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Rothach

Vivienne Dick
1985
8 mins Colour 16mm

Rothach

180 pans films of the boglands of Kerry and the lunar landscape of the Burren. The unsettling mood brought about by a soundtrack ( composed by Martin Sheller) and a poem in Irish by the poet Sean O Riordain, about a dream of being in space and the fear of not returning. V.D.

Rothach (1985), Vivienne Dick's next film, extends this exploration of narrative and the poetic. It was filmed on 16mm in the Donegal countryside and is composed of a rhythmic series of pans across a barren rural landscape that recalls the setting for Michael Snow's monumental work La Region Centrale. Unlike Snow's rocky landscape, however, Rothach is filled with evidence of activity. Scenes of a child playing the fiddle are interspersed with shots of farm machinery and turf-cutting on the bog. Many of these images are strikingly picturesque and reminiscent of iconic Irish colour postcards. But the serenity of the location is gradually undercut, both by the soundtrack, which changes from a melody into a series of shifting electronic pulses, and by the uncanny presence of the same child in different locations. It soon becomes apparent that this landscape is highly constructed.
Maeve Connolly, 'From no Wave to national cinema: the cultural landscape of Vivienne Dick's early Films (1978-1985)', National Cinema and Beyond, Four Courts Press, 2004.
For Maeve Connolly's full article on Rothach and other films, go to 'Read More'.

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