An extension of Ben Rivers’s short film This Is My Land, Two Years At Sea is a portrait of British eccentricity and perfect solitude. Jake Williams lives alone in a ramshackle house in the midst of an Aberdeenshire pine forest with the camera following him through the seasons, at home and in the landscape. Shot in luminous black and white 16mm negative on a hand-wound camera and hand-processed in his own kitchen sink, Rivers’s grainy film burns, scratches and whites out in a perfect example of form mirroring content. Williams is an enigma, the motivation for his retreat from conventional society is left largely unexplained and with proceedings often slowing to the stillness of a photograph, this is a film poem of elegiac beauty and great mystery.
UK 2011 91m