The original narrative intention of Unhomely Street was to follow a female protagonist in a state of fugue, as she wanders an alienating urban underbelly of clubs and free parties. Without belongings, and therefore without identity — or, more accurately, state registration — the film investigated the position of the outsider. The head injury ‘conveniently’ became the starting point for the character’s fugue. However, unlike in the film, the real injury did not result from being hit by an airborne bull mastiff while levitating. 

The performed sequences, such as this stem from the film’s original iteration as a loose narrative fiction, provide anchor points, or filmic punctuation marks. They are accompanied by a third-person narration that further stabilises the spectator’s position as that of ‘watching a story unfold’. Conventionally, the camera is most frequently used as though it were a third person observer, offering a view of a performed scene. Unhomely Street slides between this approach — the representation of subjectivity that is understood according to cinematic conventions of interiority — and attempts to render thought images. 


Early in the production, I asked friends to talk to the camera, against a green screen background, about how they felt about capitalism. In the original format, these rushes amount to documentary interviews. The subsequent artistic transformation, however, signposts the sequence as intentionally subjective without obscuring the original content. The recorded polemics suggested certain visual treatments. Steve Bollom’s gentle tone and succinct performance led me to turn him into a tree. Other contributors became a boil, pool, or situated in a pub setting, presented as murky recollections of a previous night’s drinking session. The fuzzy, blurred vision in the next clip is an attempt to render the recollection of drunkenness. This is not new, but rather operates as filmic shorthand. Thought is multi-sensory, but film, with its audio-visual qualities, provides a platform for the representation of mental states.

Sequences emerged from material shot without an explicit future usage in mind, which was processed and edited through playful juxtaposition. Using a small waterproof camera, I gathered underwater footage and with a phone camera, I recorded material on the Berlin U-Bahn, both without a clear plan. Spoken commentary was recorded in an attempt to generate a stream of consciousness. The intention, although vague at the time of recording, was to ad-lib first-person material that unmoored the inner voice.

The film was thus made in small sections, and the footage came together in a process of intuitive amalgamation. I had shot and edited most of the film before I assembled it. I was aware of some resistance to assembling the film. I knew this process would force me to make decisions about the narrative and would signal the end of the period of spontaneous creative play. It took two passes and one pick-up shoot to take the film from initial assembly to completion of the picture edit. This act of assembling and subsequent rapid completion of the film was concurrent with my recovery from post-concussive syndrome.