Cecilia Stenbom Parallel 2016, HD film, Duration 25 mins
Parallel is a new moving image work by Cecilia Stenbom.
Commissioned by Active Northumberland as part of the The North Sea Tall Ships Regatta 2016
Parallel will be screened each night from August 26th - 29th in Blyth, Northumberland.
The Tall Ships will sail from Blyth to Gothenburg in Sweden on Monday 29th August.
The work consists of 8 filmic vignettes that each takes their starting point from cinematic and televisual content set either in Northumberland or Gothenburg. Each scene has been exchanged and reimagined in the opposite location; iconic scenes from Gothenburg have been reimagined in Blyth and vice versa.
The material is taken from popular fiction set in both locations, specifically short, non-dialogue, outdoor scenes, inhabited by fictional characters that encapsulate the location, landscape, atmosphere, and architecture of each place. The footage created comes together as non-verbal, fractured narratives allowing the viewer to make up their own story.
Parallel explores how popular culture can act as bridge between countries, generate an interest in a place as well as create preconceived notions of respective cultures, both true and false. Using substitute locations (shooting in different locations from where the original story is set) is common practice within film and television often motivated by cost or political situation.
In Parallel I am changing one setting for the other, re-imaging one place in the other. Looking at the cinematic treatment of the landscape and built environment, how it transforms the mundane and everyday into something spectacular. Cecilia Stenbom 2016
The work explores similar aesthetics of the two locations; ports, sea, beaches, and landscape, whilst subtly subverting the expectations of the material by framing and dressing the locations and characters differently.
Location 1 (01:34)
Alien3 (1992), part of the of the science fiction horror film franchise, was mostly filmed at Pinewood studios however some scenes where shot on locations in the North East including Blyth Power Station and Blast Beach in Seaham, utilising the wild open landscape and industrial structures to create an alien world. The landscape scenes where shot ‘day for night’; a set of cinematic techniques used to simulate a night scene while filming in daylight. Jan Lindwall from Falkenberg inhabited the character in this scene originally played by Charles Dance. The opening scene of the 2003 re-release of Alien3 at Kvillepiren, a former railway pier part of Frihamnen next to where the Tall Ships will dock in Gothenburg.
Location 2 (04:09)
The end of the iconic gangster thriller ‘Get Carter’ (1971) features a chase scene filmed at the former coal staithes in Blyth. This scene was re-imagined in Gothenburg with Michael Östervee and Jimmy Tripolitsiotis underneath the bridge ‘Göta Älvbron’ in Gothenburg.
Location 3 (07:45)
The popular Swedish action film series about the fictional police officer Johan Falk is set in Gothenburg and the scene recreated is from ‘Kodnamn Lisa’ (2012). The scene, originally filmed by the lake Rådasjön near Gothenburg, features Johan Falk, an infiltrator Frank and another officer Ove, Frank’s uncle. Taken out of context and stripped of its dialogue the scene appears to depict three men leisurely hanging out by the water. This scene was recreated at Seaton Sluice, with Blyth beach in the backdrop with Ray Bainbridge, George Davidson and Joshua Turner.
Location 4 (11:22)
‘Göta Kanal’ (1981) is a popular comedy about a boat race from Stockholm to Gothenburg through the canals of Sweden. The scene is from the end of the film where the three main protagonists, having lost the race, sit down on a pile of straw bales contemplating their loss. It is never clear in the film why these straw bales where there. The scene is ecreated on Blyth Quayside with Allie Walton, Liz King and Ron Macdonald.
Location 5 (15:34)
The ITV police drama ‘Vera’ (2011-present) set in Northumberland is an important employer of the film and television industry in the North East of England. A number of episodes have featured seaside locations including ‘Changing Tides, (Episode1 season 5) filmed on a variety of beaches in Northumberland. For the location in Sweden Stenbom chose Falkenberg, an hour south east of Gothenburg to film at Skreastrand; a beach destination for many Gothenburg residents. It’s 250-metre long, recently renovated wooden pier echoes British seaside architecture. Helena Jansson and Brian Zulu took part in the filming of this scene.
Location 6 (17:34)
Billy Elliot (2000) about a young boy an aspiring ballet dancer set against the backdrop of the coal miners strike in North East of England earned 72 million pounds at the box office and has later been turned into a musical.
The biggest challenge here was to find a location in Sweden as the architecture featured in the film, mainly Victorian terraced houses are unmistakably British so I decided to choose a location in a build environment that didn’t feature any buildings. I worked Felicia Klang to reenact a scene out of the film; she had a similar aura to Billy in the film and a dreamy expression in her eyes.
Location 7 (20:09)
The Swedish miniseries ‘Upp till Kamp’ (How Soon is Now) from 2007 chronicles four friends road to adulthood in Gothenburg in the 1960’s and 70’ at the backdrop of the left wing political movement in Sweden. The Gothenburg region, like the North East, has seen the demise of its heavy industries, mainly the ship building industry, in the last 50 years forcing similar social and economic change. The scene recreated is from the introduction to the first episode where the main character is looking out over the inlet to Gothenburg. This scene was shot at in North Shields overlooking the ferry terminal where ferries once departed for Gothenburg. Wayne Lancaster plays the man in this scene.
Location 8 (22:52)
‘Hamnstad’ (Port of Call) from 1948 is written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, his fifth feature film. Ingmar Bergman in undoubtebly the most respected and wellknown director from Sweden and even in this early film his distinct aesthetics and visual storytelling is clear. The film is set in Gothenburg and its main character is Berit, a young woman. The films opening harbour scene is recreated in the Port of Blyth. Sarah Louise Johnson re-enacts Berit and Mimi Kennedy, Janet Dodds and Linda Hansen play the supportig cast. At the end of the sequence Berit looks over at the remains of Blyth Staithes; the original location of the chase scene from Get Carter.
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