The psychedelic Folk Horror features The Other Side Of The Forest and Beyond The Speed Of Life are to be released on physical media and streaming this summer.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FOREST
“The Other Side Of The Forest” is a fantasy Pop-Art Fairytale directed by Grant McPhee and starring Lori Stott (BBC’s The Demon Headmaster) and Ashley Sutherland (Night Kaleidoscope).
It is the story of a shy young woman seeking her fame in the dark world of the 1960s folk-music underground. Lori’s journey to stardom takes her on an adventure far beyond the music world she is trying to break into, and instead she travels far beyond her reality to a forgotten past of rural landscapes, magic, myth, dead Gods and mysterious fallen angels.
In this fantastical world Lori meets a mysterious time-travelling guide (Ashley Sutherland) who helps her navigate the malevolent threat of the Swine-Folk, dead Pop-Stars and ultimately; uncovering the mystery of what lies on the other side of the forest.
It is a bold mix of influences covering 1960’s British Youth-Film such as “Smashing Time’, 70s experimental films like Requiem For a Village, Carnaby Street news-reels and the Counter-Culture texts ‘The White Goddess’, ‘The House on the Borderland’ and ‘The Golden Bough’.
It bravely plays with structure, form and narrative while simultaneously exploring genre tropes and musical group performances.
It was filmed with analogue sound and film equipment, incorporating various 16mm and Super8 processing techniques – hand developing, vintage cameras, sellotaped film editing, scratching, double exposures and film looping.
The film was edited by Andy Morrison (Lord of the Rings, The English, Outlander, The Man Who Fell to Earth and The Last Kingdom).
The soundtrack is exclusively written by Post-Punk legend, Jowe Head (Swell Maps and Television Personalities).
The Other Side Of The Forest is also known as ‘Lori And The Six Six Sixties’.
BEYOND THE SPEED OF LIFE
“Beyond The Speed Of Life” is a sister film to The Other Side Of The Forest. Also directed by Grant McPhee, it stars Miss Scotland finalist, Bethany Stevenson and Ashley Sutherland (Night Kaleidoscope).
The film is experimental in narrative and attempts to argue that snippets of popular culture can be presented as having value as film art as those which prescribes to traditional art-house tropes.
It is ultimately an exploration of 1960s music promo aesthetics, B-Movies, amateur filmmaking and the Underground – Warhol, Brakhage, Deren, Mekas and Anger, shot entirely with 1960s vintage sound, 16mm cameras and lenses.
The themes toy with perceptions of the evolution of Folk-Horror from a true meaning of the term to a current and more simplistic box-ticking exercise of genre interpretation. The film is heavily indebted to 1970’s Occult paperbacks, The Velvet Underground, 1960’s German communes and early 70’s British and Italian horror.
The soundtrack is by Scottish Post-Punk Supergroup Port Sulphur (released on Last Night From Glasgow) which features Douglas MacIntyre aided by various members of Orange Juice, Fire Engines, Suicide and The Pop Group.
Reflecting the recording of the Speed of Life album, the filmmaking process deployed a similar ‘automatic’ writing approach of unlearning technique, a refusal of pre-determined composition and ensuring that ‘first ideas’ take priority regardless of secondary thought merit.
Both films are directed by Grant McPhee. His previous films include ‘Far From The Apple Tree’ (currently streaming on BFI Player and available on DVD from Redemption Films and soon to be available on US DVD via Kino Lorber) and the documentary, Teenage Superstars (streaming on SKY Arts which was ‘Pick of the Week’ in many broadsheet papers including The Guardian, Times and Telegraph). He has also written a successful book on Scottish Post-Punk music with Douglas MacIntyre released on the super-hip White Rabbit imprint.