Donigan Cumming


2005 - Colour, Stereo: 22:00 min.

Fountain is a film that artfully disrupts itself during its chaotic unravelling.The tired faces, the exhausted bodies, the worn voices that Donigan Cumming brings together like an entomologist exhibiting the finest items of his collection, are an insult to decorum. The damned side of societies that wallow in clean-cut aesthetics and the smooth beauty of consensual advertisement images is at the root of the film-maker's political provocations. His films tell a quite different story. But Cumming's work is also fuelled by the pleasure he draws from a certain playfulness, as he strives to become the organizer of a type of family film (his present film features characters that appear in earlier work). He takes an obvious pleasure in directing them, and including himself in the process. Facing the camera, he wishes for times that would be simultaneously both quieter and more eventful: the ideal conditions for the making of a film? Close-ups play an important role within the process, haunting the spectator with their stigmatised decay. Toothless, drooling, laughing, and stunned faces are the pieces of a human puzzle that overflow from the filmmaker's world like gushing water from a fountain. These abandoned men and women haunt his images: resorting to visual violence to express his disenchanted and fascinated vision of beings on the verge of death is the core of Donigan Cumming's moral dimension.

Jean Perret, Visions du réel, 2005
(Translation: Lia Lambert)

Fountain Characters
Dave: A man in his forties / Donigan: Donigan Cumming, a fifty-one-year-old man with a camcorder/ Joyce: Joyce Donnison, a woman in her seventies / Gordie: Gordon Verge, a man in his fifties/ Raymond: Raymond Beaudoin, a man in his fifties / Geoff: Geoffrey Bates, a man in his sixties / Gerry: Gerald Harvey, a man in his sixties / Pauline: Pauline Mellor, a woman in her thirties / Colin: Colin Kane, a man in his fifties / Marty: Martin Corbin, a man in his seventies / Nelson: Nelson Coombs, a man in his seventies / Susan: Susan Thomson, a woman in her forties / Jimmy: James Carter, a man in his forties / Colleen: Colleen Faber, a woman in her forties / Vicky: A woman in her fifties / Julien: Julien Cumming, a man in his sixties / Pierre: Pierre Lamarche, a man in his fifties / Carlo: Carlo Albanese, a man in his sixties / Alex: Gordon Alexander, a man in his sixties / Albert: Albert Ross Smith, a man in his fifties / Elizabeth: Elizabeth Barclay, a woman in her forties / Beatrice: Beatrice Johnson, a woman in her seventies / Nettie: Nettie Harris, a woman in her eighties / Brenda: Brenda Jardine, a woman in her forties / Mina: Mina Putugu, a woman in her forties