Abandoned House is about a group of young people in Italy who exchange stories. The protagonist Maria listens to young men and women who report on sexual abuse and warped pleasure and she seems to feel the need to manipulate their vulnerability and rediscover her own lost love. Pictures of Tuscany and the sensual light within which the young naked figures in the film bathe serve to temper the darker aspects of the film with a tangible lyricism. In the end, the scars of abuse give way to the tenderness of the visual language itself.
As more often in the work of James Herbert, much room is left for naked and half-naked, talking and languidly love-making youths in an opulent villa in an idyllic Italy, and for a play between these bodies, the objects and sunlight be it tempered or not. Herbert himself uses the term ‘landscape/bodyscape’. Abandoned House is however different from earlier work in the use of digital photography, as a result of which different aesthetic decisions were made. Herbert himself says of this that working with HD made sure he worked more calmly and contentedly and that the feeling of tranquillity in the digital image also led to a greater respect for the patterns in the image. Ironically enough, the lightness of the camera resulted in a need for more formal compositions. (EH)

Filmmaker
James Herbert
Premiere
World premiere
Country
USA, Italy
Year
2007
Medium
HDcam
Length
75’
Language
English, Italian
Producer
James Herbert
Production Company
Cargo Cult Productions
Sales
Cargo Cult Productions
Writer
James Herbert
Cinematography
James Herbert
Editor
Xian
Production Design
James Herbert
Cast
Maria d’Amato, Pier-Nicola Bruno