THE LOST FILMS OF BLOODY NORA **** UK 2019 Dir: Sophia Di Martino. 9 mins
The directorial debut for writer-actor Sophia Di Martino – whose acting work includes playing Carol in Danny Boyle’s 2019 hit YESTERDAY – and it’s a distinctive, startling piece of work. Framed by a kind of D.I.Y. autopsy conducted by Dad (Mark Heap) on his daughter Nora (Di Martino), it unfolds at a suitably dreary British greasy spoon café. Nora is a messed-up, child-like, outcast young woman who discovers an old camera in a basket in the river. Fashioning a makeshift tripod, she films herself performing and treats it like a baby, complete with pram. Her dad destroys them in between entertaining his fancy woman (Jane Marney). A wordless insight into a disturbed domestic environment, this combines a disquieting psychological horror story with grotesque humour, broad performances reflecting an allegiance to silent cinema and the look and feel of some lost, avant-garde exploitation movie from the 1970’s. Inventively shot by Will Hanke, it delivers a sequence of bizarre and compelling images involving hair pins, bloody tampons up nostrils, cats on leads and characters literally devouring film. Di Martino delivers a unique, expressive performance and Arthur Sharpe’s score – complete with eerie vocals – is haunting.
Review by Steven West