Two Years at Sea

Friday 21 October 2011, at 9pm, NFT1

Two Years at Sea
Ben Rivers | UK 2011 | 88 min
Using old 16mm cameras, artist Ben Rivers, who has been nominated for the Jarman Prize and has won a Tiger Award at Rotterdam, creates work from stories of real people, often those who have disconnected from the normal world and taken themselves into wilderness territories. His new long-form work extends his relationship with Jake, a man first encountered in his short film This Is My Land. The title refers to the work Jake did in order to finance his chosen state of existence. He lives alone in a ramshackle house, in the middle of the forest. It’s full of curiosities from a bygone age, including a beloved old gramophone. We see his daily life across the seasons, as he occupies himself going for walks in all weathers, and taking naps in the misty fields and woods. Endlessly resourceful, he builds a raft to fish in a loch. Jake has a tremendous sense of purpose, however eccentric his behaviour seems to us. The presence of the camera is irrelevant to him; he has no desire for human contact, and is completely at home in his environment, the nature around him and his constructed abode. Rivers’ gracefully-constructed film creates an intimate connection with an individual who would otherwise be a complete outsider to us.

Helen de Witt

Also screening:
Monday 24 October 2011, at 1:30pm, NFT1

See Two Years at Sea production stills here