Archive of films Notes on Blindness / Notes on Blindness
United Kingdom / France
2016, 90 min
In 1983, after years of progressive illness, theologian and writer John Hull completely lost his sight. “I knew that if I didn’t understand blindness, it would destroy me.” This powerful and formally original collage presents a fascinating philosophical portrait of a strong individual who was able to turn a challenge into a gift.
In 1983, after years of progressive illness, theologian and writer John Hull completely lost his sight. “I knew that if I didn’t understand blindness, it would destroy me.” With this awareness, Hull began creating an audio diary in which he recorded the painful, yet liberating and transforming journey to the depths of his own soul, demonstrating that the physical disabilities and hurdles life brings can become enriching experiences if tackled head on. The talented directors have succeeded in a powerful and original movie that combines scenes from Hull’s family life played by actors lip-syncing the actual voices of family members (the same method used in Clio Barnard’s The Arbor – KVIFF 45), employing voiced over excerpts from Hull’s diaries and expressive shots to explore the feelings of those afflicted with blindness. This skillfully assembled collage is a fascinating philosophical portrait of a strong individual who was able to turn a challenge into a gift.
About the director
Peter Middleton and James Spinney studied visual arts and English literature respectively. For the past five years they have worked together on a variety of documentaries, acted films, and commercial projects. During that time they adapted John Hull’s audio diary into a series of award-winning short films. The first of these, Rainfall, received Best Short Documentary from the Hot Docs festival in 2013 and was nominated for an ICA Experimental Film Award. Then came the Emmy Award-winning short documentary entitled Notes on Blindness (2014), which screened at the Sundance Festival and won Best Documentary at the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. Their experimental feature debut is also entitled Notes on Blindness. The directors produce their own films and attempt to instill in them a sense of deep respect for the close relationship they shared with John Hull and his wife Marilyn.
About the film
|Director:||Peter Middleton, James Spinney|
|Screenplay:||Peter Middleton, James Spinney|
|Dir. of Photography:||Gerry Floyd|
|Producer:||Mike Brett, Jo-Jo Ellison, Steve Jamison, Peter Middleton, James Spinney|
|Cast:||Dan Skinner, Simone Kirby|