Dancer Shona McCullagh’s award-winning debut short film offers a joyful fingers-up to gravity, dialogue, and the idea that nuns never get up to anything exciting. Two nuns flip twist and fly from bedside to beachside, turning a moving train carriage into a jungle gym (in-between desperately seeking solace from the call of nature). The footloose dance film did some travelling of its own: invited to over 30 festivals, including prestigious dance film festivals, and Edinburgh, Clermont-Ferrand, and Sundance (where it played before Kiwi feature Scarfies).
With film, I was interested to see if I could equal the pleasures of watching someone's weight ebb and flow in a live situation. I also really enjoy the notion of imprinting forever my choreography somehow and film was the obvious way to do that. It can be very sad just to continue to make work for live performance that is performed for a short time and then buried somewhere with no gravestone.– Shona McCullagh, in a February 2005 Listener interview
The Human Garden
Available on DVD from Human Garden Productions.
Music composed and performed by David Long. Violinist Peter Daly.