Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Dreams of a Life Media Release
Dreams of a Life Madman Entertainment
As part of its Long Play program, ACMI presents a near month long season of the acclaimed documentary Dreams of a Life from award-winning film maker Carol Morley.
In 2006 the British press reported a woman discovered dead in her North London council flat. What was notable about the situation was that she was found some three years after her death. The television was still on; the heater was still on; her body surrounded by wrapped Christmas gifts.
Begging the question: how does someone disappear without anyone noticing?
Intrigued by the story, filmmaker Carol Morley began to investigate and explore the notion of community, connectivity and communication. She was compelled by the thought "I can't leave her to be forgotten." Posting advertisements in local papers and on the side of black cabs asking anyone who knew 38 year old Joyce Vincent to make contact; she began to solve the mystery: who was Joyce and how did this happen?
"Someone wrote that for a woman to die at forty in her flat on her own, completely forgotten was "the dark side of Bridget Jones" and this really provoked me (Morley) to find out who Joyce was. It seemed that it could be such a female story - one that tapped into the contemporary anxieties held by women." On seeing a photo of Joyce, Morley was further intrigued in seeing ". just how beautiful she had been . kind of goes against who we think can be forgotten; we just don't think that the young and beautiful could be so unmissed."
As friends, neighbours, lovers, colleagues and acquaintances came forward and shared their personal stories and recollections of Joyce, what emerges is a portrait of an enigmatic beauty who was equal parts vivacious part girl and recluse.
Screening to sell out audiences at this year's Sydney Film Festival, this very modern day detective story haunts the audience and elicits a chill in your spine. A key theme for Morley is that of communication, that in an age of hyper connectivity we can still be isolated, disconnected and alone. "We live in an age where we appear to be always contactable and always seen. Mobile phones, emails, Twitter, Facebook . make it seem we are all connected, that we live in the most connected and visible time in history. Do the very communication devices that supposedly connect us actually isolate us and stop us from being really seen?"
A former student of film at Central St. Martins, Morley uses her filmmaking skills deftly. She spent 5 years collecting and collating the images of Joyce. Layering interviews and additional content to not only examine an individual life and explore her themes, but also to portray a vibrant London and its inhabitants - she is careful to realise that "a biography of someone's life can be as much about the people interviewed as one person's story." It's a matter of construction and perception.
Nominated for the London Critics Circle: Best Documentary, Greierson Award Best Documentary at the London Film Festival and the London Evening Standard Film Awards Best Documentary.
Dreams of a Life screens at ACMI for an extended season from 13 September to 7 October 2012. For information on session times and ticketing please visit www.acmi.net.au
More praise for Dreams of a Life:
"Fascinating and haunting. will stay with you for weeks, months, maybe more" 4-Stars Anna Smith, Virgin Media
"This barely conceivable story of neglect and loneliness is given heartbreaking new life by Morley" 4-Stars Empire Magazine
"Haunting, compassionate and inventive" 5-Stars Time Out
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