Nothing Like The Sun
Commissioned by Opera North
and The Royal Shakespeare Company

Filmmaker: Pippa Nissen
Music / Curator: Gavin Bryars
Director of Photography: Pete Bateson
Venue: RSC Courtyard Theatre and touring
First Performed: 2005

The film accompanied music by Gavin Bryars,
based on Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Themes within the sonnets became the inspiration for the content and quality of the films. Three different settings; either a still life (flowers, a meal set for two) light (candles, burning, lightbulbs), or an exterior street were used. These were filmed in 16mm film, and additionally using an industrial camera at 500 frames a second.

The resulting films are painstakingly slow; feeling as if a moment has been suspended. The themes explored revolve around finding the beautiful within things that are transitory; such as smoke from a candle, or rubbish caught in barbed wire blowing in the wind. Eleven episodes completed the film, each using a different metaphor for the content of the sonnets.