The Filmmaker’s House
When the Filmmaker is told his next film must be about crime, sex or celebrity to get funded, he takes matters into his own hands and begins shooting in his home with a cast of characters connected to his own life. Two English builders, employed to replace the garden fence, temporarily remove the barrier between the house and a Pakistani neighbour. A homeless Slovakian man charms the Filmmaker’s Colombian cleaner to let him in and tests everyone’s ideas of boundaries and hospitality.
A homeless Slovakian man, an Arsenal fan, a Colombian cleaner, a Pakistani woman mid-Ramadan. Mikel, Keith, Nery, Zara. The four characters, whose history, daily life and worldview have little in common, meet for one eventful day in the house of Marc, a filmmaker short of funding. The representative aspect of this sample of the United Kingdom’s population borders on comedy, but also tragedy, in a global context of closed borders. The house is a microcosm whose limits are called into question: Keith is replacing the fence that separates Marc from his neighbours, Nery invites Mikel to take a foam bath and Zara brings the group a festive meal – a pity that Keith is not fond of curry. In endless guises, the question returns: under what conditions are you willing to share the same space with others? Can the wish to be hospitable be imperilled by bad smells and opposite opinions? The clearer it becomes that the events we are witnessing are not spontaneous but directed by a written scenario and staging, the closer we feel to the protagonists. Acting does not oppose reality. On the contrary, each layer of artifice seems to strip away a little more of reality’s affectations. The film turns into a party: and in response to the obvious pleasure that Mikel, Keith, Nery and Zara take in playing out this comedy comes the pleasure we take in their unfortunately improbable interactions.
Marc Isaacs has made over twenty films for the BBC, Channel 4 and cinema. He has won BAFTA’s, Royal Television Society and Grierson awards and numerous festival prizes. Isaacs’ has had retrospectives in France, Israel and the UK. Isaacs has recently been appointed as an Associate Professor to run the Masters in Ethnographic and Documentary Film at University College London.