Sean Grattan

Revisiting HADHAD - Part 1: Shooting the film, Horror as genre (2020)

26 min 7 secDigital Video / Colour / Sound

In Part 1 of this 3 part conversation Sean Grattan and Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió discuss the making of HADHAD, the relationship with the Horror genre and the influence of other film-makers and teachers on the making of the work.

HADHAD (41:21 mins)
Part 2: Language, Technology and Totalitarianism (26:07 mins)
Part 3: The schism of Liberalism (17:24 mins)

Catalogue notes

00:00 Welcome and Introduction from Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió

02:00 Background to making the work at CalArts in Los Angeles (2011/12). Shoot and location

04:36 Discussion of HADHAD’s high production values. Working on a budget with student labour whilst maintaining the film’s sense of horror and tension. Directing actors.

08:40 On the characters robotic personas. (MS) - “One of the ruses of the movie is that the characters may or may not already be Cyborgs… the tightness becomes a metaphor for the characters belief in the coming technological singularity…everything is stripped down to the bare essentials so there’s no room for human expression… technological determinism is so profound”

10:00 What is this movie about? How to describe what happens?

(SG) Describes the plot and the tropes of a traditional horror movie "A group of people, they may be strangers, they’ve gone in vacation to some kind of isolated environment...normally in a horror movie there’s some kind of transgressions, the teenagers will be punished…" Discusses removing stylistic elements of horror and making the intruder “more absurd”

13:00 (MS) - Characters and dialogue. “You remove the emotion, which you could argue is the core of horror..the emotional reaction is what draws audience to this kind of movie…the emotion doesn’t disappear, it gets heightened…why did you so that and why is it so successful?”

15:30 (SG) - Influence of theatre, analytical thinking and English upbringing on the dialogue. "The challenge was using the analytical script on to some other kind of cinematic framework...The tension gets created from putting elements together that don’t work together cinematically in a conventional sense… there’s this kind of humanity that I can’t scrub out…”

18:30 (MS) - Talks about the film discarding emotion but being saturated with emotion”

21:00 (SG) Talks about Directors, Theorists and Teachers that inpsired the work; David Lynch, James Benning, Claire Denis, Charles Gaines who "rewrote my story of art" . The need to create ”a philosophy that’s embodied”, discusses merging cinema and critical theory to understand “…who are humans, what are they doing, what is our method of living, what is the dynamic between power and subjectivity?”

26:07 End of Part 1

Other works by Sean Grattan

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