When I first started teaching film I had a student called Pat Collins, he’s on here as compulsivemanipulator and he’s Irish. This is the sort of film, also made by an Irishman named Pat Collins, that I could see him making.
I don’t think it’s the same Pat Collins.
This is a beautiful film that follows a sound recordist searching for silence and ending up right back at the start of it all for him, on the small island just off the coast of Donegal he used to call home.
It’s a meditation on sound and the role it plays in our lives - noise, silence, music, oral stories. It’s a film about memory, nostalgia, time and place. Echoes and the synchronisation of sound and vision, and time and place. Personally, it was profoundly affecting.
As someone who has developed a deepening interest in stoic philosophy it spoke to me of the idea that peace and contentment has to be found within. The idea of going to the sea, up a mountain, into the forest to find peace is untenable, because my thoughts come with me. I need to find the sea within. This film aches with the loneliness and alienation of a man grappling with place, home, life. Searching for silence in the world, when it’s a silence within he needs to find.
Also, as someone who recently left his home town for the first time I connected with the importance of formative sounds that we feel in their absence. I don’t hear planes anymore, which is strange, as I used to live near a flight path. Now, when I’m near the huge naval base here in Cornwall I yearn for the planes to take off.
There are birds that remind me of home. And always, Luton will be my home. How could it not be? Family. 35 years. Love, loss, life. All there. Here is home now, but there are sounds that take me back instinctively to the place I call home, specific coordinates in my memory.
It is also overflowing with story - engaged with memory and its fidelity and pains, archive, documenting, ambience. Part documentary, part road movie, part film poem.