Is it art or film? It's both, and painfully exciting. Gareth K Vile reviews 85a and LowSalt's recent performance event.
Orzel tells a simple story from the early stages of the Second World War: a Polish submarine eludes capture by the Nazis, and sets off to join the Allied fleet. 85a and LowSalt gallery teamed up to create a cardboard submarine for a cinema, populating the space with sailors and a captain, gave the film a live musical score and allowed the tense drama to climb out of the screen and into the audience.
The film itself has a bare, realistic, almost documentary narrative, ramping up the tension as Nazi ships and planes chase the renegades around the coasts of Northern Europe. Even the slightly addled print adds to the atmosphere, as the sub fades slowly into the sea, the explosions rocking the entire venue and sending both sailors and screen rolling into darkness.
A hugely imaginative venture, it immerses the audience into the story, making Renfield Lane an underwater world of fear and anxiety: the simple screenplay adds little to the bare bones of the plot, rejecting unnecessary sentimentality or false emotionalism. As a cross-platform project, this has the energy of the best movie thriller and a rocking post-rock soundtrack that brings out the horror, pathos and the immersive power of an installation. The perfect way to experience a neglected classic.
November 5th, 6th and 7th Across from STEREO Bar 20-28 Renfield Lane, Glasgow, G2 6PHhttp://www.lowsalt.org.uk