Artist-photographer-video-maker Donigan Cumming feels attracted to the repellant. His models are old, ugly, neglected, sick, demented or drunk, or all at once. They are at death's door or have already passed through. Cumming sees his videos as absurd comedies, but they are made as documentaries. The people are real and play themselves in their own surroundings - if they have them, because Cumming's models often live on the street. The three videos are closely linked in tone and approach. You could regard them as the heartless diaries of a voyeur who observes the world as the cruel theatre of Artaud or the Absurd of Beckett or Ionesco. Cumming's video-works are an example of the cruelty of cinema itself, just like the documentary-maker Ulrich Seidl whose work is akin to Cumming's (although it is unlikely they know each other's work).A Prayer for Nettie is about the old Nettie Harris who posed for Cumming's photos for many years and now, just before her death - and as she dies and afterwards - is again recorded by Cumming, but now on video. Cut the Parrot comprises three absurd characters who play their crazy roles without apparently being aware of the fact. Finally, After Brenda presents a merciless portrait of the homeless Pierre, a repulsive and unwelcome guest who has nothing left to offer except a sad life story.

Filmmaker
Donigan Cumming
Premiere
-
Country
Canada
Year
1997
Medium
Betacam SP PAL
Length
40’
Language
English
Producer
Donigan Cumming
Sales
Cinéma Libre
Writer
Donigan Cumming
Cinematography
Donigan Cumming
Editor
Donigan Cumming
Cast
Donigan Cumming