A Short Film by Pat Collins
Coming from inland West Cork originally, I noticed when I first moved to Baltimore almost 12 years ago, that my eyes were continually drawn to the land behind the house rather than the sea in front of us. Maybe I was out of my element. But gradually, over time, my eyes drifted to the sea. In 2017, I made a half hour film, Twilight, which was funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. I filmed the evening sky behind the hills over the course of two years on perhaps fifty different evenings. It’s not so much that I’m a perfectionist, far from it, but I think I just enjoyed the experience of filming so much that I didn’t want to stop – absorbing the light and the way the sound slowly changed. I’ve had a very similar experience with ‘The Sea’. I didn’t want this film to have any sense of exile from the world, or any sense of anxiety. I wanted it to feel as if the world was taking long deep breaths and we were breathing with it. I actually began before ‘lockdown’ but the restrictions allowed for a far greater concentration. Restrictions can be liberating. It was, for the most part, just me and a camera. All of the material is shot within a few hundred yards of the house. Some of it even just inside the door, out of the gales. The ships and boats pass by, high up on the sea - they appear distant and close simultaneously, shifting and still all at once.
“I didn’t want this film to have any sense of exile from the world, or any sense of anxiety. I wanted it to feel as if the world was taking long deep breaths and we were breathing with it.”
Pat Collins is a filmmaker from West Cork who has made over 30 films over the last 25 years. His most recent film is a documentary on American folklorist Henry Glassie. He has directed the feature films Song of Granite and Silence and has made films on the writer John McGahern, the poets Michael Hartnett and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, the Connemara based writer and cartographer Tim Robinson, the Iranian film maker Abbas Kiarostami and two political feature essay films ‘What We Leave in Our Wake’ and ‘Living in a Coded Land’. He is currently completing a film on the Dance Group Teac Damsa for Screen Ireland/RTÉ and a short experimental film work ‘All Ways’ funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.