We are delighted to share the premiere for BUOY, a short film from David Magnier exploring male suicide through silent film and surrealistic imagery.
BUOY, is the short film from Irish Director David Magnier that explores the epidemic of male suicide through the lens of an isolated and lonely figure. Set in the west of Ireland it sees the protagonist throw himself off the top of a lighthouse towards the vast ocean. Instead of presenting an abrupt ending, it marks only the beginning of his journey.
Weaving through themes of regret, sorrow, forgiveness and ultimately redemption the short enlists no dialogue leaving one’s interpretation down to a universally digestible visual narrative.
Speaking on the intention behind this David said, “Short films are tricky projects to embark on as the instinct is to cram as much narrative into as little time as possible, this was exactly the trap I didn’t want to fall into. The intention of this short film was really to evoke an emotional response without the traditional narrative. I also wanted it to be understood by anyone, no matter the language, so there’s no dialogue whatsoever.”
“This short film idea sort of haunted me. It was something that I’d get lost thinking about before I went to sleep nearly every night and it would always shift and develop the more it embedded itself as a piece of work I really had to make.”
Through a lot of trial and error David perfected the soundtrack enlisting help from Jim Latimer. The constant tweaking resulted in a truly immersive soundscape that contributed to the idea of purgatory represented by the idea of buoyancy in the piece.
Moreover, David confirmed that capturing the pure vastness of the ocean in the film was paramount in creating BUOY.
“The location and the vastness of the sea tells a lot of the story. There’s something so evocative and bleakly beautiful about the west coast of Ireland that I really needed it to help me get the tone right. It also helps that the wider you go out there the more beautiful it gets”, he said.
The process of creating the surrealistic imagery was tricky. David explained that he had a number of ideas, but in the end he opted for an experimental approach.
“[We decided to] Submerge the actor in a water tank in front of a greenscreen and get him to hold his breath, weight him down and get him to act out scenes before he drowns. This was the obvious option as he looks properly weightless spinning in the air. Our actor David Thompson absolutely nailed this shoot, I guess you never know someone can act underwater until you go for it.”
“It was all sort of a hopeful experiment and an adventure into new techniques.”
It goes without saying that we’re going through extremely difficult times and there is pressure on everyone’s mental health. With that in mind, it felt like the perfect time for David to release the film.
“It really feels like the right time to put it out.”
“So many of us are out there right now, floating and struggling in social purgatory. Mental health is still not talked about properly and openly in Ireland. I’d like to take this opportunity also to encourage people to actively talk to their family and friends if they are feeling isolated and hopeless, especially now with such a wedge driven between us all.”
To watch our previous premiere They click here.