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Andrew Kötting
'Reality is often pregnant with utterly unexpected possibilities. A powerful spiritual dimension can be found in one's life through the exercise of the imagination... We make our own weather.' JG Ballard

Kötting's features to date stand in significant opposition to almost all contemporary British production. Of the two, the award-winning Gallivant takes the lighter path. The littoral truths of this island are perambulated in a shaggy circuit activated by family across three generations (it cannot be better analysed than in Iain Sinclair's Sight and Sound dispatch 'Big Granny and Little Eden'). What must be mentioned however is the democracy of its looking. It has a wide ear and eye, both for folk, their ways and for signage, for the scale sweep and the sweet stall. It makes the personal a generous filter into the social. It understands the switchback exchange between the two. Deeply, it belongs.

This Filthy Earth, meanwhile, offers an altogether darker act of witness. Nothing prepares you for its singular locality after Gallivant's wayward, rambling charm. A foreigner working in a remote moorland farming settlement - sisters, family, village all taprooted into the oldest soil - precipitates its partial implosion after he is scapegoated for social and meteorological ills.

A vaudeville cow opera, This Filthy Earth honours John Berger's Pig Earth but digs deepest into Zola's La Terre. It lives absolutely in a material world - bull and man sperm on the hands, pigs in branches, rooms like caves or armpits, piss in graveyards, phlegm, pus, shit, rock, rain, mud, mud. A biblical downpour might wash it all away (indeed, by the film's climax, there will be a felled church, a routed flock, a bog opening like a reverse birth-canal to retrieve offspring; and outcasts united in ceaseless passage across the earth).

This Filthy Earth visualises Kötting's instinctual association with the dispossessed, with regions, with dialect, with margins, with the visionary, with the body; all being aspects of an attitude that refuses the majority cultural production of a rational, managed reality.

Still from This Filthy Earth by Andrew Kötting, 2001
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