Emily’s Unkept

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

A man, well dressed, sporting a casual charm and graceful masculinity reveals a secret fear of the chicken. How peculiar.

Unkept is an Isle of Man film, made by the Island’s own Emily Cook, Director of Reel Vision Film Solutions.

From visualisation, to the big screen, Unkept took 5 months to produce. Emily had to manage 44+ unpaid actors, each with 5 minutes of camera time.

The annals of filmmaking are crowded with stories about people who manage to make films against all odds, labouring onerously to produce motion pictures without money, shooting permits or the proper professional equipment.

Emily both produced and directed this film with £200, her public relation’s skill set, MHK Quintin Gill’s office, her own equipment and help from fellow film associates.

After hearing the theme of this film, I wanted to cringe, as per any natural reaction to hearing the private thoughts of an anonymous individual. However, appropriately enough, words fail. Here I am, face-to-face with a film that really does deserve a remarkable amount of credit.

I will advise not reading any reviews, but, if you’re curious about the film, you can certainly read beyond this point. I will try my best not to spoil it.

Unkept is essentially about people, a catalogue of faces, telling a secret owned by another. A surreal film, no doubt the rationale behind commissioning the famed Island artist Juan Moore to create a piece for the DVD cover.

Unkept is an oddly comic journey though human process. Though melancholy in places, it is expressive of compassion and reality. There is something fresh about it, the director can be seen as a gatekeeper, venting and channeling her inquisitiveness for the human condition, psychology and faith through the filming of everyday people with a magical twist.

You have to watch and study the faces, the actors don’t overdo it, we are given just enough, the right expressions from actors with an ability to convey emotion through movement as well as their short script.

The habitual human cognition of keeping secrets is exposed as a failure in Unkept, many of the guilty admissions are quite ordinary, thereby, undermining the very nature of the ‘secret’ itself. This film gifts its audience with a comfort, in knowing that we share the weakest of human flaws, insecurity.

Whilst watching Unkept, I could feel from the top of my head, through the stomach and down to my toes that common human comprehension and recollection, we have all been afraid of being judged on personal ideology and opinion.

The style of this project is unique, though its setting is admittedly flawed. There seems to be nothing more than a white background accompanying the actors. This we can forgive, as there is a kind of homeliness to the flow of the film and the actors really are delightful.

Everyone’s experience of a film like this differs, I watched the film with with Ludovico Einaudi’s ‘I Giorni’ playing in my head. I felt that a soundtrack playing quietly in the background may have enhanced the experience for me, but many may have found a distraction in it.

Here, in the Isle of Man, we have artists waiting to be heard, ideas waiting for a chance to detonate, we have talented, experienced amateur and professional innovative film makers with the gusto and initiative to produce excellent work.

Emily Cook is one such a film maker, by day she is heads-up an Isle of Man film production company, alongside that, she plays a notable role in the MannInShorts Film Making Scheme, funded by the Isle of Man Film Commission.

By Night, Emily Cook is sat with her editing suite, working on another of her avant-garde conceptualisations, she is, like many other Island film architects, passion personified.

Unkept was fairly successful, drawing a sizable crowd when exhibited at Port Erin Arts Centre.  If you wish to open your mind to something new, or merely satisfy your curiosity, buy the DVD from Reel Vision at; www.reelvision.net

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