„Strange Object“ / press

Press reviews for „Strange Object“ by Miranda Pennell

„Everything in Pennell’s film comes from different sources. The photos from the album were taken by the Z Unit of Royal Air Force stationed in nowadays Somalia and the album itself was compiled in Berbera, British Somaliland in 1920. It is kept at The National Archives in London. The quotes used for narration are taken from a 1923 book called “The Mad Mullah of Somaliland” by Douglas Jardine, secretary of administration in the same colonial territory that was in office from 1916 to 1921. The mad mullah of the title is actually an anti-colonial resistance leader Mohamed Abdullah Hassan. The key thing, however, is the sound and its brilliant design. The sounds samples come from an open source, but they are arranged masterfully to create the atmosphere of different actions. Some of them are clearly “set” in the archive, as we here page-turning, footsteps, doors opening, re-typing and murmur. The others, focused on the sounds of the nature, accompany the photos and add one more level to them. As the film progresses and the story about the photos and what is on them gets clearer, the sounds in the film’s soundscape get more abstract.“
review by Marko Stojiljković on Ubiquarian

„As the time progresses the narration takes a dark and historical turn, mentioning the first aerial bombings to occur in Africa, where the leaders and dignitaries on the ground believed these aeroplanes to be angels, and after this you know that what Strange Object actually is and that is a glorious way to fool someone into a history lesson that, if you telegraph what it is, then maybe they wouldn’t be so interested.“
review by Steve Taylor-Bryant on The Dreamcage

find updates on „Strange Object“ on letterboxd

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