Silence in The Silent Accomplice

I thought I would share a few brief thoughts on the silence in my film, The Silent Accomplice. Silence is here not thought of as silent film, where the scenes and actions would naturally have dialogue but that these are not heard, but silence here means natural moments in the narrative where dialogue would be absent. Nor does silence mean an absence of sound, for the film has a rich sound track designed by John Wood.

Silence in The Silent Accomplice relates more to an approach where I have sought to tell a story using what I call the negative elements of a narrative, rather than the positive elements. A painter might seek to give form to a shape by painting the thing itself – the positive image – or may decide to show a form by showing us what is not inherently in the form – the negative space. For me, we are surrounded by the positive elements of narratives which predominantly tell us stories by showing us the positive elements themselves: the actual moments of decision for a character, the actions and reactions they carry out as a direct consequence of events, including what is being said to them. The construct of the narratives are usually to follow these actions and for the composition of the film to show them. I suppose our lives are dominated by these positive actions and dialogue is a central part of that.

City youths looking at canal

In contrast, I was interested in the negative elements of the stories of my characters. The shaping of narratives where one may not show moments of decision, but show the consequence of a decision, for example, or where it is not the positive action one is interested in, but the consequence of the action or reaction, or the prelude to that action, or the peripheral events that surround the key events themselves. This idea of negative narrative also has an effect on things such as composition of images, where one may not necessarily be following the main action, but may be concentrating on the spaces around the actions, or the spaces previous to, or immediately following, the main action (I may look at this idea in the imagery and sound in a separate blog).

In so doing, I thought that the bestes online casino for me to begin was to focus on the situations and events of my characters that did not involve dialogue. As most of our daily lives are built around direct actions which heavily involve dialogue, reflected in almost every film we watch, by focusing on telling my story through moments where dialogue would naturally not occur, I was introduced to elements of narrative moments that presented me with interesting inroads into the stories of these people’s lives. I was able to focus on the negative elements of the narrative spaces, to peek in at bigger stories through mainly reflective and silent moments. My silent and ubiquitous character, water, was able to float in and out of these moments and reveal a different angle on contemporary British life.

My hope is that through these cracks in the dominant forms of engaging with cinematic narratives, I could reveal something not normally seen; as Leonard Cohen sings in one of his songs, ‘there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’. And for me, we are surrounded by noise, abundance and complexity. To see clearly, I seek a Cinema of Poverty: one element of that is the silence that will allow me to see more clearly. And I hope that my approach will help those who are interested in seeing a world they are used ton seeing in a different light so that they may discover and feel afresh.

Enjoy The Silent Accomplice.