Watch Passion: A Letter in 16mm
- 28 min
Passion: A Letter in 16mm is a visually stunning and thought-provoking independent film directed by James Ricketson and produced by James Ricketson and Greg Milton. The movie stars Linda Griffiths as the narrator, John Allen as the lover, and Karen Hardess as the lover's wife. The film was released in 1985, and it has since become a cult classic for its unique blend of experimental filmmaking, intricate storytelling, and poetic dialogue. The movie is essentially a love letter in motion picture format. It is a story about a woman who writes a passionate letter to her lover, a man she has not seen in years. The letter delves into the depths of human emotion, exploring the complex web of desire, longing, and regret that defines our relationships. Through her words, we witness the intensity of the narrator's feelings and the depth of her connection to the love of her life. As she reads the letter aloud, we are transported into her psyche, experiencing her joys and pains, and following her on a journey of self-discovery. What makes this film unique is its unconventional approach to storytelling. The movie is shot entirely on 16mm film, adding a layer of grainy texture to each frame. It is also entirely black and white, and the camera is often handheld, creating a sense of instability and erratic movement. The film is not concerned with conventional narrative structures or linear storytelling. Instead, it opts for a more impressionistic approach, with the story unfolding through a series of dream-like sequences and disjointed images. The film's central theme is desire, and the different forms it takes; romantic desire, sexual desire, emotional desire, and spiritual desire. Through the narrator's words, we get a glimpse of her past relationships and the things that have shaped her desires. We see her conflicting emotions as she wrestles with her own insecurities and the reality of her situation. The film portrays desire as a force that is both beautiful and destructive, capable of igniting passion and consuming us entirely. Another theme that comes through in the film is the idea of memory and the power it holds over us. The narrator's letter is a way for her to process and relive her memories with the love of her life. As she reads it aloud, we see flashbacks of their past together, each one revealing a new layer of their story. The film suggests that our memories do not fade with time but instead become a part of us, shaping who we are and what we desire. The film's use of symbolism is also worth noting. The opening shot of the movie is a close-up of a typewriter, and we hear the sound of keys being pressed down. This image sets the tone for the film, hinting at the importance of language and communication in relationships. Other images that recur throughout the film include trains, clocks, and water, each symbolizing a different aspect of desire and memory. The film's three main actors deliver fantastic performances, with Linda Griffiths standing out for her poignant and powerful voice over. Her narration carries the weight of the film, and it is through her words that we connect with the central character. John Allen and Karen Hardess are also excellent in their roles, bringing a sense of realism to the characters they portray. Overall, Passion: A Letter in 16mm is a captivating and visually striking film that offers a unique perspective on desire, memory, and relationships. It is a movie that encourages viewers to think and feel deeply, and it rewards those who are willing to take the journey with it. While it is not for everyone, those who appreciate experimental cinema and poetic storytelling will find much to love about this film.