Forty Below

“In Forty Below, 1999 and Too dark for night, 2001 dramatic landscapes tinged in shades of aquatic blue-greens and glowing in atmospheric sand tones are the product of relatively primitive technology applied on location.

In both films, Langan has experimented with hand-made filters painted with glass paint that are placed in front of or inside the lens. This simple procedure combines an economical creative technique with the gesture of artistic integrity, resulting in stunning scenes of great immediacy that can easily compete with the latest digitally manipulated images. Langan practices what could be defined as “pastoral heroism”- a reconfigured continuation of the genre of 19th-century landscape painting into the 21st century. In it, simplicity of means coincides with the splendid grandeur of nature or, as Thomas Crow defined it, the “incorporation of the commonplace within the exalted,” while the film continuously asserts its actuality as work of art and inscribes the presence of the spectator through a succession of arriving or departing ghostly figures."

Christoph Gruenberg Director Tate Liverpool 2002 – See essay:

16mm film transferred to DVD with Surround Sound
Edition of 5
5 minutes

Cinematography: Clare Langan & Robbie Ryan
Performer: Tristan Gribbin
Composer: Pol Brennan
Editor: Isobel Stephenson