiment that they intend to convey reaches into the deepest abyss”.
97 min, color, HD, 16:9, 25p, Dolby 5.1,
English & German, OV; German + Engl. subtitles
ochobarcos / eightboats filmproduction
A film by Elena Alvarez Lutz (BVR)
Cinematography by Lilli-Rose Pongratz, Stefan Brainbauer, Robin Worms, Elena Alvarez Lutz (BVR)
Edited by Nina Ergang, (BFS)
Narrated by Leoncia Flynn
English translation, collaboration & subtitles by Lonnie Legg
Sound design by Joshua Lilienthal
Re-Recording mixing by Daniel Bautista
Re-recording mixing supervision by Tschangis Chahrokh
Data wrangling by Felix Länge
Credits by Felix Walser
Color grading & DCP by Bernd Gareis
Music by The Notwist, Driftmachine, Mount Hush, Sasebo, Radio Citizen, Sound Voyage, Exlex
Graphic Design by Paul Bowler
Featuring Helen Britton, Julia Wild, Katie Scott, Dianne Beevers, Jill Stowell, Carlier Makigawa, John Parkes, Atty Tantivit, Corinna Theresa Brix, Dirk Eisel, Harald Wild, Karl-Dieter Braun, Ted Snell, Ernstotto Biehl, Nola May Farman, David Bielander, Ayaka Terajima, Takajoshi Terajima, Felix Lindner, Jens Ströher