Walker and Walker
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Nightfall

2003, 16mm film transferred to DVD, 7'

“Melancholy is often associated with such landscapes and with the onset of darkness. In an essay on the romantic poet Gérard de Nerval, Julia Kristeva, for instance, interprets his metaphor of the ‘black sun’ as a summing up of ‘the blinding force of the despondent mood – an excruciating, lucid affect asserts the inevitability of death.’ She goes on to outline a process in which there is a doubling of the self in this melancholy state, a narcissistic development that could be similarly identified in the rower of Nightfall.

There is, after all, a more mythic reading of the film in which both Narcissus and Echo play a vital role. Certainly, it could be argued that there is a process of internalisation at work throughout the piece. Often this is most evident in the cinematography where the landscape is a filtered, drained blue, contrasting with the more vivid skin tones of the main character and with the sharply defined green wood of the rowing boat that carries him away from the land. It is as if the surrounding world were insubstantial, dissolving in the twilight, leaving the protagonist in the realm of his own imagination.” Extract from The End of Light by Francis McKee

See also
Nightfall in Venice, Ill heard, ill seen

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