Blog Post: Ralph Pritchard
26 June 2018
Thoughts on Distance
Film can be a distant medium, the viewer is often restless in their seat. For a while now I’ve chosen to lean into that distance and put it centre stage. But can distance be a starting point for connection?
When I started making Heaven, Hell, now selected for BNC18, I wanted to show a feeling of loneliness I felt personally haunted by, and which seemed unique to the digital era. I created several aesthetic worlds: the text messages, the solitary human figure and the empty underpass. These worlds never connect physically, but they collide in the rhythm of the edit.
At the time, I believed that carefully-constructed emails and long text messages were truer for being premeditated. I worked in the media so I was in the habit of trying to manage perceptions. However, this approach of control entrenches distance and stops us living in the present, with all its humour and oddness.
I’m glad that the Heaven work, in its best moments, grasps the emotional present, its ebbs and flows, without attempting to control or explain it.
As an artist in the internet era one must be careful not to fall into a vortex of vicarious, shallow engagements. The thrill of being known and approved of is no replacement for deeper bonds, and compassionately critical engagement from friends. My next challenge, having leant into the distance, is to lean into the connection.