Brown Bread

Utilising found footage, digital film, animated loops and visual poetry, Brown Bread acts as a billowing examination of the boundary between film and animation, and as rumination on the wider themes of death, memory, time, archives and hauntology.

  • Felix Davidson
  • Felix Davidson
  • Felix Davidson
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 9, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    0 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm, 8mm and digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Manchester School of Art
Director Biography - Felix Davidson

Originally from Liverpool and currently studying at Manchester School of Art, I'm an animator, filmmaker and illustrator who works in a wide variety of mediums, often using a fusion of digital and traditional techniques. I love to explore the boundaries between film, animation, photography and memory, and utilise theoretical research (especially in hauntology) as a foundational element of my practice. I'm inspired by ghosts, markmaking, memories, physics, archives, time, and the colour yellow.

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Director Statement

This film was an absolute labour of love for me, and was the culmination of three years of theoretical and practical development, having begun initially as an abandoned first year project. Inherently, my work (and this film in particular) is always heavily grounded in theoretical research, particularly in the areas of metaphysics, memory, semiotics, hauntology and time.

Directly inspired by Mark Fisher's writings on Hauntology as well as by my own family's archive of photos and videos, Brown Bread is a deep dive into my personal relationship with film, photography and animation. Through exploring the losses I have experienced personally in conjuction with examining general ideas around death, time and memory, I wanted to give the audience a personally-impersonal marshland of visuals to wade through; there are no hard cuts and no definitive endings or begininngs to any one scene. Digital melds into analogue and footage taken fifty years apart is overlayed and intertwined for our central ghost character to loosely navigate on their journey.

The underpinning of two core audio pieces – The Sinking of the Titanic by Gavin Bryars, and excerpts from Louise Glück's reading of her own poem 'The Garden' – creates a linear pathway by which the film can be experienced by the viewer, moreso than watched as a traditional story.

Making this film alone was an emotionally draining experience; so much of my own life was put on screen and then moulded and abstracted so as to blur the line between personal and general. However, this was my first foray into direct film animation as well as my first time using analogue film projectors, which was an extremely exciting (if sometimes frustrating) experience and a welcome addition to my otherwise-digital filmmaking and animation practice. On the whole, the conception and creation of this film has been a crashcourse in discovering exactly what makes me tick as a researcher and a practicioner, and I wouldn't be the same had I not returned to that once-abandoned first project.