Recently added to the SXSW 2011 Accepted Films, “The Rime of the Modern Mariner” promises to take us not only on a journey of sailor tales, folklore, along with the legends and history of the London Docks, but a visual journey as seen through the eyes of an artistic cinematographer; the kind of depth of field shots that are taken by one with an eye to see what others pass right by.
Mark Donne, who has been highly involved in British politics, civil rights and charitable organizations, directs this film about Britain’s historical relationship with the sea. As an island, it is the sailor and his seafaring steed that has been the lifeline between the continent, its people and the outside world. The lens flows along the Thames, capturing the nook and crannies of the docks, and the stories of the sailors and dock workers who left their blood, sweat and tears within them.
The trailer for “…Modern Mariner” asks, “What spirit and endeavor live on out in the heart of the modern mariner?” The film aims to answer that question and others, as past meets present and future along the London Docks.
To complement “The Rime of the Modern Mariner” visual journey, Carl Barat from The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things narrates. His voice takes us down Grace Alley in Wellclose Square, to the worn and weathered door of Wilton’s Music Hall, colored in a palette of rust and gray where ornate carvings sing of its glory days gone by. “It was at one time the coarsest, liveliest favourite of mariners. It remains almost exactly as it would have been in the Victorian East End, saved the hordes of gin-sick seaman and bellowing locals.”
Anthony Rossomando, who has been a touring member of The Klaxons, scores the film and performs it with Jamie Reynolds of the Klaxons, Drew McConnell of Babyshambles, and Rose Elinor from Pipettes.
The score was performed live at Latitude’s Film & Music Arena last year. We may be able to enjoy that same experience at the 2011 SXSW Film Conference and Festival considering the film is in the Special Events category, which includes live soundtracks. If so, this is expected to be one of those unique SXSW moments.