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HEAT AND SUNLIGHT

USA, 1987 (MIFF 1988)

Director: Rob Nilsson

"Mel is a photo-journalist whose book on Biafra haunts his career. Seventeen years later he is trying to find new subjects, new forms and new reasons for work. In the last 12 hours of a romance, Mel wallpapers his apartment with erotic images of his lost love This is a film about loss and grief, an expression of male desire portrayed with rare passion and candour It may he raw and somewhat uneven, but its formal vitality and emotional pitch make for a film of real excitement " - Kay Armatage, 1987 Toronto Film Festival programme

After the international success of Northern Lights in 1979, writer/director/actor Rob Nilsson made a giant leap forward with his second feature Signal 7, '83, shot entirely on video and later transferred to 35mm film. Now Heat and Sunlight takes advantage of the developments in video technology and the portability and flexibility it offers, to advance the improvisatory style of Signal 7. There are two pleasant ironies here firstly, Nilsson's work is still completely cinematic, and secondly, it's not a case of obsession with hi-tech for hi-tech's sake, for his method's are surprisingly low-tech - see below Instead it's the use of unconventional equipment and shooting styles as a means to exploring new dramatic modes, suited to the intensity of his material "It's a way to get access to more complex personal emotions... people have done improvisatory cinema before, they've done two camera coverage before, they've rehearsed for months and shot 360 degree lighting before (all key elements of Heat and Sunlight's production), but to do all these things together is, I think, the revolutionary thing" - Rob Nilsson

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