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Drive In

Stuart Croft
2007
8 min Colour Sound S 16mm/Digibeta
Gallery Loop

Drive In

A couple drive an endless journey through an anonymous city at night.

The passenger, an American woman in her late twenties, delivers a shaggy-dog story to her suited, middle-aged, male driver. The woman's monologue checks all the boxes of the (male) fantasy desert island joke: some guy, washed up on a paradise island after a storm, stumbles across the woman of his dreams. She's not only built her own house, workshop, kiln, boat and cocktail bar - but she's an artist too. The guy, open-jawed, observes her 'crazy wood carvings of people screwing', and falls hopelessly in love. Her initial reticence fades (especially after he shaves off 'that fucking beard'), and they embark on the perfect relationship. Of course, the guy fucks up, and has an affair on the other side of the island whilst doing 'research' for a novel he writes with goat's blood. So he goes off on a fishing trip to 'get some space, that kinda shit' - and gets washed up on a paradise island after a storm.

Shot on glorious, sparkling celluloid, 'Drive In' appears to be a convincing 'slice' of a contemporary feature film. In the gallery space, however, any promise of narrative trajectory becomes fixed in endless, anxiety-inducing repeat. The woman's joke-monologue perpetually joins onto itself, whilst the man's silence is unnervingly eternal. The film's Hollywood production values are perversely upended and the maligned genre of the road movie, with its concomitant associations of existential discovery and resolve, is ensnared. The protagonists, denied arrival or conclusion, are doomed to drive their ceaseless road journey with only each other's bitterness for company.

Written & Directed by Stuart Croft
Cast: Camilla Arfwedson and Simon Bridge
Line Producer: Tom Dingle
Director of Photography: Zillah Bowes
Casting Director: Paul Fuller
Music: Mark Lo
Editor: Stuart Croft

Financially supported by Arts Council England / Royal College of Art Sponsored by Arri Media / Kodak / Rushes Postproduction

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