The Man Who Fell to Millom (2018)

Here’s a video I’ve made in collaboration with the genius ears of Mark Vernon. And some screenshots.

The Man Who Fell to Millom (2018) is a short, atmospheric, science fiction film set in Millom. As a Glasgow-based artist commissioned by the Moving Mountains Festival to make a film about Ghyll Scaur Quarry, I was acutely aware of my ‘outsider’ status. So, my approach was to imagine discovering Millom, its rich industrial past and its people, as if I were an alien, sifting through audio and images found in the ether. Using a collage technique, I pieced together a science fiction narrative for the town of Millom, haunted by the poetry of Norman Nicholson.

The Man Who Fell to Millom gathers together textures of the Cumbrian landscape, both rural and industrial, memories of its people and the contradictory sounds of nature and technology. The film tells the absurd tale of a creature, perhaps awakened by mining works or perhaps deliberately hewn from the stone beneath Millom, and the humanoid who opposes it. We follow in the footsteps of a hooded figure, literally a man who fell to earth (he’s Bowie in Roeg’s TMWFTE), as he walks a rocky coastal landscape, pursuing the ominous Cthulhu-like creature (the embodiment of an industrial past or a nuclear present maybe?) which seems to threaten the past inhabitants of Millom. A fragment of a favourite Norman Nicholson poem, Shingle, appears in the film, offering layers of texture; of grey waves, of stone and of butterbeans.

Check out Mark’s work here: