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Century City

Stuart Croft
2006
9 mins Colour Sound S16mm/Digibeta
Double screen gallery loop

Century City

Century City is a dual-screen film installation that creates a narrative and spatial impossibility.

On one screen is DS Nancy Delport, a Cape Town detective. Late at night, in her squad office, Delport is discussing the murder of American actress and model Crystal Fallone. Fallone has apparently been shot dead outside her hotel whilst working at Cape Town's new Century City film studios, where she was shooting a re-make of Godard's 1963 film Contempt.

Delport is on the phone to Crystal's father, Peter Kashlin, who is on the opposite screen. Kashlin is a wired, burnt-out director of TV crime thrillers. Apparently thousands of miles from Delport, Kashlin is on the Los Angeles set of his latest project, Triple Blade, in which Crystal was due to star. Kashlin's movie set is also a detective's office - and it is Delport's exact same movie set that we see Kashlin speaking from. Delport's sequence is shot as a rich, static, celluloid 'readymade', written with convincing thriller dialogue. The opposite screen, shot in verité documentary video, sees Kashlin roaming through exactly the same set, but with the apparatus of cinema fully exposed: scenery, backdrop, camera, lighting, cast and crew.

Thus the idea of the movie set in Century City is revealed as much more than a fiction: here, it is an entirely impossible construction. As the critic Adrian Searle wrote of the installation in The Guardian: "What is real, what is illusion? Century City turns out to be a kind of spatial moebius strip, one place folding into another. The pleasure here is of Croft's continual creation and dismantling of illusion."

Writer-Director: Stuart Croft
Featuring: Matthew Marsh and Pippa Hinchley
Executive Producer: Fred [London] Ltd
Casting Director: Gary Davy
Director of Photography: Zillah Bowes
Production Designer: Catherine Byrne
Line Producer: Kate Hall
Stills Photographer: Hugo Glendinning
Editor: Stuart Croft
Supported by Fred [London] Ltd / Royal College of Art / Panavision UK / Arion Facilities

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