Coldly clinical, artistically nuanced yet oddly isolating, A Change In The Weather has the emotional impact of an art gallery after lights out. Director Jon Sanders has produced something here which makes you feel like an intruder.
Director Jon Sanders has produced something here which makes you feel like an intruder. Impersonal, distancing and distinctly awkward, A Change In The Weather feels like an uncomfortable party where people argue for an hour and forty minutes. His structure is influenced by improvisation making scenes feel stilted, while characters are born and shaped through evolving situations and spontaneity rather than clarity.
Conceived as a series of interlinking relationships sketched out through intimate dialogue scenes, this troupe examines love, loss and the creative process. Of the four principal players who make up the lion’s share of interactive moments Anna Mottram’s Lydia and Meret Becker’s Kalle stand out as most engaging, while Sanders cross cutting between moments of melancholy, conversations on character and abstract preoccupations with an afterlife make A Change In The Weather meander disparately.
Bob Goody’s playwright Dan builds structure through a self-absorbed, all consuming approach which overshadows everything else. Only in moments of dialogue-free dancing does any sense of poignancy begin to emerge as conventional modes of expression are silenced. There is a feeling that art and life are beginning to imitate each other, blurring our experience and forcing us to make choices. This may sound over-indulgent but Sanders and Mottram have purposely chosen their surroundings to induce isolation, introspection and a touch of unreality.
Scenes of raw emotion are neither overwrought nor frequent enough giving them resonance but no sense of finality. Even when the consequences to these actions unfold it comes as no surprise and lacks the necessary dramatic punch required. Towards its conclusion as musical interludes become more prevalent, grief manifests itself in solid form and things truly begin to unravel, this countryside setting takes on the guise of a prison. No longer a creative getaway but rather an artistic counselling session for romantically unstable creative types with grief issues.
Knowing that everything was improvised goes a long way to explaining the problems with A Change In The Weather. A lack of structure and guidance makes for an uneven viewing experience, neither offering us concrete opinions or options for closure. Sanders has created a thing of beauty here but without heart, which is ironic as the chief topic being discussed seems to be romantic love, relationship longevity and how these things alter over time. Coldly clinical, artistically nuanced yet oddly isolating, A Change In The Weather has the emotional impact of an art gallery after lights out.
Written by Martin Carr
Directed by: Jon Sanders
Written by: Anna Mottram, Jon Sanders
Starring: Meret Becker, Douglas Finch, Maxine Finch
Released: 2017 / Genre: Documentary
Country: UK / IMDB
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A Change In The Weather is released in UK cinemas July 7.