Foam Film is a short film that I made using a very old film stock, of uncertain origin, other than it could have been used to make high speed films at Newcastle University Medical School during the 1960s or 1970s. It was a gift, though for a long time I could find no use for it, before eventually finding a reason to use it in the production of Foam Film. I had wanted to try to make a film from scratch in the past, to write, film direct develop the film stock and edit the final film, perhaps because the development aspect was the missing link in the quest towards authorship that was one of the curiosities of Home Turf. Since chance well be a fine thing, it turned out, once I had found a camera, that I could count on somebody else to take care of the shooting when I couldn't (because, obviously, I also play one of the principal roles), so some of the sequences are thanks to Cédric Putaggio and once I had developed half of the film in black rubber trashcans, I found someprecious help from David Frénéhard, who helped me to finish the work.
During the shooting of the film, I recorded the sound, but in the end, once it had been shot, it seemed to me that the soundtrack was superfluous to the understanding of the film's scenario. This is very simple, boy meets girl, boy traps girl in a dangerous relationship, girl is unhappy, girl uses the same trap to put an end to the relationship. It is a story that has been told hundreds of times. In a way (and without the sex) the relationships which came about during the production of the film reflect those in the story, the kind of thing that you might find in a gossip magazine when the subject is a big Hollywood production, although here, clearly, nobody was interested. Taking this into account an taking into consideration the different forms of narration and the different stories within stories which make up Foam Film, I decided to find a way inwhich to introduce all of these elements into the film itself.
Having weighed everything up, it seemed to me that the best way to proceed was to write all of these stories along the soundtrack of the film copy, where the optical soundtrack usually goes. There are about 122 metres of writing on the film, which tell the story of the film and its dialogue, but also the different arguments and misunderstanding, all of the occurences, some very contestable, that go together to make the film what it is. I haven't read it since Foam Film was finished, but I am sure that whatever is libelous in the soundtrack can only be read by the projector and thus will only be audible as percussive abstractions, which are not slanderous at all.
Please try to watch the film projected as film
All you have to do is find a 16mm projector and a comfortable room, get a crowd of people together to share the cost and rent it. To do so, please get in touch here, giving the films that you are interested in, the dates of your sceenings, the place to which you require shipping and the format that you can screen the film in.
This is not very difficult to do, I do it all the time for the films that I want to see. You can read the programme notes in textes ou sur le site de Work in Progress website (I had better warn you that the notes are in French, the titles are mostly universal).