Thus Spoke the Wulf (2014)

Thus Spoke the Wulf 

A film in 3 parts with live sound | 20 mins | 2014

As part of Spaces, a major collaborative project of 2014 between Video Jam and Slip imprint resulting in a 3 part UK tour, three members of filmmaking collective WULF (photogapher Paul Daly, animator Tom O'Meara and director Scout Stuart) were paired with Spaak (composer Joe Snape) and commisisoned to produce a new audio/visual work, developed over a period of 6 months. Supported by Arts Council England.

Part I by Paul Daly: "My film is centrally a vignette documenting the quintessential housewife and breadwinner relationship. This systematic way of living is becoming a thing of the past as newer generations of couples have a more equal role in their relationships, abolishing long-lived male and female stereotypes. Day to day tasks envelop and repeat in their lives. The housewife cleans and irons, she watches television on the analogue TV she doesn’t want to get rid of yet, surrounded by her remotes and VHS tapes. The breadwinner travels and types, printing and shredding on a weekend when he should be at home.

Architecture plays an integral role and influence in the film. Brutalism and terraced housing are the select backdrops, presenting a society suppressed by concrete and red brick. Coming from a photographic background, I have brought this approach into the making of my film. Shooting on 16mm format, I have created moving portraits."

trailer for Part I by Paul Daly

Part II by Tom O'Meara: "My film is carved from abstraction, star snakes and goldfish. Childhood memories of wanting a pet snake and settling for a goldfish. I liked fire as a child, I would burn sticks in the back garden, my mum called me a pyromaniac. The film is submerged as though a series of abstract events are quickly taking place before an underwater camera. Electronic moments are dots of light, binary, a sequence of patterns that need to be decoded for any significance. I wanted to make the film feel light and fleeting, to bounce along to the music, random but coherent."

Part III by Scout Stuart: "I created the final piece of our film by juxtaposing my own material with found footage taken from disparate sources, linking them via image association, colour patterns and mood. In my work as a writer I often employ a stream of consciousness approach, allowing words to come freely, one after the other, via association at the speed of thought, and so my aim with SPACES was to employ a similar technique in order to convey an authentic sense of memory recall. During the process of making this film my Nana, who I was incredibly close to, passed away and so a sense of loss is now evident throughout in the imagery and tone. This links back to the theme of recollection and an almost desperate scramble to cling to certain memories."

Music by Spaak (Joe Snape): "The music for Thus Spoke the Wulf is a kind of half-remembered, computerised pop dream. Everything is based around a few raggedy Technicolor melodies; string arrangements and xylophones are everywhere; there are drum machines on almost every track. But something is not quite right: you can almost hear the sticky-tape holding together the synthesisers, and the pitch-shifted vocals are forever slipping away from the beat. While it’s all electronic music and it’s totally made from all your favourite algorithms, it would rather sound like it was put together with Early Learning Centre scissors, a pot of PVA glue, and a page of Lonely Hearts classifieds ripped from the regional newspaper."

Paul Daly is a multidisciplinary filmmaker and photographer. His interests are centered on documenting society in its current state. British ways and traditions are becoming less common as Western cultural influence becomes more apparent. He uses image-making as a way of creating a world on the cusp of emptiness.  

Scout Stuart is a filmmaker from Manchester, England. Her artist films have been exhibited throughout the UK, Europe and South America. As a screenwriter, her short films have been selected to screen at Edinburgh International Film Festival, BFI FLare, Uppsala, Palm Springs, Encounters and L.A Independent Film Festival amongst others. Her debut feature screenplay, 'Mud’ was selected for British Film Institute’s and Creative England’s iFeatures 3 scheme. ‘Leg, Arm, Head’ is her narrative directing debut. 

Joe Snape (1989) mixes conventional and homemade instruments with light and text to make unusual and moving performances. His work – featured in The Guardian and described by Fluid Radio as ‘joyous and beautiful’ – has been presented at venues like Café Oto (London), Wonder Site (Tokyo), Mayhem (Copenhagen), Melkweg (Amsterdam), Quiet Cue (Berlin), and The Kitchen (NYC). His work has appeared on BBC 6 Music, Resonance FM and NTS Radio, and is published by the Slip, Kesh and Ono imprints. Joe studied music at Cambridge, Oxford, and the Institute of Sonology, spent time at University of California Berkeley, and holds a PhD fellowship at New York University, where he writes about music that was never made. He hails from the great industrial city of Birmingham, England, and lives in London and New York City.