Follow The Master
How can you resist a road movie declaring itself to be somewhere between Andrei Tarkovsky and You’ve Been Framed?
Aquarium - Dhivya Kate Chetty, Martin Clark | UK | 2008 | 5 min
Sine Die - Matt Hulse | UK | 1994 | 4 min
The definition of a pilgrim remains unchanged since the 17th century: inspired to make a journey, pilgrims endeavour to overcome obstacles and cruel misfortune to reach their own personal nirvana. Inspiration is an important motivation for Edinburgh-based filmmaker Matt Hulse – the mastermind behind a brilliant miscellany of animation, fiction and Super-8 including Wee Three, Polski Buty, and Hotel Central. Follow the Master, his debut feature, is no less fascinating, as it grows into a pilgrimage before the audience's eyes. Following the death of his grandfather Eric aged 96 in April 2008, Hulse decided to pay tribute to the titular Master by walking the 100-mile South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne – a part of the world his grandpa had loved and worked in as a vet. Accompanied by his girlfriend (the steadfast and cheerily patient Lucy) and their faithful, excitable canine comrade Tippy, the scene is set for adventure as they make friends with cows, birds and Belgians on the way. With much tail-wagging, the trio sojourn through forest and field examining nature along the way, in particular the animals Eric would have appreciated and healed. Musical interludes involve hymns on the ukelele and some al fresco air-drumming. Hulse’s eclectic yet intuitive style of filmmaking is in evidence throughout. Rather than use an obvious constant voiceover, various modes of expression are woven together: postcards updating friends and family chart the journey geographically, Union Jack cocktail sticks mark each mile travelled and each year of the Master’s life, and the depiction of our intrepid pilgrims' fantastical dreams add to this remarkable low budget chronicle. Thankfully, there is no soul-baring or heart-rending reflection about life, death and the universe on this pilgrimage. The nirvana attained seems more akin to that moment during funerals that Hulse himself notes: “when death signifies not an end, but a start.” Completed with assistance from the innovative Wooda Arts Award in Cornwall, Follow the Master is an inspired cinematic pleasure from one of the most original and free-spirited artist/pilgrims currently working in Scotland.
Directors: Dhivya Kate Chetty, Martin Clark
Producers: Dhivya Kate Chetty, Martin Clark
Editors: Dhivya Kate Chetty, Martin Clark
Music: Graeme Ronald
Director: Matt Hulse
Editor: Matt Hulse
Sound Production: Matt Hulse
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