This beautifully haunting short film/music video delves into the subject of death and coping with the loss of your other half, in 12 of the most aesthetically pleasing minutes you’re ever likely to encounter in the world of live-action film.
Comprised of two parts, To Build a Home firstly chronicles the last hours of a dying woman (Julia Ford), as her dedicated and faithful partner (Peter Mullan) cares and comforts for his love in her final moments. In the second part of the short, we see Mullan’s broken shell of a man, coming to terms with the loss of his beloved and struggling to face his future without the woman he loves. It’s an emotional journey full of feeling and atmosphere with a story that will resonate with anyone who has experienced the passing of a loved one.
Up the Resolution’s sombre video for two of The Cinematic Orchestra tracks is a swift departure from their usual, graphics/effects laden work (their video for Coldcuts Sound Mirrors being a pristine example of this). For To Build a Home, UTR instead decided to focus their attention more on storytelling, mood, and performance. The story they weave is touching and mesmerizing, whilst the performance from their two lead actors is nothing short of heart-breaking. Peter Mullan is in spellbinding form portraying a man struggling to come to terms with loss, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from one of Britain’s most underrated actors. Although this appears to be a story (and performance) -driven piece, don’t for any minute be fooled into thinking that the visuals for this film have been overlooked. The cinematography is absolutely sumptuous. Shot on 35mm, it perfectly captures not only the stunning landscapes of Cumbria, but every nook and cranny of the couple’s homely little stone cottage (as well as every nook and cranny of the actors’ expressions). The aesthetics of the film are even more amazing, when considering this is director Andrew Griffin’s (an animation specialist) first venture into the medium of 35mm film.
As a music video it’s a pretty original idea, combining two songs from an artist into the soundtrack of a short film- especially as the two tracks complement the narrative perfectly. As a short film, it’s beautiful in all departments, utterly compelling, and will stay with you for a long time after watching it.