Laquiem – the movie
Laquiem is a powerful and confrontational film that follows a young woman’s decision to end her life by drowning. Via haunting images, an evocative score and a visceral text, we engage with humanity at its most desperate. Laquiem is the second short film directed by Australian composer and filmmaker Andrée Greenwell.
Greenwell has created a strong and unique work, as in her first film, Medusahead, a video-opera clip for decapitated soprano and 3D animated snakes. She has successfully exploited the sensuality of the medium, simultaneously questioning traditional modes of film narrative practice. While using elements of traditional film language, Greenwell challenges the complex hierarchies of film narrative to reveal a human experience that is dramatically driven by a rich and compelling soundtrack, and without conventional dialogue.
The film’s sumptuous score is the result of Greenwell’s talent and considerable experience as a composer for performance, theatre and film.
Laquiem, funded primarily by the NSW Film and Television Office’s Young Filmmakers Fund, is an ambitious low budget film, over half of it set under the waters of a hydro-commissioned lake. Rebecca Smee gives a brave and frightening performance as the young woman, Kaye Nine. Justine Kerrigan’s photography does justice to the vast landscape of the NSW Snowy Mountains, creating a beautiful and lonely setting.
5.1 Surround Mix: Julian Knowles
Sound Design: Scott Horscroft
Mixed at UWS Studios Sydney
Print mastering: Soundfirm, Sydney
Screenings: Sydney Film Festival, Sacramento International Film Festival, Commonwealth Film Festival UK, Sao Paulo Short Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Laquiem – live performance work. The Sydney Opera House.
The piece was also adapted and presented as a live performance work at the Sydney Opera House. I designed and mixed the sound for this live production using a fully automated digital console (designed for a studio) in 1999. This was quite ahead of the curve for the time, but allowed me to do a lot of quite complex FX and automation moves in performance. I had to lug in my own board and replace the opera house in-house board, as they did not have any digital boards at the time – hard to believe in retrospect, given what’s happened in live sound since. Here is an excerpt from one of the Sydney Opera House performances – audio is recorded directly off the board with no post processing.