Essay Films - Shortlisted 2017
“By showcasing existing material, but in an entirely new light, essay films stroke with one hand and slap with the other”, says Charlie Lyne, whose films often involve cleverly piecing together existing footage. His first foray into the medium - Death/ Hitchcock (2011) - does just this, lining up death scenes from 36 of Hitchcock’s films to then peak in unison. His Kickstarter-funded, Netflix hit Beyond Clueless (2014), similarly splices together scenes, this time from teen films that Lyne cherished as an adolescent, with the new acknowledgment of disconcerting undertones that were less obvious on first viewing. Lyne’s interest in unsettling audience’s perceptions is also clear in Fear Itself (2015), which explores the viewer’s experience of fear, asking if horror films know us better than we know ourselves.
Lyne also examines his own place as an artist within the culture of filmmaking, especially the bureaucracy that sometimes limits him. His ten hour film of paint drying - Paint Drying (2016) - protested regimented classification procedures, with the gleeful twist that it had to be watched through by a ratings board who deemed it “suitable for all”.