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Moving Image and Sound students

Paul Thompson

Still from MA Moving Image and Sound student Paul Thompson's film featuring a girl with paint on her face
Still from MA Moving Image and Sound student Paul Thompson's film
Still from MA Moving Image and Sound student Paul Thompson's film featuring a girl wearing gloves and headphones
Set still from MA Moving Image and Sound student Paul Thompson's film

‘Act 2 of a Fictional Musical’

The idea of making a film of a “fictional musical” was inspired by the often binary responses that you get when you ask, “How do you feel about musicals?”.

The lavish spectacles of the so called ‘super musicals’ of the late-70s (and ongoing), coincided with punk and post-punk which, when juxtaposed, seemed to offer a refreshing authenticity, which put me in the “don’t like musicals” camp.

In this project I am exploring the borders where mainstream meets alternative, and where pop video meets narrative and musical film. Taking a DIY approach to creating the piece was key not only to the aesthetic, but also reflects my interest in the homemade/can do nature of punk/post punk of the late 20th century while fusing it with the precision of 21st century cottage industry electronica.

I set out to suggest a narrative that is contained both within the songs and the staged musical performance, while also being reflected in an off-stage story, which is itself loosely based on the semi-autobiographical novel, ‘The Legion of the Damned’, by controversial Danish author Sven Hassel, published in 1953.

My broader intention was to explore the presentation of live music and story, and play with the artifice of popular music culture using subtext, abstraction and symbolism, while still maintaining a narrative arc. I was also considering the roles of audience, music sub-cultures and the music Industry. Above all, it needed to be a piece of rock ’n’ roll mythology in itself.

Lizzie Starling

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